Tim Hart reports, “The final match of the 40-over inter-regional championships saw the Western Warriors Under 14s travel to Freuchie to play the Caledonian Highlanders. Despite missing a few key batters, Aditya Mahapatra (Ferguslie CC) confidently elected to bat first. The decision was quickly vindicated as he and Bahadar Esakhiel (Ferguslie CC) made a solid start to the innings. The pair put on 68 for the first wicket, to set the backdrop for a big first innings total. Esakhiel would reach 50, as he formed another big partnership – this time with Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC). Ahmad also made 50, before there were three quick wickets towards the end of the innings. Indeed, the final few overs became a game within a game – one about whether or not Esakhiel could reach three figures. He was on 97* with two deliveries to go – before consecutive 2s to long-on brought him a deserved hundred, off of 110 deliveries and including thirteen boundaries. Warriors 226 for 5, Esakhiel 101* and Ahmad 58.
“In reply, both opening bowlers Sambhav Chadha (Glasgow Accies CC) and Saifullah Ahmadzai (Clydesdale CC) made early breakthrough. The change bowlers of James Cathcart (Poloc CC) and Mahapatra also took wickets too – but while Findlay was still at the crease the game was not completely beyond the Highlanders. However, when Anne Sturgess (Clydesdale CC) completed an excellent first over by inducing a loose drive, the outside edge was safely taken by Ahmadzai at first slip. The next passage of play settled into a pattern where the Warriors bowled too many loose deliveries, the Highlanders scored freely – but also presented some opportunities to Warriors fielders, which included Ahmadzai taking a third catch of the innings, off of the bowling of Samee Mehmood (Poloc CC). The game ended when Ibrahim Faisal (Clydesdale CC) came on and produced two perfect deliveries to take the final two wickets – to finish with figures of 0.3-0-0-2 and leave the Highlanders 154 all out.
“In the end a comfortable victory – but particularly pleasing was the honest discussion from the top order batters who realised they could have score more fluently early on, having faced 81 ‘dot’ balls in the first 120 balls of the innings! It was also great to see all seven bowlers take wickets and for there to be some understanding that becoming even more consistent will be important as they progress up through the pathway and age groups.
“Overall, a good way to finish the 40-over campaign – with the T20 Day to follow on Sunday.”