Tonight it was Joe aged 11 and some of the other U13's and our Under 15's B-Team v's Pegasus & Corringham Under 15's "B-Team". Ours was a genuine B-Team, with our A-Team playing away at Orsett at their ground at the same time, so the B- Team consisted of the following lads...
Abdul Baig - U15's
Frank Farrington - Wrist Spinner U13's
*Harry Hodgson U13's
*Joe Thompson U13's
Stevie Wyatt U15's
*Oliver Biebuyuck U15's (his first match) .
Mark Broadhurst U15's
Tim Brown U15's
Michael Dickson U15's
Finlay Munro (No show) U15's
Luke Sharman U15's
Their first match was cancelled, so tonight was the first game and for some - Oliver, Joe, Harry it was their first proper games in that usually they'd have played Terrier cricket or school cricket. This morning I checked the website and the team had grown to 10, with only Finlay Munro not showing up. But there was 10 and a game could happen. The weather was good 20 degrees as we drove there.
Michelle and I arrived a little late and had missed two overs that Joe had already bowled, two maidens by all accounts and Ollie Biebuyck was bowling and it all looked very good with a few overs already gone and no runs on the board. At this point I didn't realise that it was Joe's first 2 overs for no runs that were integral to such a good start! Ollie bowled a couple of good overs and then Joe came on for his (The first one we'd seen) and he was good too. Tim Brown bowled well after taking three wickets in an adult match recently. Apparently he'd already got a wicket in this game.
They were doing well - really well in fact, because this opposition B-Team had the luxury of their A-Team playing on a different night, so this team had a number of boys that were A-team players. Not only were they A-team players, but they were kids that had been selected to show up and trial for the district team, meaning that they were strong players. Whereas our team was populated by genuine B-Team players and a bunch of 11 year olds. Also - as per usual these U15's were bigguns again, very imposing if you're only 11 years old and playing in your first non-terrier match, but Harry and Joe were up to it and they fielded exceptionally well, taking regular wickets.
Frank was the captain (I think Frank is only 12) and he did a brilliant job, giving the ball to the lads that had put their hands up and said 'I bowl'... Joe, Ollie, Tim etc, they all got their overs ahead of Frank, despite the fact that Frank himself is a very good bowler and is a District player. When he did eventually bowl he took a couple of wickets with his Leg Breaks.
Harry Hodgson (11) had been identified as the wicket keeper, but when given the choice he backed out letting Stevie Wyatt take the role and he did a very good job of it as a total newbie to the role. Harry himself, caught the ball off of ******** bowling getting rid of ****
Joe got 4-1-8-0
Ollie got 4-0-12-1
So overall a job well done, considering the odds looked to be in favour of the Pegasus and Corringham team. Then Frank surprised me again, putting in Mark Broadhurst and Stevie Wyatt as the openers. Mark, I could see the rationale, Marks always looked as though he's a top order batsman in the making and it's just a case of waiting and one day it could all come together. Stevie's always struck me as an all-rounder in the making as he bowls as well and would probably be suited in the middle somewhere, but because of the lack of games, none of these boys apart from Frank have a known track record.
With only 80 odd to chase, my money was on Frank being somewhere up there near the top order to ensure some runs were made, but no... Frank put himself behind Abdul, in front of Joe and Ollie and Tim. I spoke to Marks Dad briefly about what we might expect from Mark and his Dad was non-committal saying that he'd been struggling of late. He got off to a slow start, lots of balls getting past him, but it had been the same for their team. But then every now and then he'd smack one through to the boundary, most of which wasn't pretty, but it was mostly along the ground and that way he wasn't going to be caught, so it was slow and safe. Stevie in the meantime was looking a little lost, not moving his feet at all and stuck in the crease.
To be continued... (Along with 3 other matches I still haven't managed to finish writing about!)
"Paddock Boys" (Kids that I've been isntrumental in encouraging to play cricket) Left to right Oliver, Joe (My younger son) and Harry.
After the match - back in the shed. Left to right - Joe, Frank, Abdul, Luke and Ollie.
At last back in whites and playing cricket againFrank congratulates the team for their performance in the field having restricted the total to a manageable figure.
The victorious U15's B- Team at the end of the game.
Frank takes a bowled & caught off his wrist spin bowling.
Joe back in the game.
Left to right - Frank, Abdul and Harry waiting to bat.
Throughout the game the batting didn’t look that convincing and the run rate stuttered along, but did so gradually. Then, they brought on a ginger kid, with hair the colour of a Jaffa orange, he was also J.Thompson and he helped us out loads in that he bowled a whole succession of wides (Worse than me this weekend just gone), that got the scoreboard ticking over again. Mark continued to hit the occasional four and crept towards 35 at which point he’d have been forced to retire, which would have moved Frank further towards having a bat and the chance of getting runs on the board at a better rate. Then with one to go he was bowled clean. Harry went in and looked nervous and didn’t get off the mark. Abdul went in, looked relaxed, but was soon dismissed not grounding his bat on a ball that was returned from fine leg. He had stopped well short of his ground and his bat was in the air and G-Man had done this in training a couple of weeks back! But he’ll know now for the future. No-one was sticking around, but Luke ***** who is 15 was staring to make his mark with a very deft looking shot that looked like a late cut shot, or a similar shot where he just seemed to be steering the ball very cleverly through 3rd man where there were no fielders off of the faster bowlers. Then Frank made his way out to the middle with Joe scheduled to go in next. With about 6 overs left it looked borderline as to whether they’d do it, they needed about 4 – 5 runs an over and the accurate quicks were back on. The first over was virtually run-less, the second over a tad better, but it wasn’t the decisive and the balance of the game had swung back their way. But it wasn’t lost all Luke had to do was get Frank back on strike – did Luke know Frank, did he know that Frank was a district player or was he assuming that as he’d come in at No.7 or whatever he was, he was a bowler? Luke needed to get Frank on strike. Frank hit a couple of fours and single, Luke was still attempting that shot down through 3rd man and it wasn’t working. The last two overs and needing 7 Frank was at the wrong end. Luke hit two and was back on strike, one more run at the end of the over and Luke ran and got himself back on strike for the last over needing four, it looked so close, “Get Frank on strike” I was imploring.
The last over and four was required, dot ball followed dot ball and then on the 3rd ball, out of nowhere Luke slogged a ball that flew over the in-field and looked to be going for six and feel short but went for 4… We’d won!
The highlight of the day was the maturity of Franks captaincy, he conducted himself very well and steered the lads to a very good win over a potentially tough opposition. he didn't hog the bowling or the strike when batting and allowed everyone to be involved in the game. The team talks at mid way through the game and at the end were spot on. I was very impressed.
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