There has been some extraordinary cricket in the last two weeks (also see last week?s results). Almost certainly a record for 50-overs schools cricket, which is of fairly recent invention, was the match between Solihull and Nottingham High School. Solihull batted first and scored an astonishing 408 for five, led by Chris Williamson with 263 (his first ever century), including 12 sixes and 29 fours. He was run out. In reply, Nottingham High School were bowled out for 401 with three balls of the game remaining. Sam Storey scored 130 before also being run out and Sam Johnson 118. With an over to go, Nottingham needed 12 to win with nine wickets down. On the third ball, the last man was stunped. 809 runs in a one-innings game must surely be the highest in a 50-overs schools match and the Wisden experts are looking into it.
Last week this column was extolling the virtues of the two-day game and there was further evidence of its magnificence when Wellingborough entertained, yes, Nottingham High School. The visitors batted first and declared at a modest 333 for seven, Paldip Sidhu scoring 100. Wellingborough in reply declared at 484 for five in only 69 overs. We have had many tales of players falling just short of a major target this year, and Jack Johnson was another, a victim of unexpected low bounce on 199. He and the captain, Primesh Patel with 151, put on 249 for the second wicket. This left Nottingham with 151 to score in 35 overs and the game ended in a slightly dull draw with the visitors reaching 124 for four.
One of the key elements of the declaration game is the art of captaincy and two recent school v club games suggest remarkable astuteness on the part of the adult captains. Denstone ? who enjoyed an unbeaten season with coach Jane Morris – were 251 for eight chasing MCC?s declaration of 255 for five, with one ball remaining. Chris Beech scored 109. On the last ball, number ten James Warren hit a four to record a draw with scores level. Even better ? though perhaps logically challenged – was Alex Smith of St Edward?s, Oxford who, with nine wickets down chasing South Oxford Amateurs? 254 for seven declared, hit a six from the last ball to draw on level scores and take his own total to 133 not out.
King?s College, Taunton was the most successful school in Wisden?s league table last year and they have continued to dominate, losing only to Millfield by one run. The highlight of the 2010 season was the partnership of Craig Meschede with 202 and Alex Barrow?s 131 not out to reach 302 in 37 overs against Monmouth, falling 18 short of the record 340 set by Jos Buttler and Alex Barrow two years ago. In the last three weeks, five of the team have scored centuries, Todd Barrett, Miles Lenygon and Alex Brown joining Meschede and Barrow, who also recorded hundreds against Filton Academy.
Oundle?s captain Rory Osmond scored two hundreds in two days and amassed 3135 runs in four seasons. Jack Oughtred, who took all ten wickets last week against The Perse School, scored 101 v Eton.
Solihull 408-5 (50 overs)(C Williamson 263), Nottingham HS 401
Nottingham HS 333-7 dec (S Sidhu 100) & 130-3, *Wellingborough 484-5 dec (J Johnson 199)(P Patel 151)
South Oxfordshire Amateurs 254-7 dec, *St Edward?s, Oxford 254-9 (A Smith 133 not out)
*Eton 255, St Peter’s Adelaide 429-9 dec (A Ross 204 not out), *Eton 189-5
*Eton 253-7 (50 overs), Scotch College (Aus) 257-5 (C O’Beirne 104 not out)
Hilton 271-5 (50 overs), *Eton 272-5
Oundle 247 (50 overs)(J Oughtred 101), *Eton 249-7
Shrewsbury 209 (50 overs), *Eton 211-4 (W Vanderspar 125)
Old Denstonians 279-4 (50 overs)(J Snape 124 not out), *Denstone 285-9
Warwick 215-9 &161,*Woodhouse Grove 159 & 218-3
*Exeter School 236-4 (40 overs), Haberdashers’ Aske’s 237-4
Haberdashers’ Aske’s 295-5 (40 overs) (B Letts 120 not out), *Exeter CC 195-9
*Devon Dumplings CC 293-8 (40 overs), Haberdashers’ Aske’s 295-8 (B Letts 143)
Haberdashers’ Aske’s 264-5 (50 overs), *Devon Under-16 243
MCC 256-7, *St Edward?s, Oxford 200-8
The Martyrs 245-7, *St Edward?s, Oxford 246-3 (G Chaffer 109 not out, A Smith 107)
Shrewsbury 303-5 (D Thomas 100 not out), Oundle 234
Oundle 248 t (J Oughtred 100), Eton 249-8
Hilton 216, Oundle 217-4
Eton won the trophy
King?s, Bruton festival
St Peter?s, York 274-7 dec. (J Halstead 105), *King?s Bruton 245-7
Christ?s Hospital 215, City of London Freemean ?s 133
*King?s Bruton 110, Christ?s Hospital 111-3
St Peter?s, York 199-9 dec., City of London Freemen ?s 103-9
City of London Freemen ?s 170, *King?s Bruton 145
St Peter?s York 279-9 dec (S Streeting 5-73), Christ?s Hospital 280-5 (S Whittingham 130)
Christ?s Hospital won the festival.