Scotland hold their nerve to win ECB U15 Cup

07 Sep

Scotland U15s welcomed Gloucestershire to Mikleriggs, Ferguslie for their Royal London U15 Cup Final (Div1b) in what proved to be a thrilling encounter.

Captain of the Scotland side, Rory Johnston, opted to bat first, and he led from the front with a carefully compiled half century, to take the home side past 100, with only the wicket of Jamie Crawley to fall on the way.

Owais Shah contributed with some lovely strokes as he offered Johnston support, before the captain was stumped with 106 on the board.

Things then got a little tricky for the young Scots as Gloucestershire pulled things back. Firstly Shah was clean bowled, and then Findlay McCreath (18) departed in the same fashion.

Jamison-Black then produced a fine spell of bowling, claiming the wickets of Hardy and Garden, as the Scottish charge began to stutter.

Scotland managed to get their total to 177 before Jamison-Black snared the final wicket of the innings, ensuring he would finish with 4/23 from his 9 overs.

The home side would have felt at the half-way stage that they had missed out on an opportunity to post a really challenging total but, as they have shown on a number of occasions this year, they knew if they bowled and fielded well, they had a chance.

Gloucestershire set out the traps quickly, with openers Palmer and Forbes putting on 55 for the first wicket. Palmer was the first wicket to fall as James Dickinson was introduced into the attack, striking the batsman in front for 20.

The visitors had reached 88-1, requiring another 90 runs off 31 overs, and seemingly cruising towards victory, before Dickinson removed Forbes for 47 when Shah clung on to a difficult chance in the slips.

Ihtisham Malik beat the defence of Hooper as the batsman approached his half century, and now Scotland’s increasing belief was visible.

Wickets continued to fall, although Gloucestershire ensured they were hanging on, manoeuvring themselves into a position where only 7 runs were needed to win from 5 overs, and 3 wickets left.

Brown accounted for Calcott, after Valentine was run-out by Shah, with Gloucestershire only requiring 2 runs from the final over with 1 wicket remaining, as an incredible finale unfolded.

Brown capped off a brilliant bowling performance when his first delivery clattered into the stumps to bowl Haynes, as Scotland pulled off a famous 1 run victory in front of a jubilant home support. 

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