WDJCU Indoor Super Eights 2016

09 Jan

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 and features U12, U15 and U19 hardball competitions, saw an increase in participation numbers from the 2015 tournament.  In total, 159 different young players from 12 different clubs represented 21 different teams during the four days of cricket.

U12s: The second of the nine U12 Group Stage matches was one of the most exciting in recent years.  It was a contest between East Kilbride CC and Glasgow Accies CC which came down to the final delivery.  In the end, it was Glasgow Accies skipper Rory Paterson who held his nerve, to strike a winning 6.  Unfortunately, this was not enough to see his side qualify for the Final Group as Clydesdale CC, Ferguslie CC and Poloc CC won the three groups. 

On Finals’ Day, Clydesdale raced out the blocks, scoring a huge total of 143/0 in their win against local rivals Poloc.  Ferguslie then also scored freely, making 115/3 in their win over Poloc. 

This set up a ‘winner takes all’ final between Clydesdale and Ferguslie – and credit must go to all 16 players for the cricket on display.  Led by skipper Nikhil Koteeswaran, Clydesdale scored 103/6 – despite 2/15 from Ferguslie skipper Uzair Ahmad.  In reply, Koteeswaran picked up the first wicket, but Ahmad struck back by scoring 20 and retiring.  However, the Clydesdale bowling was backed up by good commitment in the field – and six run outs would prove to be the difference.  Ferguslie 88 all out, as the Clydesdale team completed an undefeated 2016 – a total of 19 matches, both indoor and outdoor! 

The contest for Player of the Tournament was a tight affair between the two aforementioned team captains.  However, for key runs scored, wickets taken, run out completed and the calm way in which he led his squad to their victory, Nikhil Koteeswaran was the U12 Player of the Tournament.  

U15s: In the six team U15 Tournament, Clydesdale CC won Group A thanks to two powerful batting displays – scoring 174/3 against Poloc CC and 162/1 against the Ferguslie/Kelburne combined team. 

Group B had a very different feel to it – with the matches being much lower scoring.  The East Renfrewshire/Renfrew combined team’s win over Glasgow Accies CC was largely thanks to 7 of the 8 dismissals falling to run outs, before Clydesdale’s 2nd team chased 61 to beat Glasgow Accies.  Then, somehow, Clydesdale II defended just 69 to beat East Renfrewshire/Renfrew and win the Group – with the combined team also progressing on run rate. 

The Final Group got off to an unsurprising start as Clydesdale comfortably beat their second team, helped by Asad Khan bowling a triple-wicket maiden!  Then Clydesdale II and East Renfrewshire/Renfrew were involved in another tight contest.  Thanks to their U12 wicket-keeper Owen Gould retiring, Clydesdale II scored 107/5.  In reply, skipper Muhaymen Majeed kept his team in with a chance – but the 20 they needed off the final over would prove to be just too many.  This meant that barring a total disaster, Clydesdale had effectively secured the title before the final game.  This allowed the batters to have some real freedom and they took advantage.  There were 4 retirements (including Ross Heginbottom scoring his 30 off just 7 deliveries), as Clydesdale posted 192/3.  In reply, the combined side were bowled for just 31, with Zakki Tariq taking 3/0!  

Unsurprisingly, the Player of the Tournament came down to a choice between a few members of the winning team.  Although Asad Khan pushed him close, the Player of the Tournament was Daniel Cairns for the runs he scored and the tight overs of off-spin he bowled. 

U19s: The team which wins the U19 competition is normally the one which plays the most consistent cricket, makes the best decisions under the pressure of the often-frenetic format and has the majority of its older Juniors available for what is often their last ever youth competition.  But, even taking all this into account, it is fair to say that there was a bit of a shock in terms of the final outcome. 

Clydesdale CC won Group A, beating their second team and the Ferguslie/Hillhead combined side.  The first surprise of the tournament came when the comparatively much younger Clydesdale II side also beat the combined side. 

Group B went very much with the ‘form book’, with Poloc CC’s bowling attack giving almost nothing away in their two matches.  The East Kilbride/Uddingston combined side were restricted to 46/4 in their 10 overs and the Glasgow Accies/West of Scotland combined side just 35/7!  The match between the two combined sides was very significant as it would determine which side would progress as the best-placed runner-up.  Largely thanks to a rare indoor half century (52*) from John Oliver and 3/14 from Ruairidh Russell, the Glasgow Accies/West of Scotland team would progress (ahead of the Clydesdale II side…and by just 2 runs!). 

The much-anticipated ‘Southside Derby’ was the first game of the Final Group – with most observers expecting the match to be pivotal in deciding the outcome of the tournament.  Poloc won the toss and elected to bat.  Jawad Khan made use of the swinging new ball to pick up two early wickets and leave Poloc 28/3 off 4 overs.  However, Taimoor Ahmad and Aliyan Qureshi fought back, with both making 25 and retiring – but wickets kept falling and Poloc then collapsed from 71/4 to 82 all out, as only 12 runs were scored in the final three overs.  In reply, Sahil Kakar (18) and Zain Ashraf (27, retired) repelled the Poloc bowling attack as Clydesdale completed a much-deserved win, with 13 deliveries to spare. 

There was an immediate reaction from Poloc as they racked up the highest total of the U19 competition.  Their 140/4 was based around Ahmad and Qureshi retiring again and Amaan Ali joined them with 25 retired too.  John Oliver continued his good form with the bat – but his 27* was the only double figure score of the reply, which saw the combined side restricted to 73/6 in their 10 overs. 

These results meant that a close loss for Clydesdale in the final match might still have been enough.  However, the side produced a ruthless bowling and fielding effort to bowl the combined side out for 51, with all 6 bowlers used taking wickets.  Skipper Kallum Dhami and keeper Kakar made quick work of the chase, as Clydesdale won by 8 wickets – to complete the treble! 

The Player of the Tournament was a close contest, with six players (the previously mentioned: Ahmad, Ashraf, Dhami, Kakar, Oliver and Qureshi) from the three different Finalists all putting in a good claim for the honour.  Zain Ashraf was the eventual winner, largely thanks to a calming 27 retired in the match against Poloc, a couple of key run outs and three tournament wickets. 

Overall, it was another great four days of cricket.  It was particularly pleasing that there was a small increase in the number of players involved in the tournament and that there were nine teams, from nine different clubs, who participated in the U12 competition. 

Finally, as well as thanking all 159 players for their efforts, I would like to thank all the parents, coaches, scorers, spectators, umpires and Hutchesons’ Grammar School for their continued support of the WDJCU Super 8s. 

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