Tim Hart reports, “Wednesday the 11th of July saw a Western Warriors Youth Select XI play XL Club (Scotland) at Hamilton Crescent (West of Scotland CC). Batting first XL Club scored 147 for 9 off 40 overs before declaring at tea. The early XL Club progress was checked by Shahan Raja (Poloc CC) taking four wickets in his first spell, to leave the score at 43 for 4. Although the next three partnerships were worth 32, 35 and 24, the intelligent rotation of the bowlers meant that the innings never gained real momentum. Anne Sturgess (Clydesdale CC) was the pick of the change bowlers, with figures of 5-3-7-2 – and there were also wickets for Saifullah Ahmadzai, Nikhil Koteeswaran (both Clydesdale CC) and Caelan Lang (Helensburgh CC).
“In reply, despite the loss of an early wicket, Sturgess and skipper Zakki Tariq (Clydedale CC) and then Tariq and Sean Fischer-Keogh (Greenock CC) built solid partnerships for the second and third wickets – to set the chase up very well. The fourth and fifth wicket partnerships were equally impressive – with Samee Mehmood (Poloc CC) offering good support as Fischer-Keogh continued to dominate the innings. Fischer-Keogh’s deserved half century took the side to the brink of victory, before he was caught for 56. However, Koteeswaran and Lukas Fischer-Keogh (Greenock CC) would see the side home to a good, four-wicket win.”
Tim Hart reports, “The Western Warriors Under 14s welcomed the Eastern Knights to the Scott Ellis Playing Fields (Kilmarnock CC) for the latest Cricket Scotland Under 14 inter-regional match. The Knights won the toss, elected to bat and progressed to 34 for 0 off of five overs. However, led by two quick wickets from Aditya Mahapatra (Ferguslie CC), this suddenly became 59 for 4 off twelve overs. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the next wicket wouldn’t fall until the score was 161. The value of this partnership was shown as, led by Saifullah Ahmadzai (Clydesdale CC) and Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC), the Knights went from 161 for 4 to 194 all out – and they were bowled out in just the 33rd over! The innings had really been all about five players – with Docherty and Murray being the standouts for the Knights and Ahmad (3 for 30), Ahmadzai (3 for 34) and Mahapatra (2 for 15) for the Warriors.
“In reply, Bahadar Esakhiel (Ferguslie CC) quickly took the attack to the Knights. His eighteen-ball 26 featured five boundaries – and, with Mahapatra playing the more traditional opening role, the Warriors looked to be well set. However, 48 for 0 became 50 for 3 – with the wickets falling to a good ball, a very loose shot and a poor run out. John Greene (Glasgow Accies CC) then provided Mahapatra with some support, as the pair built a 42-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But both would be gone by the time the total reached 120 – and the innings then went on to collapse a little, from 135 for 6 to 147 all out. Esakhiel’s hard-hitting 26 and Mahaptra’s high quality 39 were the highlights of the Warriors innings.
“A 47-run loss – but a match which offered plenty of encouraging moments for the Warriors. There were two passages of play where the Warriors bowlers and fielders appeared to have good control of the game, there were two good second innings partnerships and a couple of lower order batters tried to apply themselves well. However, bowling straight, doing the basics in the field and improving the balance between scoring runs and occupying the crease are things which the Warriors will want to try and improve on during matches in the next few weeks.”
Tim Hart reports, “The Western Warriors Under 16s were invited to play a one-off, 40-over challenge match against Birkenhead School (“Birkenhead”), as part of a George Watson’s College school festival. The high-scoring match was played on the Craiglockhart ground, in Edinburgh.
“Batting first, Birkenhead made steady progress – despite encouraging opening spells from Taha Khan (Clydesdale CC) and Sean Fischer-Keogh (Greenock CC), which left the score at 14 for 0 off six overs. However, the pace of the scoring then picked up – aided by some poor fielding. At the drinks break it was suddenly 104 for 0 and Birkenhead were well set up to post a very big total. Rafay Khan (Renfrew CC), Jamie Nowell (Greenock CC) and Humza Zulfiqar (Clydesdale CC) picked up wickets during the next short passage of play before Faizan Rauf (Clydesdale CC) and Taha Khan bowled their variations well at the end of the innings, to keep the score to 238 for 6 off the 40 overs – with Rauf picking up two wickets and Khan one.
“In reply, the Warriors did not start as well as Birkenhead had done earlier. Although Muhyamen Majeed (Renfrew CC) scored 43, the Warriors found themselves 83 for 7 after just 22 overs. A key problem had been the 101 ‘dot’ balls faced to this point (out of 132 deliveries bowled), including a passage of play where 1 run was scored off the bat in 38 deliveries! The situation had also not helped by some ill-advised shot selection and less than ideal execution. Given the score, and state of the game, it was a somewhat remarkable effort for the Warriors to end up on 206 for 9 off their 40 overs! This was based round a very positive 97-run partnership (off just 80 deliveries) for the ninth wicket between skipper David Sturgess (Clydesdale CC) and Rauf. Sturgess scored 63 (off 48) and Rauf 43* (off 48) – and there was more than a little hint of panic in the field as the combination of very good running between the wickets and eleven boundaries nearly made the highly improbable become vaguely possible! Unfortunately, despite the fantastic effort from the two batters, the poor fielding in the first innings and the early ‘dot’ balls in the second left the batters with just too much to do – and Birkenhead finished as winners by 32 runs.
“Overall, it was a good game played in a fantastic spirit – with a high quality tea and a great common-sense approach to the day from the umpires. The match has created a great opportunity for both sides to look back on some passages of positive cricket and on some things they could do much more effectively – and, on behalf of the Warriors, I would like to thank Alan Patterson and George Watson’s College for the invite to take part. The challenge for Warriors will be to learn quickly before Sunday’s Under 16 inter-regional match against the Eastern Knights.”
David Hinchliffe reports, “Western Warriors Under 16 beat Caledonian Highlanders by 59 runs at Perth on Sunday. The 50 over game win was set up by some aggressive batting at the top from Ross Heginbottom (Clydesdale CC, 48), and Tom Bradburn (Stirling County CC, 55) and Daniel Cairns (Clydesdale CC, 41) put on a partnership of 70 to look for a big total. And, despite a lower order collapse, the Warriors set the Highlanders 227.
“The Warriors bowling attack then proved very strong, and the Highlanders were quickly 24 for 4, with Shazhad Ahmed (Ferguslie CC, 2 for 31) and Reiss Wylie (Kelburne CC, 4 for 32) taking early wickets. Cairns Cairns (1 for 15) controlled the middle overs for a good all round performance, and the Highlanders could not recover from this despite a late rally from the tail with Lewis Robinson (58). The Warriors catching was also strong, as all ten wickets were caught. Caledonian Highlanders were all out for 168 in 47 overs.”
David Hinchliffe writes, “On a fine Stirling day, the Western Warriors were asked to bowl by Caledonian Highlanders. The home side started with a tight opening spell, keeping the score to 39 for 0 from fifteen overs. A flurry of wickets fell in the middle, leaving the Highlanders on 67 for 7 after 30 overs. Sean Fischer-Keogh (Greenock CC, 4 for 11) and Daniel Cairns (Clydesdale CC, 3 for 19) did the damage with the ball. The Highlanders had a late order stand but eventually were all out for 117.
“Ross Heginbottom (Clydesdale CC) and David Sturgess (Clydesdale CC) quickly took a chunk out of the target. The pair put on a stand of 82 with Heginbottom scoring 67 in 46 balls. The Warriors made it over the line in the 23rd over, three wickets down.”
Tim Hart reports, “A much-improved batting effort was the backdrop to the Western Warriors Under 14s defeating the Caledonian Highlanders by 27 runs, in the latest Cricket Scotland Under 14 inter-regional championship match. Batting first at New Williamfield (Stirling County CC), the Warriors posted 229 for 4 from their 40 overs. The total was based around three 50-plus partnerships – for the first, second and fifth (unbroken) wickets.
“Aditya Mahapatra (Ferguslie CC) top scored with 68 and there were also useful contributions from John Greene (Glasgow Accies CC), skipper Nikhil Koteeswaran (Clydesdale CC) and Lukas Fischer-Keogh (Greenock CC) – with 43, 37* and 23* respectively.
“In reply, the Highlanders scorecard had a slightly unusual look to it – with only two batters (plus ‘extras’) reaching double-figures. Pearson’s 79, Horne’s 37 and those 34 extras meant that the Highlanders were just about ‘in touch’ – however, and at the same time, the Warriors bowlers had taken wickets regularly enough throughout the innings to ensure that the required run-rate always looked to be just too much for the visitors. There were four wickets for man-of-the-match Greene, two each for Saifullah Ahmadzai (Clydesdale CC) and Mahapatra, and one each for Samee Mehmood (Poloc CC) and still-Under 11 debutant Ollie Jones (Stirling County CC).
“Overall, it was a much-improved performance – especially from the batters. However, the fielding (both ground and catching) and the consistency from the bowlers is still an area which everyone can look to make significant improvements in prior to the matches in late June and early July.”
Tim Hart writes, “The Western Warriors Under 14s (pictured) began their 2018 Cricket Scotland Under 14 inter-regional championship campaign with a loss to the Eastern Knights. After electing to bat first, the Warriors lost wickets far too regularly – with some injudicious shot selection not helping the cause. Owen Gould (Clydesdale CC) did look to be in very good form, including two glorious cover drives for 4 – but when he was adjudged to have been run out for 15, the Warriors were 56 for 6 in just the sixteenth over. Bahadar Esakhiel (Ferguslie CC) and Ibrahim Faisal (Clydesdale CC) did then add the biggest partnership of the innings, for the eighth wicket – but this was only worth 17. Warriors 96 all out, in 27.1 overs.
“In reply, there was an early run out – but the Knights appeared to be cruising, at 72 for 1. However, a fantastic direct hit run out from John Greene (Glasgow Accies CC) triggered a remarkable collapse – to 75 for 5! Greene picked up the wicket his spell (8-3-13-1) fully deserved and Saifullah Ahmadzai (Clydesdale CC) took two wickets in three deliveries. But it wouldn’t prove to be enough, as the Knights reached their target in the 27th over.
“Despite a good fighting effort during the latter period of the second innings, the Warriors will be left to reflect on a disappointing batting and fielding effort – which left them with too much to do. There is an immediate chance to put this right next Sunday when the Caledonian Highlanders are welcomed to New Williamfield.”
Tim Hart writes, “The Western Warriors Under 16s began their 2018 Cricket Scotland inter-regional championship campaign with a big defeat. Exam’s had resulted in several of the more experienced (and older) players being unavailable – but this should not have resulted in the margin of defeat being as great as it was.
“Batting first, the Eastern Knights were 78 for 4 off twenty overs at one point – but the 150-run partnership for the fifth wicket really took the game away from the Warriors. At the end of their 50 overs, the Knights finished 263 for 5. For the Warriors, there were two wickets for Shahzad Ahmad (Ferguslie CC) one thanks to a good catch from Sean Fischer-Keogh (Greenock CC), one for Fletcher Rao (Prestwick CC) and two run outs – with one thanks to a good direct hit from Zakki Tariq (Clydesdale CC). However, the 56 extras included 49 wides – with the half-century only being prevented by a series of flying, one-handed stops down the leg-side from wicket-keeper, and skipper, David Sturgess (Clydesdale CC)…and the wides were backed up by a generally poor fielding display, particularly ‘in the ring’.
“Then, in reply, only two individual batters and only three partnerships made it into double figures – with poor shot selection being added to by two calamitous run outs. The Warriors 59 all out, in the 22nd over.
“The majority of the side which played was Under 15 – however, it was still a very disappointing performance and result. The players have a couple of weeks to go away, re-group, learn from a very tough experience and continue to refine the skills which we know they do have – before the next match, against the Caledonian Highlanders, at the end of May.”
Tim Hart writes, “The Western Warriors women Under 16 squad training session, scheduled for 3pm to 5pm at Hutchesons’ Grammar School on Saturday has been cancelled because of the continuing poor weather and poor weather forecast for the next few days.”