The season launched itself in style, not just because of the glorious weather (where is that ash cloud?), but with some wonderful performances.
Ben Duckett, son of a Stowe housemistress, was mentioned in my Times column three years ago when he scored a double century for his prep school, Winchester House. Having now graduated to Stowe, even as a fifteen-year-old, he has made a prodigious start in the 1st XI.
Ben came to the crease at four for two, soon to be eight for three, against Malvern. He finished on 151 not out at the declaration of 263 for eight. Malvern were still in the game at 92 for four, with Sam Harwood, who had earlier taken five for 58, contributing a very positive 90, but eventually the two sides settled for a draw. The picture also shows first-class umpire Pasty Harris.
Last week also saw the launch of the new National Twenty20 competition, sponsored by HMC schools cricket, Oxbridge balls and MKK sports. It involves some 75% of all HMC schools in England plus several state schools. It is hoped to include other parts of the UK in the future. (LINK).
A striking performance by Nick Kent of St George?s, Weybridge opened the competition. The opening bowler conceded no runs from the bat in taking five for two in his four overs, to bowl out Kingston Grammar School for 63, the home side having accumulated 178 for three.
The first large round on Sunday, in the South region, saw some surprising results, in the best giant-killing FA Cup tradition. Very good for the game, and indeed the new competition. In the Tonbridge group, The Judd School triumphed over Tonbridge, The Skinners? School and Sevenoaks. St Edmund?s won against local rivals King?s, Canterbury and Dover College; and St Bede?s overcame Eastbourne, Sutton Valence and Lancing. For details, see below.
In more traditional games, Eton?s captain Will Vanderspar, who scored 1064 runs at 88.66 in 2008 and a more modest 838 in 2009, looks set to overhaul those performances by the rate he is going: 154 against the Three Counties Academy, 145 not out to defeat I Zingari (chasing 249 for 9 declared), followed by 141 towards a declaration of 301 for nine in a drawn game with Cranleigh (235 for seven).
The first double century of the season was recorded by Craig Meschede of King?s Taunton, currently on Somerset?s books but having a South African background, with 210 in a two-day game against Shrewsbury. The game itself petered out into a dull draw (see below) but it would be lovely to see a revival of this very rare species of contest, not least as an antidote to the exponential growth of the slog game. He followed this with 120 in 48 balls in the West Country?s first round of the National Twenty20 competition.
Andreas Moeller for Bristol Grammar School scored a remarkable 188 with 22 fours and eight sixes as BGS scored 238 runs in the 2nd half of the innings to record a daunting 338 for seven in 50 overs against Taunton. The visitors fell 101 runs short.
There was also high scoring at Uppingham where the home side declared after 57.2 overs at 298 for one, following a second wicket stand between Henry Hughes (128 not out) and Shiv Thakor (100 not out). The target proved too much for St Edward?s, Oxford but they emerged with a creditable draw on 142 for six.
Year 11 Chris Aniskowicz for King?s Ely scored a brilliant 129 from 43 balls, his second fifty coming in only 17 balls. The innings contained ten sixes and 13 fours. Despite his heroic performance leading to a total of 254 for eight in 35 overs, visitors Kimbolton overhauled this formidable target for the loss of six wickets.
Slow left-armer Ben Stevens celebrated his first game as Winchester?s captain by recording a hat-trick, with final figures of four for 21. In February, he played for Jersey in the ICC Division five tournament in Nepal.
St George?s, Weybridge were reduced to 95 for seven against Sussex Martlets. Ben Rooney, coming in at nine hit a chanceless 105 not out off just 83 balls assisted by Christian Hanson (56 on debut) to help post a score of 244 for nine declared. In reply, Tom Harris batted superbly for his 100 but Alex Colville?s left-arm spin kept the Sussex Martlets charge for victory in check by taking five for 56. The Martlets finished 19 short with seven down.
Woodhouse Grove?s captain Alex Hewitt scored a magnificent 122 not out as they successfully chased RGS Lancaster?s substantial total of 267 for seven. The winning runs were struck with two balls remaining in an exciting finish to what proved to be a particularly high scoring match, on an unseasonably warm April day at Lancaster .
St Albans found a somewhat unlikely star in their second-change modest medium-pacer Tom Kight. The very tall bowler (see picture) too five for nine against Enfield Grammar School, the excellent cricketing state school who put out 11 teams each week. His five wickets included a hat-trick. Before this, 14-year-old George Scott had scored 104 and Asif Rajah 110 not out in a 40-over total of 285 for three, which Enfield were unable to match.
*Ardingly 241-9 (50 overs), Christ?s Hospital 157
*Christ?s Hospital 228-4 (40 overs), Hereford Cathedral School 148 (S Whittingham 5-14)
*Stowe 263-8 dec (B Duckett 151 not out, S Harwood 5-58), Malvern 200-7 (S Harwood 90)
Bloxham 179-7 (45 overs), *Stowe 180-4 (38.4 overs)
Magdalen College School 164, *Bradfield 165-5
Reading 148 (G Graham 5-20), *Bradfield 151-3
Berkshire Gents 235-5 (50 overs), *Bradfield 231-9
*St Edward?s, Oxford 158, Rugby 111
*St Edward?s, Oxford 192, Oxfordshire Under-16 183-9
*Sedbergh 247-7 (40 overs), QEGS Penrith 99
*Woodhouse Grove 203-5 (40 overs), Huddersfield New College 159
*Haberdashers’ Aske’s 275-7 (40 overs), Mill Hill 174
*Denstone 157-5 (30 overs), Stafford GS 148-6
*Merchant Taylors’, Northwood 200-7 dec, Watford GS 149-4
*Winchester 215-3 (35 overs), Portsmouth GS 121
Grasshoppers CC 138 (B Scott 5-36), *St George?s, Weybridge 139-1
Monkton Combe 184-4 (40 overs), *Dauntsey?s 187-4 (Peak Sports League)
Merchiston 230-9 (40 overs), *Loretto 29 (P Legget 5-10)
Charterhouse 126 (50 overs), *Winchester 127-4
Trent 139 (40 overs), *Uppingham 141-1
Beauchamp College 151-9 (40 overs), *Uppingham 152-5
*Uppingham 298-1 dec, (H Hughes 128 not out, S Thakor 100 not out), St. Edward’s, Oxford 142-6
I Zingari 249-9 dec, *Eton 252-2 (W Vanderspar 145 not out)
Eton 301-9 dec (W Vanderspar 141), *Cranleigh 235-7 (W Langmead 123)
*King’s, Ely 254-8 (35 overs) (C Aniskowicz 129), Kimbolton 258-6
RGS Guildford 267-8 (50 overs) (N Cooper 155 not out), *Reigate GS 217-9
*Durham 194-5 (40 overs), Giggleswick 191-8
Loretto 70, *Durham 71-1
*Repton 318-4 (50 overs) (S Graham 101 not out), Malvern 138
*West Buckland 212-5 (35 overs), Shebbear 48
*Winchester 209-7 dec (C Portz 100 not out), Free Foresters 106
St Paul?s 239-6 (50 overs), *St George?s, Weybridge 232-6
*St George?s, Weybridge 244-9 dec (B. Rooney 105*), Sussex Martlets 225-7 (T. Harris 100, A. Colville 5-56)
Kingswood 154 (40 overs), *Dauntsey?s 157-4 (Peak Sports League)
*Queen’s, Taunton 231-5 (40 overs), Filton College 233-4
*Monmouth 204-8 (50 overs), Queen’s, Taunton 141
*RGS Lancaster 267-7 dec, Woodhouse Grove 271-5 (A Hewitt 122 not out)
Ratcliffe 212-4 (35 overs) (M Phillips 160 not out), *Mount St Mary?s 36
Old Blues 222-7 dec, *Christ?s Hospital 126-7
Kelvinside Academy 29, *High School of Glasgow 30-0
*King Henry’s, Coventry 136, Denstone 141-2
Cokethorpe 164-5, King’s, Gloucester 165-3 (S Kelly 102 not out)
Hereford Cathedral School 112, King’s, Gloucester 116-0
St Edward?s, Oxford 219-7 (50 overs), *Bradfield 212
*Oratory 225-5 (50 overs), Bradfield 211
St Edward’s, Oxford 219-7 (50 overs), *Bradfield 212
*Tonbridge 199, Dulwich 200?6
Dr Challoner?s GS 154-5 (30 overs), *St Albans 156-5
Bedford Modern 286-4 dec (G Thurstance 133 not out), *Haileybury 246
*Bristol GS 338-7 (50 overs) (A Moeller 188), Taunton 237
Bromsgrove 148 (50 overs), *RGS Worcester 149-7
Monmouth 176 (40 overs), *RGS Worcester 177-4 (Chesterton Cup)
*Sevenoaks 102 (35 overs)(C Williams 5-22), Judd 103-1
*Sevenoaks 225-3 (35 overs), Old Oaks 144-6
Caterham 70-9 (20 overs), *Sevenoaks 74-3
*St Edmund?s Canterbury 262-5 dec, Sevenoaks 210-9
Wellingborough 197-7 (50 overs), *Magdalen College School 198-9
MCC 201-4 dec, *Shrewsbury 151
Shrewsbury 270-9 dec, *King?s, Taunton 311-6 (C Meschede 210 not out), Shrewsbury 317-4 (J Bailey 107, J Hudson-Williams 100 not out) (two-day match; no fourth innings)
*Shrewsbury 224-7 (50 overs), RGS Worcester 215-3
*Shrewsbury 259-4 (45 overs) , Shropshire Cricket Board Under-17 125-5
Shrewsbury 190-9 (50 overs), *King Edward?s, Birmingham 77
*St Albans 285-3 (40 overs)(A Rajah 110 not out, G Scott 104), Enfield GS 102 (T Kight 5-9)
*KEQMS Lytham 47, Sedbergh 48-2
Barnard Castle 112, *Sedbergh 113-0
Glos CCC Under-17 160-9 (50 overs), *Clifton 161-3
*Fettes 209-7 (45 overs), Edinburgh Academy 125
NATIONAL Twenty20 South Region Group 1
Bromsgrove 111?7, Oratory 112?2
Dr Challoner?s GS 99?7, Wolverhampton GS 84?8
Dr Challoner?s GS 98-6, Oratory 99-4
The Oratory win South Region Group 1
NATIONAL Twenty20 South Region Group 2
Bradfield 90 (15 overs), Portsmouth GS 91-4
Lord Wandsworth College 74 (15 Overs), Abingdon 75-4
Portsmouth GS 111-8 (20 overs), Abingdon 115-5
Abingdon win South Region Group 2 but Portsmouth GS also go through on Net Run Rate
NATIONAL Twenty20 South Region Group 3
St Edward?s, Oxford 132-9, Magdalen College School 133-3
Magdalen College School 118-/9, Dauntsey’s 122-4
St Edward?s, Oxford 142-6, Dauntsey’s 127-6
Dauntsey?s win South Region Group 3
NATIONAL Twenty20 South Region Group 4
Dover 96, King’s, Canterbury 97-0
St Edmund’s, Canterbury 203-2, Dover College 201-4
King’s, Canterbury 157-7, St Edmund’s, Canterbury 158-3
St Edmund?s win South Region Group 4
NATIONAL Twenty20 South Region Group 5
Sutton Valence 136-7, St Bede?s 137-7 (18.5 overs)
St Bede?s 155-5 (20 overs), Eastbourne 138-8 (20 overs)
Lancing 102 (20 overs), Eastbourne 103-3
St Bede?s?s win South Region Group 5
NATIONAL Twenty20 South Region Group 6
Tonbridge 180?4, Skinners? 53
Sevenoaks 126, Judd 127-7
Skinners? 132-5, Sevenoaks 136-2
Tonbridge 114, Judd 115-7
The Judd School win South Region Group 6
NATIONAL Twenty20 South Region Group 10
*St George?s, Weybridge 178-3, Kingston GS 63 (N Kent 5-2)
*KCS Wimbledon 96, St George?s, Weybridge 97-2
KCS Wimbledon 187-4, *Kingston GS 137-5
St George?s win South Region Group 10
Other NATIONAL Twenty20 first round matches take place within the next two weeks.