Scotland U15s hold nerve to win two in a row
ECB County Cup
Durham v Scotland U15 at Gateshead Fell CC on Sunday 28th June 2014
Scotland emerged victorious from this cliff hanger by virtue of an excellent 141 run partnership for the third wicket between Owais Shah and Jamie Crawley coupled with some cool heads in the lower middle order.
Set 226 to win things looked bleak with both openers in the hutch and only seven on the board. When Crawley joined Owais Shah they carefully worked their way into the game and at this point Shah started to dominate the opposition with fierce drive and pulls while his partner supported him manfully, cleverly rotating the strike to keep Owais with the lion’s share of the strike.
When both fell in short succession at 148 and 9, Shah run out for 96 and Crawley 38 things looked to be difficult as the asking rate was up at seven an over. However McCreath, Dickinson, Hardie, Barreto and Garden all batted coolly and with enterprise to get over the line with two balls and one wicket to spare. The run chase had been fine entertainment in front of a sizable crowd.
Earlier in the day Durham had posted a challenging 225 with J O’Brien hitting an enterprising 76. Itty Malik bowled well to record 3 for 17 and Andrew Appleton bowled six tight overs for 21. Kalleem Barreto looked very secure under the high ball to take three catches but it is the area of fielding that the Young Scots will have to improve if they are to cash in on their deep batting potential.
Lincolnshire v Scotland U15 at Appleby Frodingham CC on Tuesday 1st July 2014
Lincolnshire won the toss and elected to bat on a good looking wicket and fast outfield. They made a sedate start without too many alarms but the feeling was that their caution might come back to bite them.
Good captaincy brought left arm spinner Andrew Appleton on early and this resulted in the first wicket of Timby who had been the enterprising member of the opening pair. There then followed a 107 partnership which set the home team up for a decent total although Smith’s 65 from 122 balls was perhaps a bit lacking in impetus.
J Cook (64 from 78 balls) did leave Lincoln sitting on 200 in the 45th over and ready to launch a major assault. That assault did not bear fruit thanks in the main to Itty Malik who knocked over the tail with a fine hat trick, leaving Lincoln on 238 for 9, giving Malik figures of 5 for 46.
Appleton turned in figures of 1 for 34, and James Dickinson 1 for 37 off 9.
Lincoln’s 238 seemed to be light in such batter friendly conditions and so it proved. The Scots were ahead of the run rate at all times although at 48 for 3 they looked to be in some peril of running out of batsmen.
A 143 run partnership between Owais Shah and Finlay McCreath ensured there would be no serious alarms. Shah was very severe on the Lincoln spinners sweeping aggressively. His 79 came from 82 balls and included 12 fours and a six while McCreath totalled 55. Scotland successfully reached their target in 44.5 overs for the loss of seven wickets.
The boys can be pleased that there ground fielding is showing signs of improvement and that chasing a total holds no fears.