Beaconsfield U11 Lightning v Chalfont St Giles U11
By Gary Partridge
The return match with Chalfont St Giles our first opponents of the season. A competitive, tight match was expected, we won the first game by 5 runs. More debuts were made. The evening didn’t start too well with Mishka coming down with heavy hay fever and much to her disappointment having to pull out, I hope Mishka is better today Sharan. Maya’s dad came to the rescue, calling home and giving his son the option of a swimming lesson or a game of cricket – that was always going to be a no brainer for Josh no matter that he was to be playing 3 years above his age group! Tilly, captain for the day, won the toss and chose to bowl preferring to chase down whatever CSG set us. This turned out to be a wise move indeed with Lightning putting in a tremendous bowling and fielding display. Maya and Pippa opened the bowling. Maya keeping their batsmen to singles despite their attacking intent and Pippa coming back with a great 2nd over. Jasmine and Alice bowled next, sending down 18 dot balls from their 24 deliveries. A wonderful effort. Josh and Lola were next to bowl, Josh finishing with figures of 2 overs, 2 maidens and 1 wicket. Lola contributing with some dot balls of her own. CSG were on 244 with 8 overs to come. At this stage I am thinking we are chasing circa 270 and we have a chance if we bat really well. However there was no let up from Lightning with the ball. Tilly came on to bowl a maiden and followed that up with a wicket in her next over. Olivia kept things tight at the other end ensuring CSG moved from 244 to 249 with the final pair coming the crease. Neythra was first to bowl. Neythra is a wonderful role model to any of the girls new to cricket – she came along last year with little to no experience and has become a great allrounder, making some excellent stops in the field before taking 2 wickets in her first over and a 3rd wicket in her 2nd over. Evie backed this up bowling with pace and accuracy to leave CSG on 245 at the close of their innings. A quick mention for Jasmine who whilst wicket-keeping took a catch from an edge, the first I have seen in the years I have been involved!
The coach, getting a little excited at this point, called the girls together before they could head off for cakes and other treats kindly provided by Caroline. The message was bat sensibly, hit the wide balls, block the good balls, runs will come, 10 runs per pair would see us to victory. Neythra and Olivia opened the batting adding 7 runs in their 4 overs. A solid start facing some good bowling just what the team needed. Tilly and Lola came in next. Lola faced 5 of the first 6 balls and did a great job, blocking and leaving the ball when required. Tilly smashed a couple of lovely boundaries in the next over. Lola again did what the team needed next over, blocking a couple of quick deliveries, protecting her wicket with plenty of byes adding to the score. Tilly showing an awareness of the scoreboard and match situation that has been discussed with the girls recently, saw out much of the final over leaving Jasmine and Pippa to come in with the score at 234. They faced some indifferent bowling although out of nowhere the CSG bowler got 1 ball to move from middle and leg to clip the off stump, very unlucky Jas. Jas and Pippa again did exactly what they need to do for the team moving us into the lead with the score at 252 when Evie and Alice came out to bat. With 20 runs added by this pair, a big 4 from Evie and some excellent calling from Alice to sneak singles regularly, the final pair came to the wicket knowing if they didn’t lose any wickets they would see us to victory. This is by no means a given, I know U11 Cyclone won a game last week where wickets tumbled in the final 2 overs. Any nerves were gone after the first 2 overs. Josh hitting a lovely 4 past Third Man and Maya blocking 6 excellent deliveries with a great technique. No wickets fell in the final 2 overs either with a both Josh and Maya taking singles and clearly enjoying bring Lightning home for a thoroughly deserved win. The CSG coach was very complementary about the lack of wides we bowled and the technique of our batting.