Knights Survive Scare to Defeat Warriors
Eastern Knights Under-15s maintained their 100% record with a hard fought victory over the Western Warriors in a close encounter at New Williamfield, Stirling on 10th July.
On one of the hottest days of the year so far, it was no surprise that the visiting skipper, Kallum Dhami, opted to bat when he won the toss. However, the decision looked questionable when they slumped to 39-4 with three wickets falling to Eastern opener, Angus Hinton. Dhami himself settled in, and looked to be getting on top of the home side’s bowlers until he fell to spinner Andrew Appleton’s quicker ball for 20. Further wickets fell to leave the Warriors struggling at 70-7. However, keeper Zain Ashraf and all-rounder John Oliver settled in, and began to rotate the strike well to frustrate the Knights’ bowlers. Both took their time to get themselves ‘in’ before Ashraf in particular began to accelerate, pouncing on some wayward Eastern bowling as fatigue began to set in.
At 145-7, the pair looked set for a partnership of over 100, until Max Hancock produced an excellent throw from the boundary to run out Ashraf for 42 (62 balls). Buoyed by this wicket, the home side upped their game and soon picked up the final two wickets for just four runs, leaving the Western innings to close on 149 from 41 overs, with Oliver finishing on 30 (105 balls) and Hinton and captain James Dickinson picking up three wickets apiece.
In reply, the Knights’ openers set about the Warriors attack by punishing any loose bowling. Angus Hinton in particular ensured that anything full was driven securely through the V, helping him reach 35 from 54 balls (including seven 4s). Jamie Crawley continued his impressive run of form with attacking shots all around the ground until he miscued one from Haroon Tahir, giving Ul-Haq an easy catch. Finlay McCreath joined Hinton at the crease, but both fell to spinner Tahir, leaving the Knights at 77-3.
Oliver Brown (18) and Chris Miller (33) steadied the ship as they lifted the score to 129 with sensible batting, although both will be disappointed to give their wickets away with victory in sight. The inevitable mini collapse took place as the Warriors made the Knights work for every run, but two lusty blows by Callum Martin finished the game as the Knights passed the visitors’ total with 3 wickets left and 12 overs to spare.
Although the Knights ended up as comfortable victors, the Warriors will take heart from their strong bowling and fielding display. The Knights too will be pleased with their bowling performance, although once again, there were too many wide deliveries. Many thanks to Stirling for their excellent facilities and hospitality.