The season has been a curious re-run of a couple of years ago where there has been a strange meteorological phenomenon: the weather has been largely kind since term began but punctuated by torrential rain and storms on Fridays and sometimes Saturdays which has now happened three times. This was certainly the case this last weekend and it led to widespread cancellation of fixtures (see the paltry list of results below). Only in a few parts of the country were matches completed. Many T20 regional semi-finals were rained off on Friday evening (and again yesterday, Monday).
With a spot of ingenuity Malvern and Shrewsbury had to abandon their all-day Saturday match but managed to hang around until with a 3pm start they played their National Schools T20 semi-final. Though it was apparently not particularly rain affected, nevertheless the scores were surprisingly low for two schools prominent in this competition: Malvern were restricted to 91 for nine which they must have thought would lose them the match, but they were then able to bowl out Shrewsbury (at home) for only 83. Malvern now play either King’s Worcester or Wycliffe (whose own match was rained off on Friday) to take the title for the West Midlands and Wales and will play (from the East region) Oakham, The Leys, Rugby or Ipswich. Of these seven schools only Malvern have reached Arundel previously, having lost in the final against Hurstpierpoint four years ago.
In the South West, Millfield beat Taunton in another quite low-scoring match and will play either Clifton or King’s Taunton (rained off on Friday evening but in theory due to be replayed tomorrow, Wednesday). No progress reported – see last week – from elsewhere (apart from rain cancellations) but one hopes with the largest A levels finishing this week there may be scope for wrapping up the regional semi-finals by Friday evening.
Play was possible in a few places: for example, at St Albans where Josh de Caires for the home side led the way in only a 30 over match with a fine 83 from 60 and Tommy Williams for Bishop’s Stortford taking three for 21. This impressive total, however, proved not quite enough as Joseph Hawkins took command with 135 not out from only 83 balls, including nine sixes, and the visitors squeezed home to win by five wickets with just four balls to spare.
Christ’s Hospital came unstuck against a resurgent Seaford, no doubt thanks to the latter’s relatively recent acquisition of Chris Adams, formerly captain of Sussex who also played for England, as their coach. After making a respectable 205 for eight in 40 overs, they were defeated by eight wickets, thanks to an unbeaten century by Hugo Gillespie.
St Edward’s Oxford are having yet another very successful season, not least because of the fine batting of Ben Charlesworth: last year he scored 1115 runs with a highest score of 201, and on Saturday he scored his second century of this season against Winchester.
A statistical quirk for the mathematical cognoscenti: in the National Schools T20 competition Sedbergh currently have a NRR of 0.00.
*Christ’s Hospital 176-3 (25 overs), Lord Wandsworth College 148
XL Club 194-8 (33 overs),*Christ’s Hospital 197-2
*Radley 308-4 (50 overs)(F Horler 130), Marlborough 166
Dauntsey’s 249-2 (40 overs) (A Ayling 110 not out),*Monkton 147 (Monkhouse Intersport League)
*St Albans 203-8 (30 overs), Bishop’s Stortford College 204-5 (J Hawkins 135 not out)
Haberdashers’ Aske’s 85,*Berkhamsted 87-1
*Emanuel 191 (35 overs), Latymer 78 (G Wilson 5-16)
*St Edward’s 325-7 (50 overs)(B Charlesworth 103), Winchester 178
Sherborne 156,*Clifton 160-3
*Haileybury 238-5 dec, Kimbolton 121 (J Bridge 5-31)
*Christ’s Hospital 205-8 (40 overs), Seaford 207-2 (H Gillespie 100 not out)
*King’s Canterbury 206-5 (40 overs), Eltham 143-7 (revised target was150 in 25 overs)
*Eton 169-3 (20 overs), Bradfield 138-4
Cheltenham 214-9 (40 overs),*Bradfield 215-5