WDJCU Indoor Super Eights, 2015
Hutchesons’ Grammar School was once again the venue as the WDJCU hosted its annual youth Indoor Super 8s Tournament. The annual event, which traditionally takes place between Christmas and the New Year, saw 150 different young players represent 19 different teams – with the participating players coming from 9 different west region clubs. There were three separate hardball competitions – at U12, U15 and U19 age groups.
The U12 Group Stage saw Ferguslie CC record a comprehensive win against the pre-tournament favourites, Poloc CC (101/4 beating 59/4!). This result meant that Ferguslie won Group A. Clydesdale CC then won both their matches to win Group B – but the real drama unfolded with the run rate calculation which saw Poloc just sneak past Uddingston CC (by 0.0218 – effectively by 2 runs scored or 2 deliveries bowled!) to finish as the best placed runner-up.
On Finals’ Day, both Ferguslie and Poloc defeated Clydesdale – setting up a genuine final to end the competition. Ferguslie batted first and scored 79/2 in their 10 overs – a total restricted by a generally tight bowling display. In reply, Poloc kept themselves at roughly the required run rate of 8 runs per over throughout – and completed a deserved win halfway through the final over.
A particularly pleasing aspect of the tournament was that two of the teams taking part each fielded two girls in their squad – and hopefully this will be an encouragement, and a catalyst, for an increased female participation in future years.
Nabeel Khan (Poloc CC) excelled with 2.3-0-11-4 during one of his team’s matches. However, it was Uzair Ahmad (Ferguslie CC) who was named as Player of the Tournament as he top-scored in the tournament with 88 runs without being dismissed in his four innings and he returned the combined bowling figures of 9-0-49-3.
In the six team U15 Tournament, Clydesdale CC won Group A by beating Poloc CC (thanks to a powerful team batting display and a hat-trick from Jawad Khan) and Ayr CC (due to a tight bowling performance). The winners of Group B were the Clydesdale II team, as they defeated Glasgow Accies CC and the East Renfrewshire / Renfrew combined team – with Ayr CC finishing as the best placed runner-up.
In the Final Group, both Ayr and Clydesdale beat the Clydesdale II team, to set up another genuine final. Another very tight bowling performance from Clydesdale restricted Ayr to 57/5 off their 10 overs – a total which Clydesdale passed with 9 deliveries to spare.
Puskar Bhandari (Ayr CC) recorded the possibly unique indoor bowling figures of 2-2-0-0 in one match and his team-mate Richie Simpson finished with an impressive batting average of 71. Struan Walker (Clydesdale CC) went one run better and averaged 72. However, the Player of the Tournament was Jawad Khan who scored 37 runs (at an average of 37) and had tournament bowling figures of 7-1-22-5, highlighted by his hat-trick.
The U19 tournament normally comes down to a couple of simple factors which play a big part in the overall outcome – generally the team who can play the most consistent cricket, while avoiding needless run outs, wins the tournament.
In the four-team Group A, Poloc CC won all three matches to progress to the Final Group – with their effort being led by wicket-keeper Calum James who scored 25 and retired in each match. In Group B, Clydesdale CC overcame both Ferguslie CC and the East Kilbride / Uddingston combined team – with Zain Ashraf (Clydesdale CC) becoming only the third player in the history of the Super 8s to score a half-century in one match, with a match-winning 58* against Ferguslie. The East Kilbride / Uddingston combined team were the best runners-up, largely thanks to chasing 79 to beat Ferguslie in only 4.3 overs – their incredible effort being led by Wasim Safi’s hard-hitting 30, retired.
In the Final Group, Clydesdale and the combined East Kilbride/Uddingston team both defeated Poloc, to set up the third genuine final of Finals’ Day. Clydesdale batted first and looked to be in some trouble at 56/5 off of 7 (out of 10) overs. However, Gregor Anderson (16) provided support to innings top
scorer Zain Muhammad (17*), as Clydesdale scored 48 in the final 3 overs – to finish on 104/7. In reply, there was a calamitous run out in the first over (the sort that only, but always, seems to happen in the fast-paced indoor format of the game) and Ihtesham Ul Haq (2-0-11-3) and Luke Macias (1-0-4-2) effectively ended the game as a contact. The combined team were eventually bowled out for 26 halfway through the 8th over, as Clydesdale finished the tournament unbeaten – and as champions.
Calum James who was the top scorer in the tournament (105 runs at an average of 52.50), Wasim Safi (73 runs at an average of 36.5 and bowling figures of 11-1-56-3) and leading tournament wicket-taker Ihtesham Ul Haq (6-0-41-6) each put up a good case to be named as the Player of the Tournament. However, that honour went to the winning skipper Kallum Dhami (Clydesdale CC) who scored 91 runs at an average of 40.50 (including a top score of 45*), contributed 7 run outs in the field and captained his team very maturely.
Finally, as well as thanking all 150 players for their efforts, I would like to thank all the parents, club coaches, scorers, umpires and all those who spectated and helped to make the 2015 WDJCU Super 8s possible and successful.