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14 Jul

Harding Jets Into BLK Top Gun Final

In front of nearly 10,000 fans the second BLK Top Gun semi-final punctuated a thrilling T20 match between Yorkshire Vikings and Durham Jets with James Harding from Stokesley CC prevailing clocking 80mph with two of his three deliveries.

The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation’s search for the fastest club bowler in the county is entering its final phase in the search for 4 finalists who will bowl during the interval of the England v Australia One-Day-International in September and the chance to become a BLK sponsored athlete for the 2016 season.

The finalists all represented clubs in North Yorkshire, with James Harding from Stokesley who play in the North Yorks South Durham Premier League and Josh Barrett and Jake Murphy both from Dunnington CC who play in the Premier Division of the York Senior League.

With only 2 mph separating the 3 competitors’ qualifying speeds, it promised to be an interesting battle and one that lived up to expectations. James Harding, the youngest of the bowlers hit his straps early on, clocking 79mph, smashing his qualifying speed by 3mph in the process. With the gauntlet firmly laid down, both Barrett and Murphy strained to meet the mark set down by Harding, bowling 75 and 74mph respectively.

Harding stretched his advantage, hitting 80mph and becoming the fastest bowler recorded on the pitch in one of the finals on the Headingley pitch. With no change in leader after the second round of deliveries, it was down to their third and final delivery. At the end of the first 2 deliveries Harding lead with 80mph, Barrett on 75mph and Murphy 74mph.

James Harding, Stokesley CC clocked 80mph in reaching the BLK Top Gun Final

As the pressure mounted on the 2 Dunnington speedsters, something remarkable had to happen. Harding finished with another 80mph and then had to watch as Barrett clocked another 75mph. Murphy finished with his own personal best, however 76mph was not enough to shoot Harding off the top of the leader board.

Harding’s victory sees him join semi-final 1 winner, David Amos from Pool CC in the final on September 11th.

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