Wednesday’s opening fixture of the term did not tell us an awful lot if we are being honest, and so it was lovely to welcome our old sporting friends and rivals, Merchiston, on Saturday for our first home game of the season. Despite it being early on in the term, this would be much more of a test and give us an idea of the true strength of the side.
On what was a warm sunny start to the afternoon, Harry won the toss and chose to bat in what should have been a 30 over game. Having used the new all weather nets since the start of term, playing on a grass wicket for the first time proved a testing proposition for the batsmen of both teams; slow, low and with the odd ball misbehaving and rising sharply off a length or not bouncing at all, batting was not easy but players who got their head down, grafted and played each ball on its merit were rewarded.
Very quickly we were 16-3 and in some trouble. Jack and Max played down the wrong night line whilst Harry popped one gently back to the bowler; however, we do bat deep and it was the perfect opportunity early on in the season for others to contribute and score some runs. As it was, scoring was not easy, but by batting sensibly and patiently, Todd and Jack S put on 31 for the 4th wicket getting us up to 50 and then Harry D came in and played some super shots to keep the scoreboard moving.
However, it was Jack S and Freddie who were the men of the day today: they both batted well, hung around and their shot selection was excellent; I was pleased to see the way the lower order knuckled down and we managed to score 106 despite the top order failing to deliver, although we still had seven overs left at the end which we did not use. A little disappointing, but given the conditions perhaps it was above par.
What happened next was extraordinary: after six highly eventful overs Merchiston were 11-8 then all out for 24 at the start of the 10th over, the match was done and dusted and we had won by 82 runs. Quite extraordinary.
Vinjero had amazing figures of 4-1-7-5, Harry D took 3 wickets in his four over spell, and it was an incredible end to the game. Vinjero and Harry both bowled very straight and it was satisfying to see stumps broken again and again; the boys know my mantra, but bowling straight brings its rewards and both of them bowled outstandingly well today, fully deserving their splendid figures.
In addition, they were backed up by a brilliant catch in the covers, a run out and some really good fielding which helped the bowlers maintain the pressure on the batsmen. The sunshine did give way to some heavy rain which forced us off for twenty minutes, but there was no respite and it fell to Edward to take the final wicket.
An excellent result particularly since we did not bat all that well today. However, we bowled magnificently and we have a bowling attack which will trouble the very best sides, fast, accurate and with variation with some spin and left arm over. Next week we welcome St Mary’s on Wednesday before heading down to Sedbergh early on Sunday morning for the annual 15/15 triangular along with Merchiston; lots of cricket and lots of opportunities for everyone to contribute to what is looking like a group of boys who really want to improve and work hard together.
Well played today. A good win and a super team effort.