Wakefield Thornes have been crowned the inaugural Yorkshire Premier League champions following a thrilling 39-run victory over Pudsey St Lawrence in a day/night final at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Toast of the Thornes club on Thursday evening was David Toft as he hit a splendid 138 and followed up by taking 3-63 from 10 overs to lead his side to victory over the Bradford League champions.
Almost 10,000 spectators tuned in to a live stream from Dubai and they witnessed the best Yorkshire club cricket has to offer.
While Thornes began their celebrations, they must have spared a thought for St Lawrence opening batsman Mark Robertshaw, who was out in the middle for an incredible 98.5 overs.
Robertshaw made 118 before he was caught in the deep off the penultimate ball of the penultimate over and looked exhausted as he left the field having played for almost the entire match in sweltering conditions.
Wakefield Thornes opted to bat first and it proved difficult for St Lawrence, fielding in the heat of the day, as the South Yorkshire Premier champions posted an impressive 296-6 from their 50 overs.
Toft struck 138 from 109 balls in an innings that included 14 fours and three sixes before he was trapped lbw by Charlie Parker.
Matt Jordan supported with 48 before he was run out, while Tom Marsden and former Cleckheaton player Faisal Irfan chipped in with 22 apiece to boost the Thornes total.
Pudsey had opened their clubhouse to show the live stream and supporters of the Leeds club watched anxiously as their side began the run chase under floodlights of a ground which had hosted the Pakistan v West Indies Test match earlier this week.
St Lawrence were soon in trouble as opener Adam Waite was trapped leg before for a duck in Mahmood Rasool’s first over and Irfan removed Callam Goldthorp seventh ball as Pudsey slipped to 6-2.
Barrie Frankland was bowled by Matt Varley’s off-spin for 15 and at 28-3 Thornes had taken a grip on the game.
Captain James Smith led a superb Lawrence fightback as he shared a 122-run stand with Robertshaw for the fourth wicket.
Smith was eventually out for 65, caught in the deep by James Wolfenden off the bowling of that man Toft.
Robertshaw and Chris Marsden continued the onslaught, sharing an 84-run stand.
Marsden upped the tempo hitting a six and a four in the 44th over and then swept Morgan to the boundary at the start of the next over.
When Marsden attempted a repeat shot the very next ball, Morgan gained revenge, bowling him for 46 and at 234-5 Pudsey required 63 to win off 34 balls.
Matthew Duce was caught behind by Thornes captain Tom Froggett off the bowling of Toft, who then claimed the wicket of Lamb to end with 3-63 as Thornes turned the screw,
Robertshaw looked to hit Morgan over the top but what would have been a six on many club grounds back in England, Toft was lurking on the boundary edge and took the catch to spark joyous scenes among his teammates.
Steve Watts was stumped by Froggett off Morgan the very next ball and Thornes wrapped up their 39 run win when Sri Lankan overseas player Isanka — who flew in to Dubai from Australia just to play in the final — bowled Wilson for one.
Thornes captain Froggett lifted the White Rose Trophy as his side were crowned inaugural Yorkshire Premier League winners and no doubt celebrations will continue long into the night before the team return to Wakefield this weekend.