U15 Scots triumphant as they top Division 1B
Scotland U15 v Northumberland at Penicuik CC on 24th July 2014
On winning the toss Northumberland invited the Scots to bat, presumably due to a heavy har enveloping the ground at the time of the toss. As luck would have it as soon as the home openers headed for the wicket the har lifted and Scotland were able to make hay on a flat track.
The feature of the innings was a chanceless century by Finlay McCreath. His imperious knock took 95 balls and included 12 fours and one six. He was ably supported by skipper Rory Johnston 41; Owais Shah 75 and James Dickinson 40 not out. After 50 overs the Scots had posted the daunting total of 302 for 6 on a wilting opponent who was well served by J Doneathy (2 for 39) & C Batey (2 for 69)
In reply Northumberland openers, Mannikar & O’Neill, put on 42 for the first wicket. At 2.5 an over the required original run rate of 6 an over was rising alarmingly and the match over as a contest.
When the spinners came on the visitors subsided rapidly with orthodox left armer Andrew Appleton bowling a miserly spell of 3 for 23 in ten overs and leg spinner James Dickinson extracting prodigious turn to snare a 5 for 35, leaving the visitors 104 all out.
Scotland U15 v Lincolnshire at Myreside on 25th July 2014
Chasing 173 to win and qualify for the semi-finals of the competition Scotland appeared to be in trouble 21 runs short with only two tail end wickets to spare.
Thanks to the efforts of wicketkeeper Chris Miller & bowler Kaleem Barreto the hosts were able to scrape home by virtue of hard graft and good common sense. That these qualities had been lacking earlier in the chase had led to the difficult predicament the two not out batsmen found themselves in.
Earlier in the day Lincolnshire had won the toss and elected to bat on a flat deck in bright sunshine. They typically made slow but steady obdurate progress where runs and wickets were hard to come by. T Smith top scored with 67 not out but in using 131 balls it was felt that perhaps his approach had left the visitors 172 total as perhaps 30 runs light. Timby & Cook with 27 & 22 had certainly looked more fluent and entertaining.
For the second day running James Dickinson (2 for 21 in 10 overs), Andrew Appleton (1 for 27 in 10) & Itty Malik (3 for 14 in 10) proved effective for the hosts.
For most of the second innings Scotland appeared to have the run chase in hand but the big guns all got in and got out, perhaps trying to finish the job in a haste that the scoreboard did not require. Thus, the nervy enthralling conclusion and the emergence of two cool heads.
Credit must go to Lincolnshire for the aggressive manner in which they approached their defence of the target. In particular the three spinners Moor, Mannford & Cook bowled accurately, extracting prodigious turn as the innings progressed.
The victory means that Scotland U15s topped Division 1B, and now move to the next round to play the winner of Division 2B (either Oxfordshire or Worcestershire) on Sunday 17th August AWAY from home.
A win in that game would see Scotland compete in the 'B final' against the winner of the 3B vs 4B match.