Warriors U15s Win the Inter-Regional Championships
The Western Warriors U15s welcomed the Eastern Knights to a sun-drenched Glenpark (Greenock CC) with one objective: win the game and be crowned as Cricket Scotland U15 Inter-Regional Champions.
The Knights won the toss and elected to bat first on a good looking wicket.
After 10 overs the Knights had progressed to 26/0 – with the Warriors having missed a couple of run out chances. However, the Knights then took one chance too many – attempting to steal a quick single to Warriors skipper Zain Ashraf. With the first drinks break then looming, Luke Macias entered the attack and bowled a remarkable 9-ball over which included two warnings for bowling beamers, a front foot no-ball and clean bowling a batter off the subsequent free-hit!
The skipper showed faith and the Warriors were rewarded as Macias picked up the big wicket of Tom Bradburn (26), well caught by wicket-keeper Angus Guy. Another wicket in Macias’s next over left the Knights at 54/3 at the first drinks break.
The other key wicket was going to be Jack Bradburn – and it took the skipper one delivery of his spell to remove him! The ball was skied to mid-wicket, where Ashraf ran from being the bowler to take a comfortable catch…and start a truly remarkable 10-over spell! By the time he was finished he had figures of 10-2-20-4, including trapping Knights top scorer Hay-Smith (32) lbw, picking up two wickets in two deliveries and bowling with genuine control. Louis Ware also bowled with good control and picked up 2/17 from his seven overs, as the Knights were 122 all out.
The only problem with having bowled the Knights out in the 43rd over was that the Warriors left themselves an awkward 40 minutes to bat before lunch. The now-regular opening partnership of Guy and Ihtesham Ul Haq continued. With seam on, both looked comfortable – with the score progressing to 19/0 off 6 overs. However, the introduction of spin immediately resulted in the first wicket, as Guy (6) was caught at mid-on off the bowling of Calum Clarkson. Then, in the over before lunch, Gregor Chambers (1) was caught and bowled by Jack Bradburn. Warriors 26/2 at lunch – and a good game in prospect.
Shortly after the re-start Calum James (1) was bowled to leave the score at 37/3. A partnership was needed. Ware joined Ul Haq and the two did as was required. Ware played the supporting role, as Ul batted with the maturity of an experienced opening bat. 41 had been added before Ware (12) was lbw to Angus Beattie. Ashraf joined Ul Haq briefly before the former was bowled for 13 – becoming the second of Beattie’s three victims. Warriors 94/5 off 27 overs.
McCallum released some pressure with a hard-hitting 16, including 2 fours and 1 six. Warriors 119/5 off 30 overs. However, there was still time for a panic! Ul Haq, who had batted beautifully for a much-deserved half-century, managed to pick out deep mid-wicket and McCallum then got one which kept low. Warriors 121/7 – with Bradburn (5-1-11-1), Clarkson (7-1-22-3) and Beattie (5.4-0-30-3) having made the Warriors work hard for their runs. However, Aliyan Qureshi held his nerve and saw his side home, stroking a four through backward point. Warriors 125/7…and champions.
All that was left was for Andy Tennant of Cricket Scotland to present Zain Ashraf with the trophy.
Thanks must go to all those people who have helped to make matches in this year’s Championship possible – administrators, caterers, coaches, groundsmen, parents, players, umpires and other key volunteers.