Breath-taking isn’t in it. In the North region final of the National Schools T20 competition, where the winner would go through to Arundel, Sedbergh and Myerscough (Manchester) tied. After much consultation of the regulations and a slightly faulty reading of them, they played a Super Over. Happily the winner in both (just 10 played 9) was Sedbergh who yet again claim their place in the sun next Sunday. They are the most regular contestants of all on Finals Day and worthy winners in 2017.
I am grateful to David Moss, the North West regional organiser and former Chairman of HMC schools cricket who kindly provided this report of the match.
Myerscough Manchester won the toss and invited Sedbergh to bat. Sedbergh got off to an excellent start thanks to Evan Williams who scored 54. Myerscough fought back in the middle stages of the game but a partnership of 54 in the last three overs between Hugh Tyser and Tom Douglas seemed to have taken the match beyond Myerscough as Sedbergh scored 207 for five.
Although Myerscough lost a couple of early wickets they were kept in the game by Josh Little whose 71 came from 41 balls and Max Fisher 31 from 18 balls. When it came to the last over 19 runs were required. A single from the first ball was followed by 6 4 4 0. With 3 needed from the last ball there was a wide followed by a scrambled 2 leaving the scores tied. Dan Newton’s 42 from 20 balls proving not quite enough.
Later in the afternoon Sedbergh defeated Worksop College (North East champions) to become North champions. All scores below.
Another high-scoring 20-over contest between KCS Wimbledon and St George’s Weybridge featured some tremendous batting by the latter’s Oliver Pacali (67 not out from 28 balls) and Daniel Ormond with 42 from 30 balls – 102 off the last eight overs – to reach the very challenging score of 192 for four. Maybe the searing heat affected the fielders of both sides but KCS kept in touch and achieved 10 per over in the last 12 to sneak home on the penultimate ball. This was mainly due to an extraordinary knock of Pranav Khera with 120 not out.
Very sadly many schools had to withdraw from the National Schools competition at a very late stage; that is, having been successful in earlier rounds. The most unfortunate of these was certainly Wellington in Berkshire who were one game away from a place in Finals Day at Arundel (this Sunday, June 27th) not because they themselves had a Covid outbreak (they had had only one pupil test positive since March) but the area around Crowthorne was subjected to draconian legislation to prevent spread of the horrible disease. Others similarly affected, mostly for Covid-related reasons, were Haileybury (North London winners), Lancaster RGS, Warwick, St George’s Weybridge, Trinity Croydon and Caterham; also Plymouth, front-runners in the South West’s Tier Two competition. The season has crumbled before our eyes.
Yet again the resilience of Masters i/c in the face of enormous pressures, has been extraordinary. For example (among many) there comes the following testimony from The Glasgow Academy: “with guidance permitting us to play only local schools, we had only five matches scheduled for this Summer, and this included both The MCC and XL club, which had to be cancelled. That apart, due to self-isolation of some cricketers, we could manage to play only two matches. The change in our cricket programme due to this pandemic was that it provided all boys and girls up to Senior 3 (Form 3), an opportunity to play cricket, and this was well received by all pupils. We also experimented with mixed teams (5 boys and 5 girls in a team), in the primary school matches against other schools. Again, this was well commended by all, and has promise for the future.”
There were centuries aplenty in Oakham’s 40-over game with the Gentlemen of Leicester; so gentlemanly indeed was the match that by prior agreement a centurion promptly had to retire. This may (or may not) have cost the school a win since, after the visitors had rattled up a demanding 279 for five, with centuries (retired) from Patel and Silver their numbers one and three. Oakham’s reply was led by a superb hundred (retired) from opener Freddy Fairey. With two overs to go the school were well in touch, needing only 16 more for a win but without Fairey’s firepower they managed only ten and thus lost by five runs. A great game nevertheless and congratulations to both teams for playing 80 overs in an afternoon – a sadly rare event these days.
Bowlers were dominant in Eton’s match against their Old Boys, the Ramblers. The wicket was slightly damp but it was mainly the quality of the bowling which distated the play. The boys must have felt pretty pleased with themselves when they dismissed their predecessors for a paltry 124. They were slightly less jubilant when they in turn found themselves at an embarrassing 36 for seven. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and all that. Gus Beagles (43 not out) and George Weldon (56 not out) saw Eton home without further loss, making 90 in 13 overs in their match-winning partnership. These two had also been the mainstay of the Eton bowling attack, sharing six wickets between them.
Malvern travelled a fair distance to play at King’s Taunton. The latter have already won themselves a place at Arundel for the National T20 final, while Malvern – the holders from 2019 – still have to defeat Shrewsbury to reach there. In the 45-over game, the home side scored a healthy 240 for eight. Facing the challenge of the King’s opening bowler, Sonny Baker, who has already played for Somerset 1st XI, Malvern started steadily led by Rehaan Edavalath with 84, which put them within touching distance of victory. A partnership of 85 with Angus Catto (57) brought the run-rate down, but needing 15 to win off the last over Malvern could only manage nine. A great game of cricket.
Results (see further down for National Schools T20)
*Glasgow Academy 97-7 in 20; Kelvinside 73-7 in 20
*Denstone 140-3 (20 overs), Checkley CC 144-7
Wellingborough 100 (20 overs), *Oundle 101-3
MCC 200-1 (30 overs), *Cranleigh (girls) 125-8
Worcestershire Academy 216-5 (40 overs),*Malvern 217-4
*Stowe 244-6 (40 overs), Marlborough 186
St George’s College Weybridge 192-4 (20 overs),*KCS Wimbledon 193-6 (P Khera 120 not out)
MCC 258-5 dec,*Denstone 143-8
Gentlemen of Leicestershire CC 279-5 (40 overs), *Oakham 274-3 (F Fairey 101 not out)
Worth 185-0 (J McGoplin 104 not out),*Christ’s Hospital 78
*Wells Cathedral School 90 (20 overs), Bryanston 96-3
Hurstpierpoint 70 (50 overs),*Cranleigh 71-2
XL Club 144-8 dec.,*High School of Glasgow 145-7
(Boys) *Stowe 244-6 (40 overs), Marlborough 186
(Boys) *Marlborough 272-7 (50 overs), Cheltenham 116
(Girls) Marlborough 126-9 (20 overs), St Edward’s 113-6
*King’s Taunton 240-8 (45 overs), Malvern 235-8
Eton Ramblers 124,*Eton 126-7
*Pocklington 126, St Peter’s York 127–5
*Repton 225-9 (40 overs), Warwick 192-4
*Eltham 262-6 (40 overs), Colfe’s 57
*Eltham 152-9 (30 overs), Langley 156-2
*Ardingly 213-8 (40 overs), Eltham 202-6