Match day 4 report, eventually arrived!

U12 Cricket Festival . Middleton vs Stirlands at Middleton- 28th July 16

Ah,Middleton its fantastic to finally be at home. Where the weather always shines and….well lets just say its nice to be at home once more. Paul and I knew a win was our only result. Our plan was ready. If Stirlands won the toss then they would certainly bat,if we won the toss then we would surprise them by fielding first. Stirlands win the toss and opt to field (!)..I love it when a plan comes together…

Phoenix and Charlie picked up where they left off on Monday. Good quick runs which always stabilise an innings. Phoenix went first to a very good catch for 13. Murray Carter joins Charlie at the crease. These two pushed our score on to 82 and in pretty quick time,which was what we needed as we wanted maximum overs to bowl. Charlie looped a couple of catches,rode his luck and went on to a creditable 51. Its true that he thumped 10 fours in this innings but I enjoy hearing the ball on his bat for his forward defensive shots,impregnable. Until of course you have a massive heave ho at the next ball and are caught out! Well done Charlie, a fine half century. Sam Green next in,looked good for his 7 but caught on the short boundary. Harry Leaver next,looked good for his 10 but caught on the short boundary. Same place,same fielder. Well held Stirlands. 4 wickets down for 139, Murray still scoring beautifully.

Toby in and then out,Ben in and then out, Rocco in for a quick 4 and then out. We were 154 for 7 wickets off 28 overs and we knew that we would be stopping at 35 overs. Not enough runs and running out of batsmen. But Paul and I had a cunning plan,having thoroughly enjoyed Sam P’s opening stances of the last two days we had asked him to steady the tail lower down the order. 23 runs later and with 5 fours under his belt he delivered for us in spades. Batting with the calm Carter they had put on 61 runs in 7 overs and pushed our total to 215. Brilliant. For me then he is our most improved player.

But the star of the batting will surely go to one Murray Carter. He just didn’t ever look in trouble and his powers of concentration were first rate. I think I timed him at around 2 hours 15 minutes for his innings of 84 not out.13 fours,2 six’s and some intelligent singles. Heroic.So..215 for Stirlands to beat with 35 overs to achieve it.

Charlie and Toby opened the bowling. Charlie first,good strong stuff putting pressure on the batsmen. A smart run out in his first over and they were one down. Young Toby next from the pavilion end. Here are his results,ball by ball: wicket,wide,dot,dot,wicket,wicket,wide,four. Two clean bowled and one lbw to a batsman who scored 60 just the day before. One for the scrapbook. 4 down.

Real credit to the Stirlands batsmen Sam Caddy and Charlie Morrison,it was 7 overs to the next wicket and they hadn’t been just blocking,they added 40 runs. Sam G and Phoenix were first change bowlers,opting for spin from both ends. They didn’t nick a wicket but they maintained the pressure,often just as important. Next change of bowling was Harry and Rocco. Rocco first. Rocco drew first blood with some good looping spin and yet another run out,testament to good fielding. Harry kept things tidy in his first over and then clean bowled their top scoring batsman through his gate,well bowled. With these two gone then we knew we were closing in on victory. What we didn’t want though was a repeat of the Findon game,where we failed to skittle them all out.Another over each from Harry and Rocco and then a further change of bowling. Ellie and Ben M next.

Ellie lured their young batsman into a shot,a catch was held and the Cogger travelling army celebrated. Ben looked strong and quick and would ultimately prove too much for these last Stirlands batsmen. Some of the new batsmen were so short the fielders hadn’t even seen them arrive on the filed of play! Two smart stumpings from Murray and it was all over. We had won at home and it could just be that we had topped our table for the week. Guinness,lager and red wine followed at the bar along with some much needed relaxation and banter.

As Paul has already said,a huge thank you to all parents,to the ‘Slindon Simon’s’ for scoring,to Steve M and to the ladies for those plentiful teas. A special mention though to Brian and Will who coached our boys to victory this week. Thanks of course goes to Paul who stepped up for the challenge and did a cracking job.

As my journalistic paycheck only runs to 4 matches each year then its goodbye from me until 2017. Same time next year?

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