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Tuesday July 9th 2019

To see a slide show of Finals Day at Arundel, please click here. Click on Slide Show and then “From Beginning”. It is a large PowerPoint file so may take some time to download.

To read about Finals Day, please click here

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If the declaration game has for 15 years been an endangered species in schools cricket, then the two-day game might well have been extinct by now. Happily, not so. Enlightened Masters i/c realise that the longer game calls on skills, especially from the captain, which the unintentionally correctly called “limited” overs game does not. Like all declaration cricket, it is usually more satisfying, especially as it tends to lead to excitingly close games whereas the overs game is often very one-sided. The delicious element in the declaration game is that you often have to be prepared to lose in order to win. If demolishing the opposition (cf most other sports) is your sole aim, then overs cricket is your man, but it is often really boring for the impartial spectator (and probably the participants too, if truth be told). How many close and therefore exciting games have there been in the World Cup? I rest my case.

These reflections are prompted by three thrilling two-day games, and a draw on level scores in a single-innings declaration game. With schools released from the prison of the exam term, there is time for cricket several days a week, supposing the boys (sic) have not all been despatched to Magaluf where the trouble they cause is hidden away. At least Rock in Cornwall is nowadays spared the annual embarrassment of the entire adolescent public-school population descending on them to cause mayhem. Magaluf is designed for it.

Loughborough Grammar School and Manchester Grammar School have played their two-day game for 25 years, and this year the culmination was a last-ball victory for the latter after a tough and competitive game. Loughborough won the toss and batted, declaring at 253 for four to which Manchester replied with 208 all out. Loughborough too were bowled out in their second innings for 141 leaving Manchester with 187 to win, which they achieved on the very last ball of the two-day game with eight wickets down.

Denstone also won at the culmination of their two-day game with Langley Park, the latter declaring at 249 for eight and Denstone 344 for seven, including a double hundred partnership between M. Webber (128) and D. Afford (108). Langley Park again declared, this time at 334 for eight, a target overcome in the final over with Denstone reaching 242 for five.

St Peter’s York in playing their Old Boys (though J Bairstow was engaged elsewhere) after a declaration by both sides, found themselves successfully scoring 273 for five to win at the end of the second day.

In a traditional declaration game, The Fraser Bird XI (an invitation side) batted first against Haberdaskers’ Aske’s and declared at 239 for five, with half-centuries from Old Boys Charlie Mack and Tony Plaskow. In reply the school got off to a good start, reaching 84 before losing a wicket. Two more fell soon after and they entered the last hour requiring a further 136 for victory. A partnership of 72 for the fourth wicket between 14-year-old Niyam Shah (34) and wicket-keeper Ed Cleaver (67 not out) appeared to put the school in a decent position, although the required run-rate was now rising. After two further wickets, 21 were needed off the last two overs, and 15 were taken from the penultimate over, including three boundaries and another wicket. The final over, however, bowled by left-arm seamer George Lawrence, another Old Boy, was right on the spot and the boys could manage only another five runs. With two required for victory off the last ball the school scrambled one to leave an excellent game drawn with the scores level.

Results:

BOWS festival (Brighton, Oakham, Wellington, Sedbergh)

*Oakham 210-9 (50 overs), Sedbergh 214-5
*Oakham 265-7 (50 overs)(R Bell 140 not out), Brighton 179
*Oakham 223-8 (50 overs), Wellington (Berks) 224-4

BRUTON festival (King’s Bruton, Plymouth, Christ’s Hospital, St Albans)

Plymouth 315-9 dec, Christ’s Hospital 96
Christ’s Hospital 157 (S Holdsworth 5-66), *King’s Bruton 102 all out
St. Albans 285-9 (30 overs) (B Warren 100, F Bond 5-35), Christ’s Hospital 202-7

BABLAKE festival (Bablake, John Hampden GS, King Henry VIII)

John Hampden GS 162-9 (20 overs),*Bablake 133
John Hampden GS 167-7 (20 overs), King Henry VIII (Coventry) 133-7
John Hampden GS won the Bablake tournament

SPREW festival (St Peter’s, York, Repton, Epsom, Warwick)
*Repton 156 (40 overs), St Peter’s 160-5
Epsom 200-9 (40 overs), Warwick 121
Epsom 177 (50 overs),*Repton 178-2
Warwick 148 (50 overs), St Peter’s 151-4
Warwick 201-8 (30 overs),*Repton 205-5
St Peter’s beat Epsom (scores unknown)
St Peter’s win the festival

Other results

Old Denstonians 378-7 dec (B Burrows 106 retired),*Denstone 352-8 (J Redman 123)
Old Peterites 171 & 272-7 dec,*St Peter’s,York 175-8 dec & 273-5
*Kings Bruton 137, Clayesmore 136
MCC 175-7 dec, *Clayesmore 135-9
*Clayesmore 110, Wellsway 111-5
Old Clayesmorians 228-7 dec,*Clayesmore 194
*Clayesmore 208-8 dec, XL Club 140
MCC 227-8 dec. (J Butler 6-82),*Dauntsey’s 161
Sydney GS 110,*Dauntsey’s 111-1
*Forest 152 (J Deane 5-20), St Albans 139
St Albans 276-7 dec,*King’s Bruton 136
St Albans 320-9 dec,*Plymouth 298-8 (Beaumont 115)
St Albans 285-9 (30 overs)(B Warren 100),*Christ’s Hospital 202-7
Langley Park 249-8 dec (O Jasper 107) & 334-8 dec,*Denstone 344-7 dec (D Afford 108, M Webber 128) & 242-5
St Patrick’s (Aus) 177-8 (50 overs),*Clifton 179-9 (T Buchanan 7-26)
Fraser Bird XI 239-5 dec,*Haberdashers’ Aske’s 239-7
Winchester 171,*Radley 172-3
Loughborough GS 253-4 dec & 141, *Manchester GS 208 & 187-8
John Hampden GS 176-5 (20 overs),*Overstone Park CC 115-8
John Hampden GS 177-6 (20 overs),*Overstone Park CC 180-3

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