Today saw the Western Warriors under 15s host XL Club (Scotland) in a time game, at Titwood (Clydesdale CC).
Batting first, XL Club got off to a good start – but 38/0 became 47/2, with Ewan McCartney (Helensburgh CC) bowling an excellent delivery to remove Hillyard and skipper Shlok Thaker (Clydesdale CC) having his opposite number caught. From there, the Warriors were given a good lesson in the value of building multiple partnerships back-to-back-to-back while batting. However, some good bowling and fielding immediately after lunch saw the scoring rate slowed – with McCartney picking up a second wicket, Qasim Khan (Ferguslie CC) taking one and Adam Tahir (Ferguslie CC) also taking one thanks to a remarkable stumping from Ritvik Maheshwari (Glasgow Accies CC) who was standing back! XL Club did accelerate slightly – before declaring on 195/6 off 56 overs.
In reply, the Warriors top order will feel a little disappointed with their early efforts – with two injudicious shots, and an unnecessary run out, leaving the score at 15/3. Max Byers (Dumfries CC) and Thaker re-built slightly but 34/3 then became 47/5 – and an early finish looked possible. However, Fizan Rashid (Clydesdale CC) and Nasratullah Safi (Glasgow Accies CC) had other ideas. Both rotated the strike well and put away the odd bad delivery. The 50 partnership came and went trouble free – and the 72-run partnership was comfortably the highest of the match. Just as thoughts were beginning to turn to a run chase, Safi played one expansive shot too many and was caught at cover, for 38. Another mini-partnership developed – but 135/6 became 142/8, including the dismissal of Rashid for an excellent 45 (matching Maddock who had top scored for XL Club in the first innings). With the focus turning to playing out for the draw, McCartney and Tahir decided to have one final push for the win. 5 overs brought 39 runs, led by Tahir’s 26 – but he fell LBW with one over to go! McCartney played out the final over to secure the draw – with only 10 runs separating the teams at the end of 96 overs of cricket.
A great game, with lots of valuable learning opportunities – and the experience of being in a game where all 4 results were possible going into the last 3 overs, while getting an exemplary showcase of how to play competitive cricket fully in-keeping with the spirit of the game! In general, all the bowlers offered good control and they were well-supported by the fielders – but a few dropped catches towards the end of the innings allowed the visitors to add some crucial additional runs. Despite the poor start to the reply, Rashid batted with great maturity and was well-supported by Safi – with McCartney and Tahir nearly forcing a remarkable win.
All thoughts will now turn to T20 – in preparation for August’s Inter-Regional T20 Day.