With the poor weather and forever waiting on other fixtures elsewhere in the cup, it meant that our intrepid U13s had two games last week; the first being the unforgettable but please never-to-be repeated win at Elton on Tuesday and the second being against Edgworth at DCC on Friday. Victory against Edgworth would mean advancing to the final of the GMCL portion of the Lancs cup, of which we are defending champions. It would be a test then, of if our boys had learnt the lessons they needed to learn (in particular with the bat.. and even more especially so with their running between the wickets!) from the game against Elton and if they had anything left in the tank after such an emotional rollercoaster...
For those that don't frequent Didsbury CC on a Friday night, it is a fantastic place to be. With All-Stars, U11s training, and an U13 game on there are juniors playing cricket as far as the eye can see (and about 10,000 cones thanks to Tom). But this Friday was marred by the poor weather and presence of clouds so dark that they prophesied doom. With the strict orders from groundsman and chairman, the covers and sheets (of which there were many) had to remain until the second play had to begin. With speed that would make an F1 pit stop crew proud the boys whipped the covers and sheets off and play would begin.. Aarron, our captain, making the correct call to bowl first..
With ball in hand, Aarron steamed in. His heroics at Elton fresh in the mind, and whilst this spell was perhaps not as quick or debilitating for the opposition it was still very good. The ball was hooping, as if pulled by a string from the boundary (perhaps a clever ploy for the later rounds...) making it difficult to control and horrible for Freddie to deal with behind the stumps. Unlike the pitch on Tuesday, our pitch had bounce and real carry, a testimony to Barbs' brilliant groundsmanship (and my role as "Head of Compaction") something that our big (and small) quicks evidently enjoyed bowling on. Wickets for Aarron, Ash, and Nikash as the pace and bounce was clearly too much. Ash taking 2 in 2 at one point, after being fired up by some energetic spectators... Nikash an excellent caught and bowled, and Aarron a snorter to smash the stumps down. Milan was unlucky not to take a wicket, despite an excellent spell. A special mention to Nikash's figures of 3-1-2-1, highlighting how well he is bowling, a reward for his hard work. The spin twins of Krishav and Tanmay were not as deadly this game, as Edgworth's lower order took the offensive, but Krishav did pick up the wicket of their number six that was leading their counterattack, a great catch by Aarron. Two good run outs by Tanmay and Freddie provided some final excitement, and 87/8 was the final total.
Adam and James would assume their role as opening batters with glee, both finding the middle of the bat early as they quickly adjusted to the pace and bounce of the pitch but sadly James fell to a beauty of an inswinging yorker from their tall fast bowler. Adam and Tanmay switched their cricket brains on and saw what needed to be done, with the threat coming from one end, they made sure they scored at the other. Adam launched two massive sixes, to retire on 30 off 24 whilst Tanmay batted beautifully, just guiding the ball into space, until he also decided that hitting sixes was fun and launched one towards the club house. He'd finish 26* as his partner at the other end, Kush, saw the side home with a 24* himself. Kush launched four quick fours to get the game over and done with. Winning by 9 wickets in just the 14th over.
An much improved display with the bat, and a continued run of excellence with the ball. Our fielding was not at its best, but there are learnings from the game that will help us in future games. With the rain around, and playing a game so quickly after the heart-wrenching affair on Tuesday, the boys put in an admirable effort and continue to impress me with their tenacity. The win means we advance to the final of the GMCL section of the Lancs cup, the date for that is TBD as we continue to wait for other clubs to play their games. It's a big day for the U13s this Friday, as all three of our league sides play and a special mention that it's the Buffs BBQ day so make sure you come down and support the boys, and buy as many burgers as you can so we can beat the U15s and U11s for the season's biggest take!