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Warriors Under 18 slump to defeat in first inter-regional match [posted 13/06/13]
But start on time it did, and having won the toss, skipper Michael English of Ferguslie CC invited the Knights to bat first. Opening the batting for Eastern Knights were Michael Miller and Kyle MacPherson, whilst taking the new ball for the Warriors were Clydesdale CC's Haris Chaudhry and Drumpellier CC's Abdul Sabri. At English's disposal was, on paper, a strong seam attack with, in addition to Chaudhry and Sabri, fellow Scotland Under 19 seamer Niall Alexander (Dumfries CC), as well as himself and Lyle Hill (Clydesdale CC), both Scotland under 19 all-rounders. And, making up the bowling options were Ferguslie CC's slow left-armer Hamza Tahir and Glasgow Accies CC's Dhruv Satpute. And the breakthrough was made quickly, Miller going for just 2, bowled by Sabri. And five overs in, at 21 for 4 and the opening bowlers having found some rhythm, the situation looked under control from a Warriors' perspective. A change of bowlers in over eleven, Hill and Tahir coming into the attack, also brought a second wicket, Knights' skipper, Chris Cash, who'd reached 37 and was just beginning to bat with more freedom having hit five 4s off Hill's first seventeen deliveries, edging a Hill delivery to Ross Armour (Poloc CC) behind the stumps. 61 for 2 in the fifteenth over. MacPherson and new batter Fraser Allardice then added 72 in under fifteen overs as runs started to flow. Tahir had bowled a short, four-over spell for just 4 runs, but Hill was proving expensive - his first four overs, though bringing a wicket, costing 29 - and English had bowled two overs himself, but at a cost of 20 runs. The MacPherson|Allardice partnership was eventually broken when MacPherson was bowled by Tahir who'd been brought back in to the attack as English looked to stem the flow of runs. The third wicket fell in the 30th over, and with the score on 133, Knights looked set to post north of 270. But, and as often happens, wickets falling intervened. Allardice, who'd moved on to 42, was run out by Matthew Angelini who called his partner through for a suicidal single having hit the ball straight to Alexander at mid-wicket, Armour completing the run out neatly.
237 was, therefore, the Warriors' target if they were to start their 2013 inter-regional campaign with a win. Neil Flack (Greenock CC) and Douglas Willoughby (Helensburgh CC) opened for the Warriors, Sloman and Hilton spear-heading the home region's attack. Five overs were safely negotiated without too much alarm as Flack and Willoughby looked to establish a base from where their side could accelerate. But, then, the first ball of Sloman's third over was carved to point by Willoughby where Allardice took a sharp catch, and the Warriors were one down. It was then 43 for 2 seven overs later when Flack was trapped LBW, inexplicably playing back to Aslam's third delivery. The Warriors combo in situ with Flack's dismissal was their most experienced - English and Hill. And these two had put on 39 in ten overs when the latter was dismissed in one of the more bizarre ways you'll seen. Watt was the bowler, and Hill defended a delivery that hit his pad, then bat, popping up into the air, only drop straight down onto his head from where it bounced straight up again, Knights' 'keeper Wells being alert enough to lean forward a catch the ball as it started its descent, directly above Hill's head! Out. 82 for 3. English would then have two more partners - Luke Speirs (Ayr CC) and Satpute - before he was sixth man out, the Warriors - by name falling well behind the required run-rate - slumped to 104 for 6. Three of the Knights' slow bowlers - Watt, Allardice and Chayank Gosain - were causing all sorts of problems, and - though not bowling nearly as well - their fourth slow bowler Aslam was also getting amongst the wickets. Between them the four would take seven of the ten wickets that fell on the way to the Warriors being dismissed for just 158 in the 46th over. Alexander's cameo 30 (38 balls), batting at ten, saw him the only batter after number four Hill (12) to get into double figures. Knights were winners - deservedly - by 78 runs, and recorded their first win over their western rivals for over five years. The two sides are scheduled to meet again three times this summer, once each in T20, 50 overs and two-day formats of the game. The scorecard of the game is online.
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