Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Friends Provident T20 Finals Day

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Friends Provident T20 Finals Day

Article excerpt

DOMINIC Cork added another triumphant chapter to his storied career by leading unfancied Hampshire to the Friends Provident t20 title and admitted it could be his last hurrah.

The former England all-rounder turned 39 earlier this month but emerged as one of the key figures on a finals day that was supposed to belong to the likes of World Twenty20 winners Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Craig Kieswetter.

Hampshire got over the line in dramatic fashion at the Rose Bowl, the injured Dan Christian scrambling a leg bye off the last ball of the match to level the scores and win by virtue of fewer wickets lost.

Hampshire were five down at that point, with Somerset losing six men in their innings - captain Cork making what proved the decisive contribution by taking two for three in the 20th over. Asked whether that effort would be a fitting finale to his playing days, the former Derbyshire and Lancashire man said, somewhat cryptically: "I've been offered a deal for next year. I have been offered a contract."

When pressed, he added: "Ali Brown, Robert Croft, Mark Ramprakash...they're all over 40 and I'm 39.

"But as long as I'm physically okay and feel I can make a difference I want to play.

"I don't want to be picked because of what I've done in the past, I want to be picked because I can make that difference and if I believe I can do that I'll carry on.

"If I don't think that then it's time to let some of the youngsters take the ball and have a good time because it's been a great career. I'm going to think about it and I'm sure I'll make the right decision for myself and for Hampshire as well."

South African Neil McKenzie took manof-the-match honours for a nerveless innings of 52, but he was eager to hail his skipper's contribution.

"Everyone's talking about Dominic's age but he just keeps running in there and he's probably the best competitor I've seen or played against," he said. …

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