U13 Boys Cricket v TSA II
Boys enjoy rematch in perfect summer cricket weather!
On Thursday 25 May the U13 boys faced Thompson’s Sports Academy cricket team for the second Thursday running. This was the second of their outdoor contests but these two teams have played against each other on five different occasions this year, both indoors and out. All of the boys have gotten to know each other on first name terms so there was a lovely atmosphere to the game and with the sun beating down, the boys were able to enjoy their cricket.
Isaac ADEBO, Louie DUN, Nana GYIMAH-SARPONG, Benjamin LUMOSO, Jody QUINN, Toby RICE, Ariel RUGMAN, Harry SLAPE, Ollie STRATTON
The TSA boys were arriving in ones and twos due to other school matches and so it was decided that they would bat first to give them all time to arrive. They may not have arrived en masse but they certainly didn’t hang around at the crease as they began scoring at a fair rate from the get go.
The St Kath’s boys were only able to field 9 players and for that reason there were plenty of gaps in the field. There might have been gaps but the SK boys worked as hard as they could to cover the gaps. There were a couple of instances of brilliant fielding that stand out in my mind. When Louie Dun was charging towards a ball that looked destined for the boundary I certainly didn’t expect to see the full length dive and scoop back that Louie managed to muster which saved his bowler 2 runs. Jody Quinn has developed into a really great fielder and this was evident when he set off to cut off a well driven ball and managed to get a vital hand down to stop a certain boundary four. This effort was greeted with huge cheers from captain Toby Rice as it was off of his bowling! Later in the innings Jody amazingly got finger tips to an edge that flew off the bat after diving up and to his left. Had the catch stuck it would have been the best schoolboy catch I have seen for a long time, as it was Jody and his team mates were delighted to save the runs!
Overs were bowled by Rice, Stratton, Dun, Rugman, Lumoso and Quinn who collectively restricted TSA to 138 runs from their 20 overs. The boys knew they were in for a challenge with only 9 wickets to give but were quietly confident knowing that they had made more than 140 the week before.
Before the SK innings could get underway there was the small matter of who was going to open with Toby. Louie and Ollie settled the matter with a quick rock, paper, scissors – a tried a tested technique for ensuring best fit for a batting order. Stratton won the battle of the fists and headed out to the middle with Toby. The boys started brightly and were relishing the opportunity to bat knowing that in this game they weren’t going to be retired. If ever there is a way to tempt fate it is to tell boys that they won’t be retired in a game! Toby was less than happy when he tried to tickle one down the leg side which ended up clipping his leg stump early in his innings. Louie therefore arrived at the crease a little earlier than he may have thought and was keen to build a partnership with Ollie.
Ollie had already started playing some mighty strokes early in the innings and was striking the ball really cleanly. Louie did what he does best and just took the easy runs to rotate the strike as his partner was seeing it so well. Ollie had raced to 29 in no time at all and had pushed nearly all of the fielders back on the rope. Louie had spotted what had happened and encouraged Ollie to take the runs that were now being offered on a plate. Unfortunately Ollie was seeing the ball so well that he decided to continue taking it on but learnt that if you hit the ball in the air, eventually you’re going to get caught out.
Ari came to join Louie at the crease and also looked to be seeing the ball really well. His first action at the crease was a well-timed leg glance that ran away up the hill for four runs. Louie was still doing his job brilliantly and it looked as though he and Ari were going to build a decent partnership. Unfortunately neither Ari nor Harry were able to stay with Louie long and both headed back to the hutch earlier than they would have liked. Runs were not the problem – after 10 overs the boys had 79 on the board but it was the wickets that were going to hurt them later on in the innings. They were 4 down and only had 4 left with a very long way to go.
It was no surprise that the boys ended up on the loosing side on this occasion as they eventually made it to 100 and were bowled out with just under 2 overs left. It would be all too easy to gloss over the last 10 overs but in actual fact they were hugely valuable for St Kath’s. The remaining 4 wickets were Nana, Ben, Jody and Isaac who together have probably not even faced 10 hardball deliveries.
Louie Dun found himself at the crease with Nana first of all who had the most batting experience of all of the boys. For the first couple of deliveries Louie farmed the strike. Nana eventually faced his first delivery and managed to get the ball away well. Louie is sharp between the sticks and Nana is certainly no slouch so they were able to take the odd quick single. The run rate had slowed somewhat and in attempt to keep the scoreboard rotating Louie called Nana for one but unfortunately Nana was left short of his ground and run out.
When Ben Lumoso came in and used his long levers to reach out for his first and full delivery there were cheers as the boys watched the ball run away for four. Ben wasn’t as comfortable outside his off stump but was really quite dangerous if they were too straight to him. Ben’s first boundary wasn’t his last as he managed to turn another delivery off his legs for his second having run a single to take him to 9. Unfortunately Ben wasn’t able to get to double figures but showed huge promise for someone who had never faced a hard ball! Jody was in next with Louie who had turned into something of a vital anchor. Not only was Louie taking the singles towards the end of the overs, he was also making the most of the opportunities at the change to coach his batting partner through their innings. Louie gave Nana, Ben and Jody great encouragement and helped the boys out with backing up, sliding their bat in and calling for runs. Louie was going well on 19 himself and had been at the crease since the third over.
Louie was desperately unlucky to get run out towards the end as he pushed for 2 to get back on strike but was left agonisingly short after pulling out the full length dive on the artificial wicket – a brave effort from a young man who had given a really gritty and gutsy performance in testing circumstances. Jody and Isaac were left at the crease as the last pair and both boys got off the mark with plenty of support and encouragement from their team mates. Although they didn’t score a huge number of runs, both spent some much needed time at the crease and we now have a team full of boys who have faced hardball deliveries in a competitive game situation.
Nana, Isaac, Ben and Jody are all hugely bright, sporty boys and really quick learners. The progress they have made with their cricket in a such a short space of time is mightily impressive. The boys themselves deserve huge credit for the way they listen and learn but the other leaders in the team also deserve credit for the way they have supported their team mates. Just to give one example; on arriving at the crease all four boys were able to pick the bat up properly and present with a good quality set up. I haven’t needed to teach the boys how to do this and I know that one of the others has spent time with them helping them out.
This group of U13 boys have the makings of a really strong team and I am absolutely delighted with the way that they are progressing this year. Huge thanks to TSA who have travelled out to St Kath’s for a sum total of 5 matches now. The most recent two occasions have given our boys 80 overs of vital cricket experience and it is certainly showing!
Man of the match – Louie Dun for holding the innings together with the bat – a great leader who dug in and gave a great performance in a tough contest.
Very well done to everyone involved.