ANDOVER opening batsman Nathan Birks hit a superb 83 runs to help his side to thrilling win in the Cyril Thompson Trophy final at May’s Bounty on Sunday.

His excellent knock which included 13 fours and one six and came off 66 balls, also gave the batsman the Mary Jewell Batting Award as he scored the most runs, 363 across four games in the competition.

Chasing a winning score of 162 for victory set by Ramsdell, Andover finished on 161-6 and won the game by losing one fewer wicket.

In an excellent game from start to finish, Andover reached the 20th and final over with Birks still at the crease and needing 10 for victory. The opener despatched the first two ball for two each, before being bowled on the third ball to add even more drama if there was not enough already. This left Andover needing six off the final three balls and Hugo Orange hit the first ball for four and then a leg bye off Will Morton saw the sides level on 161. The final ball saw Andover go for a quick single, but Morton was run out.

However, they still won the game as they had only lost six wickets to Ramsdell’s seven.

Earlier on in Andover’s innings Birks and Stuart Summers (8) put on 41 for the first wicket and then Birks and Kelum Watta (35) shared Andover’s best partnership taking them to 101-2.

In Ramsdell’s innings of 161-7, the wickets were shared around with Andrew Blatchford, Orange and Jay Singh all taking two each, while Augus McMahon picked up the other.

Tom Holbrook was their top scorer with 57, well supported by Luca Wade 22, who was also Ramsdell’s leading wicket taker with two.