Match Report: U12s Malden Wanderers vs LDCC, Friday 27 June 2014
With the threat of rain not materialising and the late afternoon sunshine dappling the picturesque setting of Malden Wanderers’ cricket ground, LDCC’s U12’s arrived in end-of-the week high spirits. Ben captained the side in Tommy’s absence and, having to adapt quickly to Adwait’s delayed journeying, chose Hari and Louis to open the batting. In a change of fortune Louis fell in the first over and Guy found himself at No.3, announcing his arrival with a confident 4. Hari looked settled from the outset and with a gentle breeze and deceptively undulating pitch the pair set about running some well-judged singles. A loose dog trotted along the boundary (obviously a cricket fan as he didn’t attempt to cross the markers) and heralded a loopy upward shot from Guy- safely caught, the score 21 – 2, six overs down. Luke was next in as Hari demonstrated a mixture of classic and unconventional shots – an interesting overhead number that safely escaped the watchful fielders. Scoring picked up with some lovely shots from both batsmen, the score at the end of the ninth over: 32 – 2. Helicopter traffic overhead interrupted the gentle murmur of spectators immersed in the match. A somewhat farcical near run-out quickened the heartbeats before Hari was dismissed by a good ball. His 9 runs didn’t do justice to the 13 overs he had stoically batted out as an opener. 62 – 3. Tom strode to the crease and immediately looked at home, making 4s off the first two balls faced. He and Luke moved the score along to 77 before Luke was out to a fine catch. Clearly recovered from his bruising encounter the week before, Tom looked like a batsman at the top of his game. With the evening sun shining brightly, some good running supported by Callum, the score crept upwards towards an explosively exciting 6 from Tom that brought up the 100 runs (rearranging a neighbouring fence panel in the process). Amazing. Swept along by the shock of reaching 3 figures, it came as a surprise to lose a wicket – Callum clean bowled with the score at 116. There the scoreboard stayed as first Ben, then Sean were dismissed and Aaron came in to face the last ball of the innings. Hitting a classy 4 as if it were a normal day at the office he brought the target to beat up to 120 – the highest score this season. Tom, not out for 30 runs.
With Adwait still struggling with transport difficulties, Louis kept wicket as Ben opened the bowling. His second ball brought a resounding thwack and scattering of the stumps. 4 – 1. Sean struck next in the fourth over. 18 – 2. A very positive start. As if a little surprised by their hold on the game, concentration slipped a little, the score inching up to 39 by the end of the seventh over. Brian kept them in check with an order to “keep awake” and that did the trick. Guy turned in a tight couple of overs and Tom and Jake prevented four certain boundaries accompanied up by accurate throw-ins. Sean and Callum added to the good stops but in spite of this the batsman moved the score along. Parents started to do the maths and it was widely acknowledged on the sidelines that a wicket was needed. As if psychic, Luke did the honours in the next over with a lovely ball. Disturbing an established partnership. 62 – 3. Game on. Tom and Aaron formed the next bowling partnership, with Tom performing the role of expert fielder for Aaron’s overs – great stops on the boundary and yet again great throw-ins. Tension, however, was sprouting amongst the spectators, Malden Wanderers score was nerve-janglingly on the increase. Louis looked like relieving the pain with a catch which was then not given, leaving Aaron to complete the job with a clean bowl. 99 – 4 in the seventeenth over. Guy, clearly miffed at his mother taking him off before his fourth over in the fielder rotation, sent the bales flying in the next over (admitting later that he had imagined said mother as the stumps…). 104 – 5. He followed this up with a fine catch off Sean’s bowling in the nineteenth over (there’s a lesson in psychology there somewhere). 108 – 6. Rather incredibly, the last over arrived with the match poised to go either way. Captain Ben, looking cool on the outside though feeling goodness knows what on the inside, bowled the last ball – 1 run to draw, 2 to win. As LDCC spectators nearly passed out, the scoreboard reflected the result: Malden Wanderers 119 off 20 overs. If the match had been televised the ratings would have gone through the roof! A tremendously exciting and exhausting win. Finish it off earlier next time please lads…
Thanks to Brian for still being upright at the end, and Simon for continuing to score whilst the result rested in his son’s hands.