After the disappointment of last week’s rain, we finally got a sixth round of games going for the 2015 W-HCC U9s on a warm but rain threatened morning at the Hospital Ground, again prepared superbly by groundsman Roger and his team.
Our first game was against Miskin Manor CC, always tough opposition for us. Miskin batted first and were straight into their work, with very good calling and running between the wickets to support their shot making. We were immediately a bit scruffy in our fielding conceding five overthrows in the first over! (although this was balanced by a wicket for Ashlin). Rhys M also bowled really tightly, as did Esther, and with Ollie also bowling well so that in the first half of their innings, Miskin had reached 219. Further wickets for both Yash and Jake who was straight into the action in his first games, and the Miskin innings closed at 223, usually a gettable target for our side. Miskin also showed how well they could bowl, with Rhys M and Yash being forced to concentrate on protecting their wickets, and Ashlin and Esther doing well under more pressure meant that at half way we had made 212. Rhys G and Ollie scored some good singles as third pair but in going for big shots, a couple of wickets also fell, meaning Ojas and Jake had a bit to do at last pair. Again, lots of singles were scored, but with another wicket falling to accurate bowling, Whitchurch finished on 218. In close matches the margins tend to be very tight, and one less wicket or not conceding those five overthrows at the start could have made all the difference!
Our second match was against Llantwit Major, who were one player short, so Jake and Rhys M helped them out when fielding, again showing a good understanding of the all important spirit of cricket. Another won toss and we decided to bowl first again. Ashlin, Rhys M and Ollie were our first three bowlers, each conceding just two runs from their overs. Esther completed the first half very tidily for us and the Llantwit score was 210 at half way. Jake and Yash bowled next, and wicket maiden for Yash helped to restrict the scoring. Rhys G and Ojas were typically tidy with a wicket for Rhys and only one run conceded by Ojas, but special mention must go to the Llantwit batters who battled on very bravely to bring their score to 213 at the end. The decision to bowl first had turned out well, allowing Rhys M and Yash to open responsibly and contribute 8 runs, followed by Ashlin (who scored 9 runs but was given out hit wicket when falling over chasing a very wide ball!!) and Esther, who contributed 13 to take us beyond the target at half way with 221. Rhys G was once again going for his shots, scoring four fours and a big six over square leg, and was also very well supported by good running between the wickets with Ollie (31 contributed). This all meant that Jake could continue his cricket journey by facing the first ball in his partnership with Ojas: then going on to play some nice shots for 9 runs, with Ojas on 8, plus extras meaning the partnership was worth 25. I think I am right in saying that the final score of 277 was a season’s best!
We were looking forward to carrying our form forward in to the final match against Penarth: another toss was won and again the decision was to bowl. Ashlin and Rhys M conceded just six runs as opening pair, and this was followed by as cascade of wickets: one for Ollie, two during Esther’s over (one a run out, the other caught), followed by a wicket for Jake, one for Yash and one for Rhys G. The highlights were a run out with a long throw from the outfield to Rhys M positioned well at the stumps and good catches by Jake and Ashlin. Ojas was halfway through the final over when we all had to rush into the pavilion to avoid heavy rain, and despite waiting a while for it to stop, we had no chance to finish the game from a good position of restricting Penarth to 203.
So we have two long away trips left to finish our season, to Llantwit Major and The Vale. Overall we were just not quite good enough in the first game today, but were going great guns in games two and three before the weather cruelly intervened: well done everyone!