The U13s hosted Heyford looking to a] build on the positive performance the week before against Saints and b] see if we could complete the U11 & U13 win double over Heyford on the same weekend.
It was clear from the toss when the 6 foot tall Heyford skipper shook hands with Jake that it was going to be a tough game against a team that were on average, considerably bigger than our juniors.
Having won the toss and stuck them in to bat, early wickets were going to be required, given the bigger Heyford lads were all padded up and ready to roll. Prashil did just that, removing the opener 2nd ball with a beauty that struck the top of middle stump. However that was short-lived as the Heyford batting soon got on top of the inconsistent Cook’s bowling and combined with some very scrappy fielding at times, the score began to accelerate.
Three batsmen retired for Heyford having reached the ‘magic’ 30 runs, with some of the lusty blows on show more than capable of carrying an adult-sized boundary, not least the very short boundary marked for this game.
The heat was playing a part as our players began to look weary and some of our fundamentals [backing up, walking in] disappeared. It felt a bit of a relief when we reached the end of the 20th over, however Heyford had amassed 122-2 with George taking the only other wicket to fall.
With more drinks on board, the disheveled Cooks needed a boost to start the innings and instill some confidence. Opening pair George and Liam provided that spark as the pair started to make in-roads into the stiff target. In fact it saw an injury to George to make him leave the field when 6no [rumours he was protecting his average were vehemently denied!]. Liam was on fire and was hitting the ball around the park and with Jake joining him; the pair were running well between the wickets. Liam became the 4th player in the match to retire hitting 32no, including six boundaries, but Jake was then soon undone by a skidder and we were now 48-1 with two new batsmen at the crease.
As has been the story of the season, the middle & lower order have not been able to score sufficiently regularly or quickly and we only managed another 12 runs off the bat from 69 balls. This is the one major area where we need to practice and improve quickly to be able to compete.
All in all, Heyford deserved their victory. They were bigger and stronger than us, but we did revert back to some of our bad old habits which contributed to the scale of defeat. The upside is our younger team is experiencing U11 and U13 cricket that will [hopefully] stand them in good stead as they get older.
Thanks to Charlie for umpiring and Ben for scoring and all of the fantastic support from parents.