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Paras square off in final fight

THE Army completed a dominant season at the wicket with a commanding victory in cricket’s Inter-Services 50-over Championship.

Having triumphed in the Twenty20 showdown at Lord’s the Reds headed to Portsmouth in confident mood and two ruthless bowling performances laid the foundations for back-to-back wins over their rivals.

With the Royal Air Force downing the hosts in the competition’s opening match, the Royal Navy needed to sink the soldiers in their second fixture to retain any hope of lifting the trophy.

But a stuttering performance with the bat ended their title aspirations as medium-pacer Cpl Ian Redfern (170 (Infra Sp) Engr Gp) returned superb figures of 5-30 to restrict them to a below-par 178-8.

The soldiers made short work of the run chase with Sgt Dan Webb (HQ DIC) – playing in his last Inter-Services campaign – smashing 90 and Capt Storm Green (HQ 101 Log Bde) finishing unbeaten on 78 in an emphatic nine-wicket win.

The result created the platform for a tournament decider between the RAF and Army and, after winning the toss, the Reds set about posting an imposing total with the bat.

However, Green was trapped leg before by Cpl Graeme Cessford for just one and when Webb, who looked in fine form, was caught behind for 28 the defending champions slipped to 41-2.

His dismissal brought Capt Ian Massey (LD, pictured) to the crease and the middle-order batsman set about restoring the early damage alongside the impressive Pte Brannon Varley (3 Med Regt).

Read this month's issue for the full report.

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