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U9 (Smash) - Match centre

Stoke Green
Beaconsfield Smash
Mon 4 Jun 18:00 - League Start time 18:00

Beaconsfield Smash vs Stoke Green - Monday 4th June

Smash in a spin...

On a grey and rainy June evening, Beaconsfield Smash, with the help of a couple of U8s, headed off to Stoke Green for our second match of the season. The sat nav tried very hard to send us to Stoke Place instead, but the dedicated parents and boys managed to locate the cricket club. Captain Charlie, and the team agreed that batting first would be best given the poor light, but in the end we had to field first while the opposition waited for the rest of their team to arrive!

Harry P and Henry opened the bowling. Lots of dot balls from Harry, and a blistering four wickets from Henry left Stoke reeling on 188 at the end of their spell. Next in were Josh and Curran, our U8 debutants. Accurate bowling, that was hard for the batters to read, kept the score down and led to a wicket for both boys. Ryan and Nathan took the difficult middle overs. It was good to see them both getting more accurate, and increasing the number of dot balls. Score after 12 overs was 215. Tom and Panshul found themselves up against Stoke's big - in terms of power and size - hitters. Accurate bowling was quickly despatched to the boundary, and our fielding was challenged by opportunistic running. As the final batting pair came in, Stoke were on 252 and in positive mood. Charlie and Ben went out to bowl knowing we needed wickets and dots to keep Stoke's total within sight. The batters were not particularly inclined to run between the wickets, but were able to find the boundary quite easily so each dot ball was well-earned. Ben took two wickets, one thanks to a stunning diving catch by Josh, and Stoke finished on a respectable 265.

A quick break for squash and biscuits, and some discussion about whether this total was within reach. The boys agreed it probably was, as long as we didn't lose too many wickets....

And so began the spin bowling attack. Harry and Henry batted confidently, and managed to find the boundary a few times, but some clever spin led to the loss of a couple of wickets, and they left the field with the score of 206 not really reflecting their efforts at the crease. Josh and Curran then found themselves facing fast paced spin from a bowler twice their size. They batted bravely (Josh continuing after taking a ball to the head), took the runs when they could, and were not deterred by the loss of a couple of wickets, and left the field with the score on 210. Ryan and Nathan went in, determined to bump up the score. They were advised not to try any scoop shots as the wicket keeper was about 10 foot tall, but this didn't dampen their enthusiasm. The bowling didn't give them much to hit, but they pragmatically amassed the extras, took the runs when offered, and Nathan scored a beautiful four from one of the few on-target balls he faced. With the score on 227, Tom and Panshul went out to bat knowing they needed runs. More spin, though slightly slower allowed them to find the boundary with some great hitting, but the score was limited by a good catch, and a run out, and they left the field with the score at 237.

Charlie and Ben headed out, confident that 265 was within reach. The field was set deep so they batted intelligently and took singles at every opportunity, as well as hitting fours and we went into the final over with the score on 263. The boys were instructed not to do anything risky, and calmly took our score to 269 with two balls to go. Then, for a reason that was utterly unfathomable to everybody watching (especially the manager), they decided to run themselves out on the penultimate ball! As Stoke Green began their celebrations (and the rest of the Smash team tried not to cry) Ben faced the last ball. He hit a good shot that didn't make the boundary, but the boys took two runs to level the scores. An opportunistic run on an overthrow then got us back over the line, with much jubilation from the team, and relief from the Beaconsfield spectators!

It's not often we get an IPL finish to an U9s match, so well played to all the team, and great big match temperament at the end (though please don't do it again!) Thanks very much to Charles for stepping in to umpire. Hope the match stress hasn't put you off umpiring in future. Thanks to Raj for helping me try and score - a task that is so much more difficult when Smash were batting and I was surrounded by excited boys demanding score updates! This is the first time we've faced an all-spin bowling attack, and we may want to work on our 'batting against spin' skills before we next play Stoke.

Well played everybody. Looking forward to the next match.....

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