TAURAI Muzarabani hit the winning runs as Colchester and East Essex's young side triumphed at North Essex Cricket League T20 Finals Day.

Muzarabani, a T20 international for Zimbabwe, hit an unbeaten 47 for his side in their final against Kelvedon, to secure a five-wicket triumph at Castle Park.

Skipper Jake Foley said: “It was a good day and I’m very happy for the boys who were playing.

“As captain, I couldn’t have asked for anything better from them.

“Most of the players who played for us were either colts or youth players who put their hand up to play and they relished the chance to play in Finals Day.

“They were all a bit nervous but they’re all very good young players who can either bat or bowl and their attitude was excellent throughout.

“They won us the game and did unbelievably well for us against a Kelvedon side whose players play first-team cricket in division one of the Two Counties Championship.

“All of young players did ever so well but I think Max Dias deserves a special mention – he bowled unbelievable well and was so mature for his age."

After winning the toss and electing to field, Colchester restricted Kelvedon to 163 for eight in their 20 overs.

Muzarabani was the most effective of the Colchester bowlers, claiming 2-21 in his four overs.

There were also two wickets apiece for Max Dias (2-25) and Louis Morris (2-41).

Aidan O'Brien top scored for Kelvedon with 323, with Tom Potter chipping in with 25 and Charlie Watts hitting 19.

Colchester lost opener Feroze Ahmed for 0 early on but recovered well, thanks mainly to a knock of 53 in 30 balls from skipper Jack Foley.

Michael Cursons contributed with 18 in a partnership worth 60 runs with Foley.

And although Colchester lost Foley and Caspar Everett in quick succession to find themselves on 88 for four, the hosts kept going.

Muzarabani was able to steer them to victory with 47 not out in 26 balls and Oliver Allison (16 not out) was also undefeated at the end, as Colchester claimed the trophy.

Earlier in the day, Colchester had seen off the challenge of Little Bardfield Village to book their place in the final.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the hosts made 210 for five in their 20 overs.

They started well and made 70 for the opening wicket, with Ahmed hitting 66.

Further significant contributions from Michael Cursons (57) and Caspar Everett (37) helped the hosts post a respectable total.

Little Bardfield fell short of their target, finishing on 176 for six to lose by 34 runs.

Kelvedon had booked their place in the final after recording a narrow two-run win over Ipswich.