Guildford U11’s were invited as an “overseas” team to participate in the Kingston Cricket Festival 6 aside competition hosted at Malden Wanderers today Sunday 28th July.
With a team comprising Noah Dyer, Toby Higgins, Alex Bhatt, Fin Oliver, Will Aucott and Tom Farley hopes were high for a good showing against Malden Wanderers, Chessington and Hampton Wick Royal.
With a 5 over format it was sure to be a quick fire format but with big boundaries and a wet outfield 4’s and 6’s were actually hard to come by. With a round robin format before a play off between the top 2 teams to decide the winner every game would matter and they did with no balls and wides counting for 4 runs in the round robin section.
First up Guildford played Hampton Wick Royals and scored a good 45 for 1 wicket in their 5 over’s (45 would turn out to be the par score in most games) with Tom (13) and Will (15) both retiring (batsmen had to retire on 12 but could come back in) and a few extras along the way. Hampton Wick were kept to 32-4 in their innings to give Guildford their first win with great bowling especially Alex Bhatt with 2 clean bowled wickets.
Next up were hosts Malden Wanderers who batted first and scored 39-0 although a tight first 4 over’s, which only gave away 25 runs, was undone a touch in the last over by some over-exuberant fielding!! Against tight bowling Noah and Toby batted well for their scores of 10 and 11 respectively but some miserly spin bowling in the middle over’s tightened the grip to reduce Guildford to 27-1. A defeat but things to learn from that meant we would not be afraid to play Malden Wanderers again if the chance arose again (as it did later!!).
Next up was Chessington in the 6th game of the round robin in which the winners would progress to the final so the pressure was certainly on but like England in the recent World Cup Guildford took the pressure in their stride!! With Fin Oliver a rock behind the stumps Guildford produced arguably the best bowling and fielding performance of any team in the tournament to restrict Chessington to just 33-3 with Tom Farley leading the way with a tight first over before Alex claimed another clean bowled wicket matched by Noah in the 3rd over before Will and Toby kept it tight in the 4th and 5th over’s. Fin and Alex started the chase taking advantage of any loose balls and overthrows before Will and Tom saw Guildford home and into the final with Will once more retiring this time with 12 not out.
Next up was the final against the hosts Malden Wanderers and a chance for revenge!!
Toby won the toss and choose to field trusting the bowling and fielding once more. Tom opened the bowling but the Malden Wanderers opener was not hanging around playing his shots from ball 1 and scoring 12 from the first 3 balls of the final (2 edges past Fin once more behind the stumps) in an over that went for 18! Alex then came on to take 2 more clean bowled wickets and give up just a single to make the score 19-2 after 2 over’s. Noah then bowled the third over and was unlucky to go for 10 runs with Toby unfortunate in his attempt to haul back the ball heading to the boundary with a sprawling dive, 29-2! Will then matched Alex with 2 superb wickets in the 4th over and only giving up 3 runs, 32-2. Toby had the pressure to deliver the last over with the retired opener back in and did well to keep it down to 10 supported by some great fielding! 43 was the target for victory!
Tom and Will opened the batting in Guildford’s chase, with Tom determined to get revenge for his first over going for 18 and did so with 4’s of the first 2 balls faced and eventually retiring on 14 all in the first over, 14-0. Noah then joined Will and they both really took it to the bowlers with some great shots but also some great running with Will, especially, superb in turning 1’s into 2’s and even 2’s into 3’s putting great pressure on the fielders, 25-0 after 2 and then 38-0 after 3 with Will once more retiring (3 retirements in 3 innings!!). Toby joined Noah in a tight 4th over with Noah going lbw for an entertaining 9 (but following an excellent partnership of 24 with Will) 40-1 after 4 over’s. Alex then joined Toby with the aim to take advantage of any opportunities for runs needing 3 from 6 balls and they saw Guildford home with 4 balls spare for a great victory to take the trophy back to Woodbridge Road!!