Scotland U15s in ECB Cup Final
Oxfordshire v Scotland U15 at Stonesfield CC on Sunday 17th August 2014 [Scorecard]
Scotland scratched over the line in an excruciatingly tense semi-final at Stonesfield CC.
Nerves played a part after left arm spinner Belcher had knocked over a large part of the visitors top order mid innings and with the Scots fearful of surrendering wickets in the face of accurate bowling by all eight of the Oxfordshire attack runs dried up to an uncomfortable extent.
The shackles were broken belatedly by an eighth wicket partnership between Angus Hinton(19 not out) & Olly Brown (10 not out), who, with a couple of lusty blows and some frantic running transferred the pressure back on their feisty opponents who became a little flustered just when cool heads were required. Finally with three balls remaining Angus dropped the ball and the pair ran a tight single to propel Scotland into the ECB final for the first time in the country’s history.
Previously Oxfordshire won the toss and elected to bat. The visiting pace attack found bowling into the wind at one end particularly taxing and an a succession of untidy spells littered with wides & no balls gifted the home team a comfortable start spoiled only by the accurate Malik bowling opener Hawtin.
At 98 for 1 in the eighteenth over Oxfordshire were extremely well placed but when Scotland’s spinners struck the innings disintegrated to 166 all out, a total well within the visitor’s capabilities. The pick were Itty Malik (2 for 41), Andrew Appleton (2 for 44), James Dickinson (2 for 21) & “golden arm” Rory Johnston with 4 for 12 off 6.2 overs.
Until Belcher took a hand Scotland’s reply progressed steadily with Rory Johnston (32) & Owais Shah (30) sharing a 54 run stand. Then as both fell in quick succession the stage was set for a frenetic finish.
Scotland will now take on Gloucestershire in the final, with a date and venue still to be confirmed.