Match report - OLCC U8 vs
By Tim Francis
The U8s start with a win!
Not just the first match of the season but I think the first match of their lifetime for most, if not all, of the OLCC team!
We were greeted by an arctic wind blowing down across the Crockham Hill ground and the number of anoraks and ski jackets tells the story of the early morning temperatures. The sun did however come out intermittently and treated the crowd to the odd warm spell as the match went on.
The players were ready. The first outdoor training session on Friday was impacted by terrible rain but the players commitment to train through the miserable conditions paid dividends as they all seemed to be on form in what was a great team effort.
Captain Romily Luck won the toss and elected to bat no doubt thinking of setting an ominous target for Horley.
For those newcomers to U8 cricket, a batting team starts on 200 and the key normally lies in not losing too many wickets (it is minus 4 runs for each wicket lost) when batting and minimising the extras when bowling (the batting team gets an extra 2 runs for every wide and no ball bowled).
Castell and Enston were selected as the openers and got the team off to a solid start. According to the Horley scorer they had selected their strongest bowler to open so it was testing times for the batsmen. An aggregate score of 22 runs after their 4 overs without losing a wicket meant that OLCC were off and running. There was some good calling and running between the wickets which was encouraging to see.
Next in came Francis and Hindley who shared a terrific partnership. Francis smashed 5 fours down the hill and they shared a partnership of 35 including the loss of one wicket - our first - which came in the seventh over.
An aggregate score of 257 for one after 8 overs meant that Horley were under the cosh. Hemingway and Vaughan came next and shared another 35 run partnership for the loss of only one wicket. 4 fours from Hemingway and some excellent running between the wickets and ‘stealing’ of byes kept the pressure on. They were alert to mis-fields and overthrows and communicated well scampering between the wickets.
Nebel and Luck came to the crease with the score on 292-2 and batted very well without losing a wicket and moved the score onto 324-2. Sensible calling was the key as they ran 10 singles to go with the captains four which raced past the outfielders and down the hill. They were alert when close fielders had the ball and avoided the temptation to run which so often leads to the chaotic scenes so common in U8 cricket.
The last pair of Hansen and Cox strode to the middle knowing that sensible accumulation and not losing too many wickets would put OLCC in a strong position with a good total to bowl out.
They both delivered against some difficult bowling. The opposition scorer pointed out that the first four balls of the last over had yielded four dot balls and that we could be on for a maiden over only for the batting pair to scamper a very quick couple of runs. Cox demonstrating his speed with excellent backing up. Their speed of running put pressure on the fielders who then contributed an additional 4 from overthrows! There was to be no maiden and OLCC finished on 343-3. An excellent team batting effort but now came the tricky bit of bowling in the windy conditions.
Horley started with their strongest batting pair and marched out to try and overhaul the imposing Oxted score.
Hemingway opened up from the pavilion end and showed Horley just what they would be up against by clean bowling the opening batsmen with the first ball of the innings! A tidy first over with 4 runs and a wicket meant that Horley didn’t progress from their starting score of 200. Vaughan was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket when the Horley opener went aerial with the batsmen instead picking up a couple of fours. Nebel and Enston finished off the overs to the opening Horley pair keeping it tight with Enston picking up a wicket, again clean bowled, with the last ball of his over. It was claimed to be the 7th ball of the over but that didn’t matter - it was agreed that it should go in the scorebook to even up an earlier umpiring/scoring error - and so Enston had his first OLCC wicket. Well bowled!
The first pair walked off with the score at 222-2 and Cox and Luck took over the mantel conceding only 6 runs from their two overs that included a direct hit run out from Hemingway at gulley.
Francis and Hindley then turned the screw, again conceding a miserly 6 runs between them, and both also picking up their first OLCC wickets. Horley were 249 after their opening 10 overs in comparison to the OLCC score of 276 at the same stage.
Every bowler came back for their second over which was encouraging to see and OLCC picked up another 6 wickets during the second half of the innings. Horley were never up with the run rate and lost wickets far too frequently – something that OLCC had managed to avoid. Castell and Hindley picked up a wicket in each of their second overs, and 2 wickets fell in each of Cox and Enston’s second overs which meant that Horley finished on 295 having lost 11 wickets in total.
A great first match for the U8’s and smiles all round afterwards. Horley were a great visiting team. Both sides umpires helped the players to acclimatise to life in the middle and all players benefitted from the match, while having fun, which I guess is the whole point!
Thanks to all parents who helped with tea, warming up of the batting pairs and general crown control – a good team effort all round…….