After the disappointment of being knocked out of the National T20 competition on Friday night, and having Saturday’s fixture with Solihull rained off, the First XI were back in action at the beginning of the week with their annual declaration matches against the Gentlemen of Worcestershire and the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
Against the Gentlemen of Worcester, the squad continued their fine form with the ball and made it very difficult to score, thanks to some very tight bowling; Henry W in particular once again showed his promise with two excellent spells. The First XI were set 186 to win, which looked to be a tricky chase, but once again our batters looked to dominate. Monty J (with 38 off 22) and George T (with 55 off 29) made the batting look easy and very quickly took the game from the opposition, eventually chasing the total down in just 21 overs!
The Firsts then backed up their bowling performance on Monday with another fine display on Tuesday against the MCC. In hot conditions, the seamers and spinners worked well as a unit and never let the game get away from them. The fielding was superb and really helped to support the good work from the bowlers. The MCC declared on 251-7 and left ample time for a successful chase to be achieved.
Going into the final hour, the game was well in the balance. Cam J (51) and George T (35) once again built a solid platform for the team to attack from but unfortunately a costly run-out on the stroke of drinks put us on the back foot. Sam H batted aggressively to reach 49 but had to depart after mistiming one to mid-off. King’s fell short by 70 runs but the margin didn’t do the performance justice.
Director of Cricket, Mr Greenall adds, “We were without many of the regular First XI for both matches due to exams but it was really pleasing to see two great performances on the pitch and many pupils making their First XI debuts. The MCC is a fantastic fixture to have each year and a great opportunity to play against top quality opposition. We got ourselves into a winning position but then couldn’t convert the strong starts into match-winning scores; I know the boys involved will be in a better place as a result.’
The junior teams also had a brilliant week, with both being involved in their respective county cup competitions. Both had comfortable victories in their semi-finals against Bredon and Prince Henry’s respectively. The U13s then faced Bromsgrove in the final. A couple of missed chances proved to be key and allowed Bromsgrove to score 186 from their 20 overs. The U13s were always in the hunt, scoring quickly in the middle overs, but couldn’t quite keep up with their required rate and fell short by 30 runs. Ben E was the standout batter, scoring a well-deserved 50.
The U14s also faced Bromsgrove but were able to go one better and once again showed the quality they have. Some impressive bowling restricted the visitors to 122 from their 20 overs, leaving the victory well within our grasp. However, losing two early wickets meant the game was back in the balance and the Bromsgrove attack had the momentum. Henry H then took the game by the scruff of the neck and batted magnificently and maturely, scoring a blistering 77 off just 38 balls, which saw the U14s win with eight overs to spare.
Director of Cricket, Mr Greenall adds, “The U14s have had an excellent season and regularly show their class on the field. It is a great achievement to win the county cup final but more importantly it sees them qualify for the Lady Taverners National Cup next year as U15s, where they will play against all the other County winners.”
Read about the Seniors’ previous games here.