Inter-regional East and Cally U15s Serve Up Run Fest
Glorious sunshine and a good batting wicket greeted Eastern and Caledonian under-15s in the Inter-Regional Championship match at Loretto School on Sunday 30th June.
Caledonian captain, Rory Johnston, won the toss and unsurprisingly, chose to bat. Although the visitors lost opener Niall Critchley early on, choosing to bat looked to be a good decision as Johnston and Archie Houldsworth hit fifteen boundaries between them as they punished some wayward Eastern bowling. The introduction of spin, however, had an immediate impact with Andrew Appleton picking up the wicket of Johnston for a well-made 43 from 54 balls.
Harris Carnegie and Houldsworth (48 from 71) added another 38 for the next wicket before both fell to the off spin of Rory Allardice. Allardice went on to pick up another two wickets, finishing with 4-30 from his 10 overs. Despite wickets falling at regular intervals, the Caledonian run rate never dropped as first Jack Hogarth and then Christian Robertson kept the scoreboard ticking over with some excellent running between the wickets. Cally reached 178-8 after 40 overs, leaving a crucial last ten overs to set an imposing total.
With the Eastern bowlers and fielders tiring after a tough shift in the sun, Hughes Gillin and Ryan Cameron took their opportunities and batted superbly to put on 86 for the 9th wicket to leave Caledonian firm favourites on 264-9 from their 50 overs. Gillin finished on 54 from just 44 balls (7 fours) with Ryan Cameron not out on 37 from 33 balls (6 fours). Overall, Cally batted with purpose and intent, although they will be a little disappointed that too many batters gave their wickets away when looking set for a big score.
In reply, the Knights knew they needed a solid opening partnership to set up an attacking platform. Angus Hinton and Tom Dean batted steadily against a strong opening bowling display from Gillin and Kaleem Baretto. Runs started to come more easily as both batters started to find the gaps and rotate the strike. At 60-0 after 16 overs, the Knights looked well placed to get close to their target. However, a sudden and heavy burst of rain delayed play for half an hour, and on resumption, the Knights had lost 5 overs with a revised target. Although the home side were ahead on Duckworth Lewis, unfortunately for them, the calculation was on run rate, leaving them well behind. Needing to score 238 in 45 overs, Dean and Hinton immediately tried to up the tempo, but Critchley and Jack Hogarth initially contained them well before the skipper turned to spin to make the breakthrough.
In his first over, Will Porter teased Dean into chipping one up to extra cover, and an impressive opening partnership of 119 came to an end, with Dean scoring 40. Hinton followed soon after – again to Porter – having scored 76 from 106 balls (7 fours). The Eastern batters then began a frantic chase, with the Cally fielders pursuing every ball hard and giving away nothing. The batters found boundaries difficult to come by, although quick running between the wickets kept them in the game. With the run rate up at eleven an over, Andrew Cockburn hit some lusty blows to give the home team some hope; however, the return of opener, Hughes Gillin, ended his cameo (28 from 16) and the chase ran out of steam. Eastern finished on 216 all out in the final over, 22 runs short of victory.
The match was an excellent advert for Scottish cricket, with a great deal of positive batting on display from both sides. Cally will now turn their attention to their next match against the Western Warriors, while the Knights will take on Australian tourists, Melbourne Grammar School in their next fixture.