Game 4 vs Central Province U17 Development Team
We definitely had a lot of issues getting to the ground today. Arrived some two hours late! Quote of the day from our local guide, aside from the 4 times he said “we are just 10 minutes away from the ground now”, we were told “20 to 25 minutes more to go” at 10.05 am only to arrive at the ground at 11.40, having left the hotel at 7.45 am!!
Mood of the camp improved quickly on seeing the ground. Massive block of wickets. Very firm and looked good for the batsman. Great outfield and nice changing rooms. Given we had agreed to wear colours and use a white ball (which proved
to be a very cool experience – much easier for the 37 fans watching the game to see the ball, in the circa 20,000 capacity international stadium) we were allowed to bat first, albeit we only now had time for a 35 over game. Rain was again expected.
Changes to the batting order promised were made with Kent and Ryan opening. Aston was also promoted to 3 as a pinch hitter after a solid start, to spark up the run rate. The batsman all acquitted themselves well and after a positive opening partnership of 67, we posted an intimidating 231 for 5 off our 35 overs. Great 50 to Kent (59), with others all getting starts – Ryan 26, Aston 18 (including a nice 6 over cow corner), Jack 32 (2 very good reverse sweeps), Tim Dowling 44 (off 33 balls including 3 sixes), Ben 18* and Charlie 4*.
The Sri Lankan team’s innings got off to a flyer! 84/1 after 11. Hugo managed to slow the run rate, picking up their classy opener for 57. 106 for 2 off 16 but certainly game on! Hugo and Ben then put the squeeze on them and after 30 overs they were 170/6 and it looked like the game was over as they needed 62 over just 5 overs. The never say die Sri Lankan’s found themselves only needing 15 off the last over to win – some nervous boys (and parents). Jack, bowled the last over, and responded beautifully after struggling in his previous 2 overs collecting 3 wickets in the over and only conceding 4 runs. Another win to SHC. This one by 10 runs.
The boys did make hard work of this one, but came good at the right time and thoroughly enjoyed the win and the cricket experience. Some great singing on the bus followed! Must say this was the best venue so far.
Well earned rest day tomorrow. Boys certainly now have a better understanding of playing in the heat and what it does to the body. Thankfully, aside from a few minor strains and bruises everyone is well.