Beaconsfield CC U10 Lightning vs Amersham CC U10
By Viki Sullivan
Lightning still waiting to strike....
A promisingly sunny evening greeted Lightning’s first home fixture this season. Mondays seem to be even trickier for us to get a team together than Tuesdays (competing sporting commitments, illness, and the dreaded tuition) so our squad was quite depleted. As the manager had asked the oppo to play 10-a-side the pressure was on to get enough players, so there were some very last minute call ups, and a player borrowed from the U9s to get us up to 10 (Thanks Curran).
Captain Ben did the toss. I’m not sure who won (I was trying to find a scorer/umpire and match tea help), but the outcome was Beaconsfield bowled first. The boys discovered they knew a lot of players in the Amersham team from school, and county sessions, so they knew it was going to be a tough match. Our first four bowlers Ian, Henry, Nathan, and Curran bowled economically at a batting pair who were taking their time, and Amersham added only 15 for the first 4 overs. The next batters were a county boy, and a county U12 girl, so the bowlers were up against it. Lucas was lucky to only go for 9, and to get a wicket. Harry P, Max and Ben were less fortunate, finding their balls despatched to the boundary in all directions. Amersham’s score had leapt to 258 after only 8 overs. The boys regrouped, and thought about how to get through the next few overs. Ian’s second over went for 2 runs. Henry took a few balls to find his line, but was rewarded with a wicket. Charlie was hit for a couple of boundaries but also took a wicket thanks to a superb catch by Nathan, and Harry had a run out in his over. Amersham’s third pair departed having only added 7 runs to the score.
Amersham’s fourth pair were not their strongest batters. Charlie bowled a great over for 2 runs. Lucas struggled a little to find the right line, but had a run out in his over. Then Max and Nathan bowled a few wides and the field panicked a little and started giving away byes. This took the score for these overs from 265 to 290, which we knew would be tough to chase. Curran, Hector and Ben bowled great, accurate final overs at the last pair of batters, but Lightning were struggling to keep the fielding tight, and as the pressure built, the byes increased, giving away 11 runs in those final four overs, to the obvious frustration of the bowlers. Amersham finished on a brilliant 321 for 5, and Beaconsfield Lightning knew that would take some chasing.
A quick break to empty the match tea table, and Lightning were back out to bat. Ian and Lucas were first, and faced accurate, county standard bowling. They gave it their all but were worn down, and unfortunately bowled out 3 times, departing the crease with the score on 190-3. Curran and Nathan were next in, Curran playing some superb shots for 4, much to the annoyance of the Amersham bowler. As the balls got faster, Nathan bore the brunt of this, finding himself bowled twice and then run out (sometimes it’s just not your day!) but the boys still added to the score, finishing on 203-6. More wickets than we would have liked to lose, but if the rest of the team could play calmly, and defend well, all was not lost. Max and Ben came to the crease, with Max clearly determined to run at least a mile during his 4 overs. Sadly, Ben was not of the same mind, so there were 2 run outs in the first over (and some very cross words) and the boys had to work very hard to overcome this. There were some great boundaries and some opportunistic shots off no balls, and only an unlucky catch in their last over prevented the score being higher. Strikers were on 224-9 after 12 overs, needing 98 runs to win. Harry is a confident big hitter, so was not phased by this, whileHenry was a little more apprehensive. Henry defended, while Harry played expansive shots to the boundary, but the great bowling triumphed, and both batters were bowled out twice, entirely wiping out the runs scored. They left the crease noticeably crestfallen, with the score still on 224, but for 13 wickets,. Hector and Charlie knew that winning was out of the question, but tried to reduce the margin of defeat. This necessitated running on everything (which caused one run out) and going big on as many balls as possible, where Hector was unfortunately caught by the adult-height girl on the boundary. Lightning finished on a rather disheartening 241 for 14. Amersham had won by 80 runs.
As in the previous match, wickets accounted for most of the difference in scores (reducing our score by 90 runs, compared to 30 for Amersham). We scored about the same off the bat as Amersham (77 compared to 75), but gave away 9 more in byes, and 8 more in wides. So we would definitely benefit from more practice of defensive shots, and calling before the next match, as well as fielding practice, so we can confidently take the catches, and prevent the byes.
Weekday evening games can be tough to fit in to already busy schedules, so we were short on help for this match. Thanks to Andrew for being coerced into umpiring again, and to Carol for expertly picking up match tea duties at a moment’s notice, and even drafting in husband, Matthew, to help clear up. It’s a lot of work setting up and tidying away for a home game, as well as buying and putting out match tea, umpiring and scoring, so parental help is essential for us to host and play matches. Hopefully we’ll get everything covered for our two home games next week. Fingers crossed for some better weather, and some closer matches too!