New Williamfield (Stirling County CC) played host to the Finals’ Day of the Scotland Region in the Vitality U15 Qualifying Cup, on Sunday 30th June 2019. Despite some early morning rain, a great effort from the host ground crew saw only a minimal number of overs lost from the two semi-finals.
On the upper oval, Aberdeenshire batted first and scored 83/8 from their 18 overs – Andrew McLean top scoring with 31 and Daniel Bryen taking 3/18. In reply, Watsonians completed a successful chase in 11 overs, for the loss of 3 wickets – with Bryen scoring 30.
On the lower oval it was Gordonians who batted first – scoring 82/8 from their 17 overs, with Isaac Foley taking 3/11. In reply, Carlton looked to be in control as Murray Johnson’s 36 propelled them into a strong position. However, with Ethan Powell taking 3/17, Gordonians took regular enough wickets to set up a close finish. Carlton would prevail – finishing 83/7, with 9 deliveries to spare.
Following a typically high quality tea from the hosts, the final and 3/4 play-off took place concurrently. In the 3/4 play-off, Aberdeenshire batted first and they had no answer to Pranav Saravanan’s 3.4-0-14-6, finishing 75 all out in the 16th over. Saravanan then continued his fine individual performance, scoring 32* – as Gordonians won, by 9 wickets, in the 9th over.
In the final, Carlton’s total of 115/6 (20) was set up by 53* (retired) from Murray Johnson – including the only six struck in the entire day’s play! In reply, George Baltazar’s 38 gave Watsonians hope – but, despite boundaries in the final few overs, they couldn’t quite score the 11 needed off the final 6 deliveries, with Carlton emerging victorious by 4 runs.
Congratulations to Carlton CC who are the Scotland Region winners – and good luck to them as they progress into the further rounds of the competition. Finally, thanks must go to Stirling County CC for hosting the day, to the umpires who stood, to the coaches and scorers, to the large travelling support from all four clubs and to the players for putting on a great display of cricket.