The Western Warriors Under 14s traveled to The Arns (Clackmannan County CC) to play their final scheduled match of 2019, against the Cricket Scotland Women’s Performance Academy.
The Performance Academy won the toss and chose to bat first. Despite losing a wicket to Bahadar Esakhiel (Clydesdale CC) in the first over, Becky Glen took the attack to the Warriors bowlers – with a quickfire 35 off 23 deliveries, taking the score to 50 for 2 off seven overs. As has been the way during the T20 matches, the introduction of Shahan Raja (Clydesdale CC) had an immediate impact – Glen being smartly stumped by Lukas Fischer-Keogh (Greenock CC). This was the first of Raja’s three wickets – and, with Nikhil Koteeswaran (Clydesdale CC), James Hobman (Dumfries CC), Caelan Lang (Helensburgh CC) and the returning Esakhiel all bowling well towards the end of the innings, the Performance Academy finished on 107 for 8 off their twenty overs. The effort of the bowlers was well backed up by Fischer-Keogh who finished with three catches to go along with his stumping.
In reply, the Performance Academy bowled very well early on – making it very difficult for the top order to “break the shackles” and score freely. The scoring rate was very quickly pushed to 1 run per ball – and it just kept climbing! The top four, Koteeswaran, Esakhiel, Rory Paterson (Glasgow Accies CC) and Anne Sturgess (Clydesdale CC) did all find the boundary – but the experience of the Performance Academy bowling attack shone through, as they were able to exert lots of pressure through dot balls and a committed fielding effort. Lang (12*) and Fischer-Keogh (21*) did get the side close – but they couldn’t quite find the 41 needed off the final four overs for victory.
Overall, a slightly disappointing performance and result. However, the bowling and then batting skills displayed towards the end of both innings was very encouraging – and the loss did provide a great learning opportunity about the value of bowling straight (19 runs in wides were gifted to the Performance Academy) and managing the scoring rate in T20 cricket.