A BATTING blitz by former Zimbabwe Test opener Dion Ebrahim fired Milton Keynes company Amscan to the final of a national corporate cricket competition they won last year.
Ebrahim smashed 60 off just 22 deliveries to overwhelm fellow Buckinghamshire firm SAS UK in the semi-finals of the Spirit of Commerce Twenty20 tournament in Marlow.
The 31-year-old, who played 29 Tests and 82 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe between 2001 and 2005 before also playing for Stony Stratford, peppered the boundary rope as the world’s largest party goods suppliers totalled 190-6 off their 20 overs.
But despite mounting a late charge, enterprise software business SAS fell 21 runs short, giving holders Amscan a place in the final later this month.
Both Amscan and SAS beat energy firm SSE earlier in the day in a round robin contest at Medmenham CC’s ground at Whittington House on Henley Road, Marlow.
A belligerent knock of 84 from 44 balls by mid-order batsman Dave Gordon helped Amscan to 170-5 in a rain-affected 16 overs. SSE, who had failed to reach three figures against SAS in the first game of the day, were only able to muster 130-5 in reply to make it two defeats out of two.
But when the two winners met at the end of an entertaining day’s play it was the Milton Keynes company, playing under the banner of their sports party brand “Pride, Passion, Party,” who held the upper hand.
Openers Rick Elliott (41) and Sam Wright (40) laid a solid foundation before Ebrahim set off some late fireworks to push the total to 190.
SAS were always behind the required rate and needed 57 off the last three overs to snatch victory. But they came up short, sending Amscan through to their second Spirit of Commerce final in 12 months.