SDCC Development XI took on Portcullis CC in what was to be a 3rd time lucky game to get this match played after one was abandoned and another washed out before we even started.
Once again SDCC were offered to bat first with both sides keen to give those who have not had regularly games during the season a chance to shine. SDCC were using these games to give our u15s more match time due to the lack of other clubs in the area able to provide fixtures this year. SDCC were able to welcome National League captain, Shaun to the line-up who was requested to open the batting and stay and talk the juniors through their innings. Opening with him was Jack Baby Lamb Chops to face the new ball pairing of M Hussein (1—27) and O Thorpe (1-16).
Hussein struck first bowling Jack (3) before Fraser went out to join Shaun. Together the pair put on 15 before Fraser (8) was bowled by Portcullis captain to leave SDCC 22-2 off 8 overs.
The SDCC game plan was to keep one junior batting with one senior so next to go out was George with a previous senior high score of 5 runs to his name. However, the virtue of this type of match was clear to see as Shaun expertly talked George through his innings, as George gradually grew in confidence picking up runs every so often. To his credit, Shaun could have taken the bowling apart at any time but played his role as a mentor expertly by making just enough runs at the start of each over before taking the single to give our juniors batting time.
Despite the rotation of the bowlers as Portcullis used the game to give all their players an opportunity to bowl, Shaun was able to move to 51* before retiring at the end of 20 overs. SDCC 74-2.
Ahklaq took his place and he too relished the opportunity to be a mentor as he continued where Shaun left off. Together they helped George ease to 45 runs and with just 2 overs remaining all SDCC players and spectators were on edge willing George to his first senior 50. Alas it was not to be aw Thorpe returned and George gave a simple catch to Mitchell. With a standing ovation to see him off the field from both the Portcullis and SDCC players, George was able to obtain his highest senior that was nine times more than his next highest score (as he pointed out to us). It was a very proud moment and the confidence that this innings will have given George for the future will be there for us all to see. SDCC 161-3 after a partnership of 87 runs.
Thomas joined Ahklaq and the pair only had 8 balls to get as many runs as they could. Thomas was able to pick up some quick runs as we entered the final over on 161-3 and Ahklaq on 39. Ahklaq selfless took a single of the 2nd ball and let Thomas take the strike. However, Thomas was able to leave the last two balls for Ahklaq who promptly hit the final two balls for 4 and 6 to bring up another 50 and allow SDCC to close the innings on 175-3 after 40 overs.
Tea was served before Portcullis opened their innings with their captain Mitchell (11) and Collinson Snr (2). For SDCC, Ross opened with Robin. Ross struck quickly beating Collinson for pace to leave Portcullis 2-1 which brought in R Collinson Jnr to the crease.
Mitchell and Collinson were able to see of the new ball pair before they were replaced by Fraser and Thomas. Both kept the runs tight before Mitchell was bowled by Fraser with one that probably kept a bit low. Portcullis 25-2.
With the dismissal of Mitchell, it was going to be hard for Portcullis to chase the runs as Mitchell has been a star player with both bat and bowl for many years and is a consistent nominee as the player of the year in the Grades. However, the challenge was set for the SDCC juniors to see if they could bowl all the remaining overs without the need for any of the seniors to bowl.
Dawson replaced Mitchell and was soon caught by Shaun off the bowling of Thomas. However, having started his walk off, the captain asked the umpire whether it was a bump ball or not and with the uncertainty of what happened, Dawson was recalled to continue his innings. Unfortunately for Portcullis he was unable to make the most of his opportunity as Fraser (2-14) was able to bowl him to leave Portcullis 37-3.
Bob “Chin Music” Adie replaced Dawson as SDCC rotated the bowlers to bring on Jack (2-5) and Ruben (1-12). Together Adie and Collinson moved Portcullis to 58-3 but the bowlers were able to keep a tight rein on the scoring rate as Portcullis had already used up 23 overs. Jack (having bowled more overs for captains other than his dad!) was to strike first, dismissing Collinson Jnr (24) LBW before teaming up with Rufus to have Adie caught at slip to the astonishment of all concerned including the keeper, who appeared to drop more than he caught and gave nearly 15% of the Portcullis runs in byes….
A Blackwell was joined by A Dobey who sources heard was asking permission on whether it was fair or not to hit Ruben for six. Challenge accepted. Unfortunately, 3 balls into the over, Dobey was only able to loop a catch to one of the best fielders in SDCC for Ewan to pick up a catch and Ruben to celebrate. Portcullis 63-6 after 30 overs.
With 112 required in the last 10 overs, the SDCC juniors were further challenged to not only bowl out the remaining overs between themselves but to try and take the last 4 wickets.
Ross returned and was able to bowl Blackwell (14) but despite the rotation of bowlers with Ewan and George coming on, Portcullis were able to bat out the overs to close their innings on 88-7 to give SDCC a win by 87 runs.
Another win for the Development XI who having lost the first game of the season, have remained unbeaten for the rest of 2016 (with one more game to play).
Special mention to Shaun who was able to provide constant and invaluable guidance to the juniors both during our batting and bowling innings ably assisted by Aker and Robin.
Portcullis CC MoM: R Collinson Jnr for his 24 runs.
SDCC MoM: Easy choice here. George for his senior best 45 runs.
Highlight of the Game: Lots of highlights from the game that included C Poolman suggesting the leg spin bowling from one of our players was one of the hardest he had ever faced (and it was not regular leggie George) but the most pleasing aspect was that 36 out of the 40 overs were bowled by our SDCC juniors who finished with the following excellent figures: