What dispiriting weather for the finals day at Lord?s (Nursery ground) of the National Twenty20 competition. We had as our official photographer Patrick Eagar, the doyen of his profession, and I reproduce the most enduring impression of the day: hanging about waiting.
However, we had all of nine balls in total, which produced a magnificent burst of fine strokeplay by Will Chapples of Sedbergh including this pulled six, a wonderful example of balance and control.
The finals day is being re-arranged for September.
The previous week, on a damp and overcast morning at Lord’s, Eton won what appeared to be an important toss, and invited Harrow to bat in a 55 overs per side match. The ball swung early on, and Jack Warburton?quickly had the?in-form Robbie White caught behind. Andrew Boyd and Michael Cousens were soon in their stride, however, and made batting look deceptively easy. They had added 76 in good time when Rory MacDonagh had the former smartly stumped by Sam Browne for an attractive 32. Younis Sert, the captain and last year’s centurion, joined the fray and runs continued to flow freely, Cousens reaching a fine fifty,?so that at lunch, taken at 35 overs, Harrow were very well placed at 131 for two.? The introduction of the slow bowling of Henry Hayes made the crucial breakthrough?immediately after lunch, as he bowled Cousens for 61 with a ball which moved down the slope. Sert and Nick Castleman freely added 20 with no hint of what was to come, when Harrow lost five wickets for just two runs (three to Hayes and two to MacDonagh) to reduce them to 159 for eight. They were eventually dismissed for 182 in the 51st over, Hayes taking a remarkable five for 19 in eight overs.
Eton’s reply started positively with Hayes and Teddy James adding 29 before the excellent fast bowling of Douglas Pratt in partnership with David Bunting reduced them to 35 for three. Ed Oram and Nituna Senaratne began nervously to rebuild the innings, but ran between the wickets well to keep the score ticking over. Skipper Oram then became increasingly fluent and reached 50 off just 53 balls. They had added 128 in 32 overs when Bunting returned to have Oram caught with just 18 to win. Senaratne continued his graceful wristy innings to finish unbeaten on 65 as Eton won by four wickets with 17 overs to spare. It had been an enthralling match, since the momentum changed several times, but the three overs of mayhem in the middle of the Harrow innings were ultimately decisive.
Higher Mathematics was required to determine the winner of the Silk Trophy, held this year at Oundle. Fortunately a Maths teacher was on hand to give ball-by-ball guidance, though he was also scoring at the time! Three schools tied on points (Eton, Shrewsbury and the touring Grey High School from South Africa), and Eton won the trophy for a thirteenth time on their superior net run rate. In an intriguing final few overs, even if Shrewsbury lost they still?led Eton on net run rate and could have won the trophy. With nine wickets down, they had either to preserve their final wicket on 205 or reach a score of 223 runs all out to win the competition. They chose the former option but lost the game with an LBW in the penultimate over. The net run rate system used in this competition was the same as in the National Schools Twenty20 competition, where wickets are more important than speed of scoring.
Net run rate also determined the winner of the BOWS festival ?(Brighton, Oakham, Wellington and Sedbergh). Three schools had two wins apiece: Sedbergh beat Oakham but lost to Wellington only for Oakham to beat Wellington, with all three schools beating Brighton. The winner of the festival was Wellington. Unfortunately, the scores are not available and are therefore not shown below.
Woodhouse Grove had a two-match tour to the Midlands. Tom Cummins finished the season in style with 110 against Loughborough Grammar School and followed this up with 102 against Warwick. Oliver Hardaker also scored a century in a total of? 233 for four in 40 overs, but this was not enough to thwart the home side who won by four wickets
Rugby?s Jake Kings ended the year with 1044 runs and 41 wickets, but Jack Mynott of Dauntsey?s finished on 999 after scoring 143 against an Invitation XI. Others to have reached that landmark so far reported are Anthony Alleyne from Dulwich (1231 and 17 wickets), Tom Kohler-Cadmore of Malvern (1010 and 13 wickets) and Solihull?s captain Dominic Harding with 1271.
At the Monkton Combe festival, the home side were dismissed for a modest 149 and The Leys were coasting to victory at 132 for two. They then lost seven wickets for seven runs (139 for nine), but the last pair held on to score the eleven runs needed for victory.
Old Bancroftians’ CC 242?6 dec, *Bancroft’s 140-8
MCC 207-8 dec, *Christ’s Hospital 133
Bedford Modern 233-6 (40 overs), *Trent 234-4
Clayesmore 84 (40 overs), *Exeter School 86-1
*Plymouth 172 (40 overs), Clayesmore 147
*Plymouth 159-8 (20 overs), Clayesmore 120
Cheadle Hulme 121 (35 overs), *Denstone 123-4
MCC 262-4 dec, *Bedford Modern 244 (N Barden 105)
Bedford Modern 193, *Nottingham HS 194-4
Wisbech 195-4 (40 overs), *Bedford Modern 196-3
Old Novicensian’s 242-8 dec, *Norwich 206-7
(Two-day game) Geelong GS 536-9 (E Ratcliffe 211), *Norwich 159
MCC 258-4 dec, *Bancroft’s 244-6 (N Jacob 130)
Granta CC 257, *Bancroft’s 73-0?(rain)
XL club 165, *Dauntsey’s 166-3
Queen’s, Taunton 234-7 (50 overs), *Bristol GS 138
*Queen’s, Taunton 188, Old Queenians 194-4 (R Catchpole 111 not out)
Old Ratcliffians 177, *Ratcliffe 124
Barnard Castle 88, *Durham 93-1
Woodhouse Grove 212-9 dec (T Cummins 110), *Loughborough GS 113
Woodhouse Grove 233-4 (40 overs) (T Cummins 102, O Hardaker 101 not out), *Warwick 235-6
(Two-day game) Melbourne GS 282-8 dec, *Eton 207
Caulfield Grammar, Melbourne 154 (50 overs), *Eton 158-3
Oundle Rovers 243-7 (50 overs), Oundle 244-6
Perse 239-9 dec, Oundle 240-6 (H Ramsden 102)
Geelong GS (Aus) 250 v Oundle (rain)
Paarl Boys? HS (RSA) 195-9 dec (A Cossor 6-39), Oundle 197-3
Oundle 207-6 (40 overs), Loughborough GS 171-9
Radley 211-6 dec, Oundle 140-8
Oundle 257-4 dec (H Ramsden 150 not out), Felsted 194-8
Durham 138-7 (20 overs), *QEGS Wakefield 103
Monkton Combe festival
St Paul?s 132-9 dec, *Monkton Combe 121-6
Fettes 170-5 (J Collister106 not out), *Monkton Combe 172-3
St Paul?s 193-4, Fettes 131-2
*Monkton Combe 149, Leys 150-9
Malvern 117, Rugby 118-9
Blundell?s 136, Rugby 138-2
Downside 118, Rugby 119-0
King’s Bruton Festival
King’s Bruton 145? St Peter’s York? 146-2
Christ’s Hospital 188, City of London Freemen’s 123-9
City of London Freemen’s 237-8 dec,?St Peter’s York 201-9
Christ’s Hospital 239-6 dec, King’s Bruton 233-9
King’s Bruton 129, City of London Freemen’s 131-1
St Peter’s York 238, Christ’s Hospital 153
St Peter’s win the Festival
Silk Trophy at Oundle
Eton 142 (50 overs), Grey HS (RSA)146-8
Eton 220 (50 overs), *Oundle 188 (J Warburton 5-41)
Eton 271-7 (50 overs), Shrewsbury 205
Oundle 141, Grey HS (RSA) 142-5
Shrewsbury 177-9 (50 overs), Oundle 172 (H Ramsden 113)
Eton win the festival
Durham 239, Perse 79 (J Gaff 5-16)
Barnard Castle 88, Durham 93-1