BCC Smash vs Chesham A Sunday 20th May
A Smash-ing start to the season....
On a sunny Sunday morning, BCC U9s Smash (with some help from Thunder) donned their shiny new playing shirts and cricket whites and headed to Chesham for the first match of the 2018 season. We warmed up with some fielding practice in the sunshine, ably managed by Mike Botha, while the manager sought out willing assistants for umpiring and scoring (thanks++ to Dan Stalder and Steve Wackerle). Chesham had only 8 players, but were confident they could find another two, so we went into bowl first, while they sought out another batting pair.
Hector took on the captain's role for this first match, making good use of his many hours watching the IPL to set a tight but responsive field. Tom and Lukasz opened the bowling, Tom getting a wicket in his first over, and both boys bowling well to keep the score down. Next in were Max and Joe who found themselves bowling at Chesham's best batters. Their accurate bowling restricted these big hitters to 1s and 2s and they were unlucky not to get wickets. Harry and Lucas bowled the middle overs with energy and determination, with some good dot balls to keep the keep the score down. Jack and Ian were the fourth bowling pair. Jack used his first economical over to warm up for his second over - a 2 wicket maiden! Ian was accurate and hard to hit, and their bowling spell took Chesham's score from 271 to 266. This gave the boys in the field a much-needed energy boost for the final four overs. George and Hector went in to bowl against Chesham's hastily assembled final pair. George took a wicket in his first over, and two wickets in his second - one thanks to a superb catch by Joe. Hector took a wicket in each of his overs, taking the score at the end of the Chesham innings to 245-8.
A quick break for drinks and some batting practice and it was time to bat. 245 felt achievable so long as we didn't lose too many wickets (-6 runs each time). Tom and Lukasz, the first batting pair, faced some mixed bowling, but ran singles where they could, and the score began to build up. They were unlucky to lose a wicket in their 4th over, but left the pitch with the score on 212. In came Max and Joe with clean hitting and an opportunistic approach to running (including running 3s and 4s when fielding permitted). A catch and a run out hardly dented their score, and we were on 237 when they reluctantly left the field. Harry and Lucas went in knowing that Chesham's total was in sight. An unlucky catch and some wayward bowling meant it took slightly longer than they had hoped, but they persevered and finished their innings with the score at 250. Jack and Ian were in next. Again, the bowling wasn't giving them much to hit, so the boys went after the no balls and wides, turning 1s and 2s into 3s and 4s, and taking the score to 288. George and Hector were the final pair, and having decided they wanted to get the score over 300, they smashed every ball they faced, regardless of how far they had to travel to reach it. This took our final score to 330-4.
So, a great first game for Smash (and the borrowed Thunder players). All the boys made a huge effort, and seemed to really enjoy themselves too. While I very much doubt we'll win other games by this kind of margin, at the moment our net run rate (NRR) on the Bucks Cricket Board website is 4.25 (mostly they're around 1 or less!) so it's a good start - http://www.buckscb.org/leaguetable.aspx?age=9
Thanks to Dan for umpiring for over two hours in the hot sun, and to Steve for taking on the scoring - tough to be scoring with someone else who had also never done it before! Thanks to all the parents for getting the boys to Chesham and for staying to support them. We really appreciate it and hope to see you and the boys at another match soon.
Note: in case you're wondering, the picture has the wrong score and number of overs because the scoreboard wasn't quite up to date when the match finished!