Sunday 30 August saw the Western Warriors Under 14s return to cricket, with two T20 matches v the Eastern Knights at “Goldenacre” (Heriot’s 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 one, the Warriors found themselves 23 for 2 after 7.4 overs. Batting at four, Ben Willmott (Clydesdale CC) provided some much-needed impetus to the innings, with 27 (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 twelve deliveries he faced, to finish his innings’ anchoring role with a crucial 43* (57). Warriors 102 for 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 for 21 from his four overs. Knights 85 for 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 for 19) bowled another good middle overs spell, Khan picked up his fifth wicket of the day – and the Warriors experimented by bowling eight one-over spells towards the end of the innings! Knights 92 for 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 for 2 off 7.4 overs! The rate continued to climb steadily and, despite 23 (27) from Willmott, the Warriors needed 30 off the last three overs. But Ahmad was in, batting with very positive intent – and using the depth of his crease to great effect. His 31* (30) was crucial – and Rory Paterson, 5* (6) also played a key part. Warriors 93 for 4, with two deliveries to spare!
The wins were nice, as was the overall performance of all twelve 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.”