The fifth round of games for the 2015 W-HCC U9s were played on a cool, breezy and occasionally drizzly morning at Pentyrch CC.
Our first game was against one of the two Penarth sides: they had brought two sides to cover another team who could not make it, thank you to them for doing that as it meant we had a full program of cricket! Penarth batted first and our bowling was excellent from the start: Ashlin and Rhys conceded just two runs each in the opening overs, then a bowled for Corey and a run out during Esther’s over (by Ojas) meant that Penarth had 203 at half way. Alyssa also had a bowled, Alfie struggled a little bit with direction but kept working hard, then Yash and Ojas finished with maiden overs, to keep the Penarth score to just 208. I had suggested to Emily and Matt that we mix the batting around a bit this morning so that each pair could get some runs and try to keep the score moving all the time. This meant some unfamiliar pairings, such as Rhys M opening with Alfie and some good shots and great running between the wickets saw then score a partnership of 10. Ashlin went in with Esther, and this pair combined good shots with some odd calling on when to run, but did well overall to take the score to 220 at half way. Alyssa and Corey were next and also worked well together, taking the score to 228. Last pair were Ojas and Yash, as usual having to face some good bowling, but some extras, singles and only one lost wicket saw then move the final score to 232 for a good win, built particularly on the bowling display but with some work still to do on batting.
After a short wait for the other game to finish, our second game was against the hosts, Pentyrch, with us batting first this time. Oliver came off the bench to open with Rhys M, a tactical masterstroke from Emily, with Rhys scoring 7 and Ollie 2 in a partnership of 11. Ashlin and Esther were again second pair and some good hitting from Ashlin and fine running from Esther saw them take the score to 224, with much better decisions and calling this time. Corey and Alyssa both contributed well in the third pair to take the score to 235 and then Ojas and Yash also did well as a pair to take us to 253 at the ends. The pairs contributed 11, 13, 11 and 18, and no wickets were lost, so well done! However, getting a good score is only half the game and there was plenty of work still to do. This time it was Ashlin struggling with his line in the opening over, and although things were tightened up well by Rhys, Corey and Esther bowling the next three overs, Pentyrch were in touch with 222 at half way. Alyssa changed the face of the game with timely wicket in the fifth over and fine overs from Oliver, Yash and then Ojas at the death meant that Pentyrch could only reach 236. A successful defence of a score this time, but it was interesting to note that of that 36, only 12 came from the bat, the rest were our wides and no balls!!
We had another long wait for the other game to finish, and many of the players were getting a bit cold, but eventually we got the third game going against the other Penarth side. A won toss meant we were bowling first, as we like to do. Ashlin, Rhys M and Corey were our first three bowlers and the Penarth batters were very quick between the wickets and also made some good shots and we were a bit slow early on in the field, perhaps because it was so chilly. There was a wicket in Alfie’s over, very well caught by Corey, which slowed them down a bit, with them reaching 222 at half way. Alyssa and Oliver were next two bowlers, both doing well, and then Yash had a bowled in the next over, and Ojas was typically accurate in the final over to restrict Penarth to 233 at the end. So, we needed a good run chase with every pair contributing! Rhys and Oliver found the opening bowlers hard work, but were able to contribute 4, then Ashlin and Alfie got things going with 10 (two fours and a two) for Ashin and two singles for Alfie, again both running really well to contribute 20 and take us ahead of the asking rate at halfway. Corey (6) and Alyssa (4) contributed another fine partnership worth 18 to take us to 242 and ahead in the match. Ojas scored a couple of good boundaries and also made lots of singles with Yash, and although we lost a wicket to a blinding catch by one of the Penarth lads, the pair made 12 for a total of 254.
Today was about everyone contributing to the team and all nine players did just that, with bat, ball, in the field, and with their all round enthusiasm, so well done everyone!