Sunday 30 August saw the Western Warriors U14s return to cricket, with two T20 matches v the Eastern Knights at Goldenacre (Heriots CC). Lead Coach Tim Hart reports:
“After nearly five and half months, it was great to see the Warriors programme resume – with the first two (of five) matches. There was, understandably, a little rustiness in all three disciplines – but the squad stuck to their collective task very well and recorded impressive back-to-back wins.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first in game 1, the Warriors found themselves 23/2 after 7.4 overs. Batting at 4, Ben Willmott (Clydesdale CC) provided some much-needed impetus to the innings, with 27 (off 26) as part of a fifty partnership with Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC). When Willmott was dismissed, Ahmad then upped his scoring rate – taking 12 off the final 12 deliveries he faced, to finish his innings’ anchoring role with a crucial 43* (off 57). Warriors 102/4. In reply, the Knights found run-scoring similarly tricky. Following on from their fifty partnership, Ahmad (4-0-7-1) and Willmott (4-0-11-1) combined well with the ball too. With the Knights left needing 65 off the final 8 overs, the Warriors bowlers bowled very effectively – Qasim Khan (Ferguslie CC) excelling with 4/21 from his 4 overs. Knights 85/8.
Warriors skipper Bahadar Esakhiel (Clydesdale CC) won a second toss – and the Warriors chose a different challenge, by fielding first. There were early successes for both Ahmad and Ewan McCartney (Helensburgh CC), before Willmott (2/19) bowled another good middle overs spell, Khan picked up his fifth wicket of the day – and the Warriors experimented by bowling eight 1-over spells towards the end of the innings! Knights 92/7. A slightly altered top order was asked to bat with a little more energy during the early overs – but the Warriors again found themselves 23/2 off 7.4 overs! The rate continued to climb steadily and, despite 23 (27) from Willmott, the Warriors needed 30 off the last 3 overs. But Ahmad was in, batting with very positive intent – and using the depth of his crease to great effect. His 31* (off 30) was crucial – and Rory Paterson (5* off 6) also played a key part. Warriors 93/4, with two deliveries to spare!
The wins were nice, as was the overall performance of all 12 players – which was led by some very effective captaincy and highlighted by good all-round contributions from Ahmad and Willmott. Overall, the main aim of the mini fixture programme is to get as many of the squad playing as possible – and to use players in different roles in the matches whenever possible. As always, thanks must go to the parents for their continued support of the programme – and hopefully the weather will allow the Warriors to welcome the Caledonian Highlanders to Titwood (Clydesdale CC) this coming Sunday.”