Benson & Hedges Cup

Last updated

Benson & Hedges Cup
CountriesFlag of England.svg  England
Administrator England & Wales Cricket Board
Format Limited overs cricket
First edition1972
Latest edition2002
Most successful Lancashire (4 titles)

The Benson & Hedges Cup was a one-day cricket competition for first-class counties in England and Wales that was held from 1972 to 2002, one of cricket's longest sponsorship deals.

Contents

It was the third major one-day competition established in England and Wales after the Sunday League and the Gillette Cup. Traditionally a 'big day out' for the finalist's supporters, it was the less prestigious of the two cups. It began as a 55 over a side game, but was later reduced to 50. The winning team in the first cup final in 1972, Leicestershire won £2,500, the losing finalists Yorkshire £1,000 and Chris Balderstone, winner of the man of the match – the coveted 'Gold Award' – £100.

Format

Twenty teams were organised into four zonal groups in its original format with the games played at the start of the season in May. The (then) seventeen first-class counties were joined by three other teams, Minor Counties (North), Minor Counties (South) and Cambridge University who alternated with the University of Oxford. Each team played the others in the group, the winners of each game awarded three points plus, in its first year, a bonus point for bowling their opponents out. The first two teams in each group went on to contest a quarter-final knock-out stage. Groups were set up to create 'derby' games.

in 1975, the Oxford and Cambridge university sides combined to form an Oxford & Cambridge team which competed in every season thereafter. In 1976 the groupings were reorganised to remove the geographical element and the Minor Counties were divided into East and West instead of North and South. Scotland entered the competition in 1980 and the Minor Counties were reduced to one combined team. Durham joined the competition in 1992, having become a first-class county; Ireland joined in 1994 and the competition was streamlined to a straight knock-out cup. Mike Atherton's Combined Universities side almost reached the semi-finals in 1989 and Ireland defeated Middlesex eight years later.

The final was played at Lord's, initially in mid-July, but latterly in late June. Viv Richards of Somerset made the highest score in a final, an unbeaten 132. Ken Higgs of Leicestershire took a hat-trick (Alan Butcher, Pat Pocock and Arnold Long) against Surrey in the final of 1974, but still ended on the losing side. Other notable performances in its later days include Mark Alleyne's century for Gloucestershire in 1999, 112 from Aravinda de Silva as Kent lost in 1995, and Ben Hollioake's 115-ball 98 for Surrey in 1997.

The highest total ever recorded in the group matches was the 388 scored by Essex against Scotland in 1992. Graham Gooch scored 127 as Scotland lost by 272 runs.

Controversy

At a B & H Cup group game at Worcester on 24 May 1979, the Somerset captain Brian Rose declared after one over with the score at 1 for 0. Worcestershire scored the required 2 runs in 10 balls. The declaration was done to protect Somerset's run-rate so they could qualify for the next round. After a special TCCB vote, Somerset were ejected from the competition for bringing the game into disrepute. [1] [2]

The end

The Benson & Hedges Cup's later years coincided with increasing concern about the quantity of one-day cricket in England and Wales. A ban on tobacco advertising deprived the cup of its sponsor and it was wound up in 2002 in favour of the Twenty20 Cup, first held the following year. The format of the Friends Provident Trophy echoed the Benson and Hedges Cup as teams competed in a group stage before going on to knockout rounds.

The umpires in the last final had faced each other as players in the first final 30 years before: John Hampshire for Yorkshire and Barry Dudleston for Leicestershire.

Finals

YearFinal
WinnerResultRunner-up
1972 Leicestershire
140 for 5 (46.5 overs)
Leicestershire won by 5 wickets
Scorecard
Yorkshire
136 for 9 (55 overs)
1973 Kent
225 for 7 (55 overs)
Kent won by 39 runs
Scorecard
Worcestershire
186 (51.4 overs)
1974 Surrey
170 (54.1 overs)
Surrey won by 27 runs
Scorecard
Leicestershire
143 (54 overs)
1975 Leicestershire
150 for 5 (51.2 overs)
Leicestershire won by 5 wickets
Scorecard
Middlesex
146 (52.4 overs)
1976 Kent
236 for 7 (55 overs)
Kent won by 43 runs
Scorecard
Worcestershire
193 (52.4 overs)
1977 Gloucestershire
237 for 6 (55 overs)
Gloucestershire won by 41 runs
Scorecard
Kent
173 (47.3 overs)
1978 Kent
151 for 4 (41.4 overs)
Kent won by 6 wickets
Scorecard
Derbyshire
147 (54.4 overs)
1979 Essex
290 for 6 (55 overs)
Essex won by 35 runs
Scorecard
Surrey
255 (51.4 overs)
1980 Northamptonshire
209 (54.5 overs)
Northamptonshire won by 6 runs
Scorecard
Essex
203 for 8 (55 overs)
1981 Somerset
197 for 3 (44.3 overs)
Somerset won by 7 wickets
Scorecard
Surrey
194 (55 overs)
1982 Somerset
132 for 1 (33.1 overs)
Somerset won by 9 wickets
Scorecard
Nottinghamshire
130 (50.1 overs)
1983 Middlesex
196 for 8 (55 overs)
Middlesex won by 4 runs
Scorecard
Essex
192 (54.1 overs)
1984 Lancashire
140 for 4 (42.4 overs)
Lancashire won by 6 wickets
Scorecard
Warwickshire
139 (50.4 overs)
1985 Leicestershire
215 for 5 (52 overs)
Leicestershire won by 5 wickets
Scorecard
Essex
213 for 8 (55 overs)
1986 Middlesex
199 for 7 (55 overs)
Middlesex won by 2 runs
Scorecard
Kent
197 for 8 (55 overs)
1987 Yorkshire
244 for 6 (55 overs)
Yorkshire won by losing fewer wickets
Scorecard
Northamptonshire
244 for 7 (55 overs)
1988 Hampshire
118 for 3 (31.5 overs)
Hampshire won by 7 wickets
Scorecard
Derbyshire
117 (46.3 overs)
1989 Nottinghamshire
244 for 7 (55 overs)
Nottinghamshire won by 3 wickets
Scorecard
Essex
243 for 7 (55 overs)
1990 Lancashire
241 for 8 (55 overs)
Lancashire won by 69 runs
Scorecard
Worcestershire
172 (54 overs)
1991 Worcestershire
236 for 8 (55 overs)
Worcestershire won by 65 runs
Scorecard
Lancashire
171 (47.2 overs)
1992 Hampshire
253 for 5 (55 overs)
Hampshire won by 41 runs
Scorecard
Kent
212 (52.3 overs)
1993 Derbyshire
252 for 6 (55 overs)
Derbyshire won by 6 runs
Scorecard
Lancashire
246 for 7 (55 overs)
1994 Warwickshire
172 for 4 (44.2 overs)
Warwickshire won by 6 wickets
Scorecard
Worcestershire
170 for 9 (55 overs)
1995 Lancashire
274 for 7 (55 overs)
Lancashire won by 35 runs
Scorecard
Kent
239 (52.1 overs)
1996 Lancashire
245 for 9 (55 overs)
Lancashire won by 31 runs
Scorecard
Northamptonshire
214 (48.3 overs)
1997 Surrey
215 for 2 (45 overs)
Surrey won by 8 wickets
Scorecard
Kent
212 for 9 (50 overs)
1998 Essex
268 for 7 (50 overs)
Essex won by 192 runs
Scorecard
Leicestershire
76 (27.4 overs)
1999
[3]
Gloucestershire
291 for 9 (50 overs)
Gloucestershire won by 124 runs
Scorecard
Yorkshire
167 (40 overs)
2000 Gloucestershire
226 for 3 (46.5 overs)
Gloucestershire won by 7 wickets
Scorecard
Glamorgan
225 (49.3 overs)
2001 Surrey
244 (49.5 overs)
Surrey won by 47 runs
Scorecard
Gloucestershire
197 (45.5 overs)
2002 Warwickshire
182 for 5 (36.2 overs)
Warwickshire won by 5 wickets
Scorecard
Essex
181 for 8 (50 overs)

Wins summary

Records

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Benson & Hedges Cup, Group A: Worcestershire v Somerset at Worcester, May 23-24, 1979". espncricinfo. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  2. Williamson, Martin. "I do declare". espncricinfo. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  3. Known as the Benson & Hedges Super Cup, the competition in 1999 was an eight-team affair, with those finishing in the top eight of 1998's County Championship qualifying.

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