Following a very useful ‘intra-squad’ match on last Sunday, today saw the Western Warriors U15s host the Caledonian Highlanders at Titwood (Clydesdale CC).
Having lost the toss, and been invited to bat first, Max Byers (Dumfries CC) and Bahadar Esakhiel (Clydesdale CC) started very confidently – putting on 66 for the first wicket. Despite Byers being dismissed for 23, the score progressed to 97/2 at the midpoint of the innings. However, a steady flow of wickets and too many dots balls (205 in total!) meant that the Warriors couldn’t add any acceleration to their innings – and, despite a true ‘captain’s innings’ of 83 from Esakhiel and 22* from Shlok Thaker (Clydesdale CC), the Warriors could only post 187/7 off their 50 overs.
In reply, Esakhiel picked up an early wicket – with the score on 6. However, a match-winning partnership would see the Warriors have to wait another 171 runs before picking up a second wicket. Thanks to a splendid 94 from Dunk, supported by 51* from Hegde, the Highlanders cruised to an 8-wicket win, with nearly 20 overs to spare.
Despite a few mitigating factors, the Warriors will feel that they could have batted with a little more intent to score, the bowlers will reflect on not being able to build any real pressure by bowling in partnerships and the fielders will have learned the importance of maintaining full concentration while the opposition are building a big partnership.
However, the advantage of the competition format is that the squad gets an immediate opportunity to ‘bounce back’, as the Eastern Knights are welcomed to the west this coming Sunday. The series is also well-poised with all three teams having a record of P2, W1, L1!