Ealing U11s vs Latymer U12s/13s (away)
Saturday, 18th April
Ealing lost by 11 runs
Not quite the sub-tropical warmth of Tuesday's outing but the clear skies were adequate compensation for the slightly chilly breeze blowing across the pitch. This was always going to be a testing 25 overs-a-side fixture vs Latymer U12s/13s and our mixed XI, which included two U10s and one U9, needed to be on top of their game as they went out to field.
As they say in Jamaica, "No problem" ! Taking a wicket with the first ball of the match tends to be a good thing and Jilal rifling one through their opener's defences on ball one was the perfect start. That was quickly followed by a run-out (Aryan) but then Latymer were able to rebuild and score relatively freely. Not that we bowled badly, it was simply a good track that offered true bounce and they had two batsmen who were strong on the on-side. We never let up though and stayed in the match with some steady bowling and tight fielding. 50-2 off 9 became 67-6 off 13 and we were right back in it. Drinks were taken after 15 overs with score at 76-6 and the boys went out to finish the innings. A clearly inspirational pep talk from the coach saw the boys concede only 28 runs off the last ten overs whilst taking the remaining four wickets. To keep the opposition down to 104 was a cracking effort and what's more, bowling 25 overs in less than 75 minutes (with three breaks) is top class. Three run outs to add to Tuesdays three and wickets for Ned (2), Jilal, Shivan, Shyam, Shiyer and Raoul (1).
Batting against older boys on a pitch that offered more bounce than we were used to was always going to be the bigger challenge. With the ball going through at chest height at decent pace it was difficult, but Raoul and Ned weathered the early storm with a steady start. Extras helped from the outset as Nat and Scott (11) rebuilt after the openers fell. Jilal (23) then muscled us back up to the required rate but his, Eliot's and Scott's falling in quick succession with the score on 77 put us behind the clock once more. To be fair to Latymer, their main bowlers came back on for the last few overs and closed us out very effectively.
We did lots of things well - especially in the field, by everyone. Another three run outs, only eight wides bowled in 25 overs, the commitment and intelligence in the field to name but a few. It's fair to say we struggled against an attack that is more experienced and physically stronger than any we'll face in the league this year (and on a truer pitch bar the odd artificial) - a fraction over half our runs were off the bat, which shows the extent to which extras kept us in it. But it's also fair to say that we were perfectly able to face up to them and keep them out. The next step is to work out scoring options against such bowling. Running between the wickets is also a work in progress but that's something that's easily remedied.
A top effort by a top bunch of boys. Let's have no more talk of "They're older/bigger than us !!!". We came VERY close today against a side that was probably on average at least 18 months older than us. No reason why the result shouldn't go our way next time we go there with two teams on the 2nd of May.
Thanks to our U10 and U9 colleagues for helping us out today and contributing the way they did, to Alan and Suraj for umpiring and for everyone for their support and transport.
See you on Wednesday.