A fantastic squad performance resulted in the Western Warriors Under 14s winning Cricket Scotland’s Under 14 inter-regional T20 Blitz, played at Doo’cot Park, on Sunday the 14th of July.
Game one saw the Warriors play the Caledonian Highlanders, with the Warriors batting first. Openers Gould and Esakhiel (both Clydesdale CC) got the innings off to a quick start, putting on 30 in the first three overs – in a match reduced to 16 overs-per-side. Although the innings didn’t “kick on” to a really big total, 107 for 3 looked to be around par – with Esakhiel top scoring, with 46*. In reply, the Warriors kept a good squeeze on the run rate early on. The building pressure then led to a flurry of wickets – 17 for 0 becoming 24 for 4, with Shahan Raja (Clydesdale CC) picking up two wickets. From there, there was no way back for the Highlanders. They finished on 68 for 8, with Raja being the pick of the bowlers and finishing with 3 for 17.
In game two, the Eastern Knights won the toss and elected to bat first. Their openers batted with very positive intent – and immediately had the Warriors on the back foot, reaching 61 for 0 off of seven overs. However, the introduction of Raja saw both openers clean bowled within four deliveries of each other. Murray Johnson then continued to take the attack to the Warriors. However, with the score on 100, he was clean bowled by a good yorker from Hassaan Mehmood (Poloc CC). The Warriors bowlers then bowled very effectively during the final seven overs – only conceding a run-a-ball, with Mehmood picking up a second wicket and Andrew Harden and Nikhil Koteeswaran (both Clydesdale CC) one each. Knights 142 for 7. In reply, Esakhiel and Gould were asked to build a solid base, while scoring at a good rate. They did this perfectly, putting on 67 for the first wicket in eight overs. By this point Esakhiel was well and truly “in” and he went on to dominate the chase – getting the required run-rate to less than one run per ball and crucially keeping it there. He was given good support by Abdullah Tufail (Renfrew CC), who scored 19* – but the day belonged to Esakhiel, who finished 81*, as the Warriors won by eight wickets.
While Esakhiel and Raja will rightly grab the main headlines, all twelve players played an important role in a very impressive win – and a competition win which demonstrated a good bounce-back from the disappointment of the team performance in the 40-over competition.