GX U10 Bears vs BCC U10 Strikers Tuesday 7th May
By Viki Sullivan
Strikers warming up for the season...
So, this Tuesday night had weather that made us instantly regret criticising the late spring sunshine of the previous Tuesday, and the Strikers team headed to GXCC for their first match of the season. An injury left us with only 9 players (hope the foot recovers soon Liam) and a couple of late arrivals meant we had only 7 players at the 6pm start time. Captain Ethan lost the toss, and GX captain Zac chose to bowl first.
Our batting order was organised by who had arrived, and Miles agreed to bat twice to make up the numbers. First pair in was Miles and Tom S who probably faced some of the most accurate bowling of the innings. Athletic fielding stopped the boundaries, but the boys ran well and took all the runs they could. Two wickets lost due to cracking bowling dented their score a little (straight bats to fast accurate bowling please), but the score was 211 as Ethan and Henry went out to bat. They faced a really mixed bowling attack – two overs of mostly wides, and two of fast, accurate bowling. They took this in their stride, accumulated runs from the wides, defended the good balls, and ran when they could, taking the score to a respectable 239. Next in were Harrison and Miles who bravely took on accurate bowling while trying to squeeze runs wherever they could. Two extremely unlucky run outs, due to spectacular throws by the GX fielders undid most of their work, and then a wicket in their final over meant they left the crease to find the score on 237 – Barrington rules can be tough at times.
Fourth pair were Ryan and Lukasz, who were a little in awe of the bowling attack and the fielding so found it hard to take runs, but they defended well, only lost one wicket and added 6 runs, taking the score to 243 after 16 overs. Hector and George were last in - George having been reminded to move his bat and feet this game. They got off the mark quickly, rotated the strike well with runs and byes, and sneaked a couple of boundaries to take the score to 277 for 6 at the end of the innings.
GX once again provided a fabulous match tea, which the boys chomped happily at the innings break, before warming up for bowling and fielding. They were warned by the manager to be careful of the county girls playing in the GX team as they were older, more experienced, players (girls can play two years down). Unfortunately for the Strikers, one of the girls, Lily, hit 20 in her four overs, which coupled with her partner’s efforts took GX to 235 after only four overs, in spite of great bowling by Ethan, George, Henry & Tom. Ryan took the first over against the second pair and clean bowled the batter with his first ball, to the surprise of both batter and bowler. Ethan and George bowled economical second overs but were unlucky to not get wickets, while Lukasz got a great wicket in his first over. The second pair left the crease with the score on 246.
In order to get through the overs quickly (and before it went dark) all the overs were bowled from the same end. This meant some fielders were targeted rather a lot, and in the case of captain Ethan, positioned somewhere between deep midwicket and cow corner, pretty much constantly, as he was right in the firing line for the predominantly right handed batting attack. To Ethan’s credit he took this on the chin, literally at times, and didn’t hesitate to put his body on the line to stop balls going to the boundary. Ethan - the Strikers and spectators applaud your bravery, hope you weren’t in too much pain on Wednesday, and look forward to you playing again soon.
GX’s third pair came in wanting to hit big, and set about messing up the economy rates of the bowlers they faced. Miles, Ryan, Lukasz and Harrison found some of their best balls heading for the boundary, and although they gave away little in extras, the lack of wickets meant the score had crept to 279 when the third pair finished, 2 runs ahead of the BCC total. However, The BCC Strikers didn’t despair, and continued to play to win. A brilliant economical spell, with Harrison bowling accurately, Tom S and Henry going for only 2 runs in an over, and Miles taking two wickets in his over left the fourth GX batting pair adding nothing to the score. It was still 279 with 4 overs to go. Tom S took the first over, and with a wicket maiden took the score down to 273, aided by an aerial catch from Hector. The next over from Hector went for 4 and the scores were level again after 18 overs. Miles was unable to get a third wicket in the penultimate over and the score was 281 as we went into the final over. Nail-biting stuff that seemed unimaginable given GX were half way to the total after only 4 overs. Hector bowled a mix of seam and spin in the final over in a last ditch attempt to get the wicket BCC needed, but it didn’t happen and GX finished on 290 for 5. An exciting, close finish that had both teams and spectators completely engaged until the final ball. Well played BCC Strikers and GX. Bears. Great fielding from the Strikers who were playing with only 9 in the field.
Although the teams were different, I think lessons from Lightning’s game last week were carried into this game. BCC only bowled 16 wides/no balls which is excellent for an early season game. Tight keeping and fielding meant byes were reduced to 9 runs. If we keep working on calling and running in training, the boys can easily post enough runs to start winning games.
Thanks to parents for standing in the (genuinely) freezing cold to support their boys. Thanks to Natalie for bravely scoring the first innings (and hopefully realising that it’s not as hard as I make it look!) Thanks to Dan for umpiring the first innings, and having to make some fair but unwelcome run out decisions, and to Steve for umpiring the second innings in spite of son George’s misgivings! Fingers crossed for warmer weather for the Strikers’ next match on 23rd May.