A busy week for the u13s with 3 games scheduled. Given the ECB Fast Bowling Directives and the heat this meant some juggling of bowlers. A good job the squad is larger than normal.

Monday 21st July

Netherlands U13 vs. South U13 @ Bacons Oval


Team: T Casson†*, R-D Castle, D March, D Mitchell, M Mohan, T Pinkerton, T Redman, H Seaden, J Spencer, N Van Lint, J Walker, E Ward

On quite a warm day near Bradwell on Sea the Netherlands won the toss and put us into bat. Ryan and Tommy opened and found it hard going – the pitch was slow and low, the outfield very slow. Balls driven along the ground stopped quickly in the stubbly grass, balls hit into the air plugged. Tommy got a delivery that moved around and beat him. Unfortunate but that good ball is always out there. 8-1

Harry came out and worked well with Ryan running in the very hot conditions as the ball rarely made it to the boundary. The scoring rate was pretty slow, Harry got a bit frustrated and was stumped trying to push the score on. 52-2

Unfortunately there was then a small collapse as wickets fell at 61, 63, 67 and 68. Dismissals were LBW, stumped and bowled showing that the batters were having difficulty getting the ball away.

An honourable exception to this was Jess who belted a solid 4 (only the second of the innings) and then got out. Jess and James added a handful of runs each but wickets still fell regularly until we were all out on 90 runs in the 36th over.

During the first innings I had chatted with the Netherlands coach and we thought 140-160 would be a good score. Clearly it would have been! However 90 runs did look at bit short.

Dylan and Nick opened the bowling and stopped the Netherlands from getting a quick start. This clearly caused some frustration as three wickets fell in a flurry when they were on 13. This included a wicket maiden for Dylan and one batter run out without facing. Not a good feeling for the first match of their tour. 13-1, 2 and 3.

Like us Netherlands had one bat who was working hard and slowly accumulating runs whilst his colleagues fell. Matt picked up a wicket and again there was a small collapse with two wickets falling on 34 and one on 45.

The match had been pretty equal early on – after 10 over Netherlands were 2 runs behind where South had been – but then Netherlands stalled a bit and at 20 overs we’d scored 57 compared to the Netherlands’ 38. However a wicket fell in the next over and the new batter started to attack the bowling successfully. In 8 overs they had caught up and the scores were level. It was getting to be a tight match – 14 runs to win or 2 wickets. Plenty of overs.

Just before drinks we got a wicket but there was still a dangerous batter there. At drinks Netherlands needed 11 runs to win, we needed 1 wicket.

31st over: 2 scored, 9 runs or 1 wicket to win

32nd over: 1 scored, 8 runs or 1 wicket to win

33rd over: 3 scored, 5 runs or 1 wicket to win

34th over: Tom to bowl

First ball 2 wides. Netherlands need 3 runs to win.
Second ball – WICKET!

South u13         90 all out
Netherlands       88 all out

South win by 2 runs.

It is amazing how a low scoring game can be so compelling. The team played really well, apart from our bowling of wides. The umpires had been told to be strict (as per the standard 40 over District games) and this had been a problem for most of our attack. At one point wides accounted for half the Netherlands score and by the end wides were both the ‘highest scorer’ and a third of their total.

Tuesday 22nd July

South U13 vs. Met Dolphins u13 @ Garon Park


Team: F Barton, T Casson†*, C Harris, E Marron, T Nichols, T Pinkerton, H Seaden, N Van Lint, J Walker, W Wheeler, L Wiggins, Z Wilson

Despite another warm day the groundskeeper was concerned the wicket was a bit low and slow having only confirmed the pitch as playable late in the morning. Given his standards are First Class County I thought the wicket would be quite lively for u13s.

Met Dolphins won the toss and elected to bat, as we would have done. Freddie and Lucas opened the bowling with their normal parsimony restricting the run rate. Figures of 7-1-12-0 and 6-2-8-0 show how good they were but I know how frustrating it is to bowl well yet get nothing in the wickets column.

After the first 10 overs the bowlers were rested with the score at 13. Cameron and Tom were next up and despite loose first overs both continued the high standard set by the openers with Tom sneaking a wicket maiden. 20-1.IMG_2137

Met Dolphins batted solidly but never really got away from us. Using the good outfield and wicket Met Dolphins did accelerate a little from the 15th over but wickets fell regularly including 3 run outs (those fielding drills must be working) and they were all out for 89.

So another low scoring innings, without the obvious issues of the long grass and the slow, low wicket from yesterday.

Taylor changing his opening pair for this match and from the start they were ahead of the run rate. Nick batted well before being caught when the score 38. Harry joined Taylor and between them they got the 90 required in the 21st over.

Although Met Dolphins were a man short this is still a good result for us. One of our players commented afterwards it was all a bit boring. Speaking as the coach I quite like a game where we restrict the opposition to a low score then get the runs without any dramas. Monday was an exciting game to watch, I like “boring”.

Met Dolphins    89 all out
South u13         90-1

South win by 9 wickets.

Thursday 24th July

South U13 vs. West u13 @ Rayleigh CC


Team: F Barton, T Casson†*, E Marron, R Martin, D Mitchell, T Pinkerton, J Spencer, N Van Lint, W Wheeler, L Wiggins, Z Wilson

The heat wave continues. Once again Taylor lost the toss and was put in to bat, which was what he would have done anyway.

Taylor and Nick opened and built a solid foundation reaching 29 in 10 overs. Not spectacular but with no wickets down hopefully something we could move on and build upon. Whether the prospect of a drinks’ break made Taylor misjudge a shot but he was dismissed just as we may have hoped Nick and he would accelerate. 46-1.

We got a bit bogged down after Taylor had gone and Nick was dismissed almost 10 overs later at 53-2.

After that we got back to scoring at about 4 an over but with wickets falling regularly we could not make up for the barren period. We finished on 121 all out, setting a target higher than the earler two matches but possibly not high enough.

West started well and despite losing 2 early wickets they were matching our scoring rate for the first 13 overs. Then for the period we stagnated they kept going and pushed the rate up to over 4 an over. Despite losing another wicket they cruised to victory in the 27th over.

We were beaten by a team that bowled better than us, especially their spinners, and who took advantage of poor deliveries better than we did. Always room to improve.

South u13         121 all out
West u13          122-3

West win by 7 wickets.

So 3 matches played, 2 won, 1 lost.