You might feel daunted if, in a 30-over match, you found yourself chasing 302 for four; bad enough if it were 50 overs. However, there is no choice in an overs game (in this case, the Under-18 Kent Schools’ competition called the Lemon Cup). Joe Gordon of St Edmund’s Canterbury rose to the challenge set by Canterbury Academy – who must still be wondering how on earth they lost after making that score – and hit what must surely be a world record (though it cannot be verified even by Wisden). He hit 226 not out from 84 balls to win by eight wickets with one ball to spare. Quite extraordinary.
We’ve all been there: you drop a batsman, in this case first ball from a reasonably straightforward edge, and pray that he’ll dismissed soon afterwards to spare your blushes. No such luck for the Brighton wicket-keeper who had to watch Eastbourne’s Tawanda Muyeye (a Zimbabwean scholarship boy who had already scored a double century last year) go on to post 209. He has already this season scored 748 runs in eight innings at an average of 149.60.
Huge credit to Elizabeth College Guernsey for making the journey over to the mainland to take part in the National Schools T20 competition, in their case to Dauntsey’s in Wiltshire. They chose to come by ferry but were seriously delayed by Storm Hannah and it was a race against the clock to get there for the start of play. Generosity by the hosts and umpires meant they had a breather for a quick warm-up. I imagine it was worth it because Nathan Le Tissier got going with 40 in the first match but then struck a magnificent 111 in the second, though still losing to Lord Wandsworth. Centuries are inevitably very rare in a T20 competition.
In an Under-14 (mainly boys’) match for Bede’s against Christ’s Hospital, 13-year-old girl Freya Kemp scored 103 not out in a total of 239 for two.
Kimbolton were going quite nicely at 31 for one when medium-paced Joshua Griffiths came on to bowl. He proceeded to bowl 4.3 overs with final figures of six for four, four of his six wickets being bowled. A rather short game. Even shorter was Rossall’s game against Stonyhurst when Lewis Haworth took five for nine with some rapid away swing.
Previous winners of the National Schools T20 competition Woodhouse Grove had an excellent pre-season tour of Barbados, winning four of their five matches. In slightly less pleasant weather back home they came unstuck against a strong St Aidan’s side from Harrogate but rallied with a ten-wicket win against Bradford Grammar School.
Refreshingly, many schools are returning to the traditional declaration game and away from the dead hand of the 50-overs format where all too often the side batting first bat their opponents out of the game, leading to a very dead and dull second half. At Haberdashers’ Aske’s, on another mixed day of weather and several rain interruptions, the game went down to the wire with Haileybury winning off the penultimate ball, despite losing three overs to rain in the final 20. Batting first, Habs collapsed to 29 for four but recovered to declare at 190 for eight. In reply, Haileybury started slowly but a partnership of 112 for the second wicket put them in a strong position and they went on to reach their target in an exciting finish.
Returning yet again to the depressing modern phenomenon of revision mania, largely driven by ill-informed parents, at least one keen cricketing school has seen its first two 2nd XI fixtures cancelled by the opposition. Frankly, I refuse to believe that teenagers will spend all Saturday afternoon and evening revising. Except in the few very large schools, the 2nd XI is usually an Under-16 side in their GCSE year and are keen cricketers who are then likely to be the 1st XI in their final two years. How frustrating to be denied competitive cricket on the first two Saturdays of term, which is already ludicrously short.
*Clayesmore 157 – 4 (25 overs), Poole Gs 87-7 (25 overs)
*Dauntsey’s 163-8 (35 overs), Clayesmore 149
Durham 123-7 (20 overs),*Ampleforth 117
RGS Newcastle 136 (40 overs),*Durham 138-5
*Worth 88-5 (20 overs), Bede’s 89-2 (Langdale Cup)
Cardiff Metropolitan University 183-3 (40 overs),*Bryanston 64
MCC 271-6 (50 overs),*Bryanston 122 (R Vasantham 5-15)
KCS Wimbledon 155-3 (20 overs),*Emanuel 130
MCC 242-8 dec, *Haberdashers’ Aske’s 172-9
MCC 166, Framlingham 167-7
*Warminster 178-5 (25 overs), Downside 170-7
*King Edward’s Birmingham 194-2 (20 overs), Old Swinford 135-8
*Worth 87 (20 overs), Bede’s 89-2
*Bede’s 247-7 (35 overs), Tonbridge 161 (A Lenham 5-39)
*Kimbolton 45 (40 overs)(J Griffiths 6-4),Wellingborough 50-0
Eastbourne 402-4 (50 overs)(T Muyeye 209),*Brighton 148
*Malvern 259-7 (50 overs) (D Holland 119), Clifton 63 (J Catto 6-22)
St Peter’s,York 263-8 (45 overs)(M Roberts 150 not out),*Ampleforth 121
*Lancing 117-9 (20 overs), Christ’s Hospital 119-6
John Fisher 70-8 (20 overs),*Christ’s Hospital 71-0
*Haberdashers’ Aske’s 190-8 dec, Haileybury 191-4
*Woodhouse Grove 223-6, Ashville 106-4 (rain)
*Woodhouse Grove 125, St Aidan’s 127-3
Bradford GS 97 (R Newman 5-22),*Woodhouse Grove 98-0
Monmouth 237-5 (50overs),*RGS Worcester 179
*Dulwich 256, St Paul’s 237
Emanuel 146-8 (35 overs),*Worth 148-2
*Gresham’s 223-7 (30 overs), Norwich 162-9
Ipswich 120 (45 overs),*Greshamâ€™s 121-4
Norwich 165, Framlingham 160-5 (draw)
King’s Taunton 146, *Malvern 147-7
*Merchant Taylors’, Northwood 219, Whitgift 220-2
Repton 151-7 (40 overs),*Shrewsbury 152-1
Wellington 138 (50 overs),*Marlborough 140-6
RGS High Wycombe 221,*Bedford Modern 86
XL Club 111-7 (20 overs),*Ratcliffe 114-4
*Ratcliffe 165-4 (20 overs), Welbeck 111-8
Myerscough Preston 132 (40 overs),*Sedbergh 133-0
MCC 139-7 dec,*Sedbergh 140-1
*Manchester GS120 (45 overs), Sedbergh 123-7
King’s Bruton (20 overs) 140-5,*Downside 60
Kingswood (30 overs) 200-7,*Downside 142-7
*Wells Cathedral girls (20 overs) 122-4, Downside 91-6
Stonyhurst 32 (L Haworth 5-9), *Rossall 33-0
*Eltham 130-7 (20 overs), Sevenoaks 133-3
*Bradfield 52, St Edward’s 53-0
*Latymer Upper 129, St Benedict’s 130-5
Canterbury Academy 302-4 (30 overs), St Edmund’s Canterbury 305-2 (J Gordon 226 not out)(Lemon Cup)