OECC U15A vs Stanmore CC U15
By Chetan Shah
U15As stumble and fall in Round 1
The 2017 season for the U15As came to a summary end on Thursday night when they came up against a pair of Stanmore batsmen in devastating form in Round 1 of the County League Knock-Out Championship.
From selection snafus to a lost toss to dropped catches, nothing seemed to go quite right for the OEs, but that should not detract from the performance of those two batsmen. OEs were asked to bowl first and got off to a reasonable start. However, both openers were dropped early in the innings and, as so often happens in cricket, both exploited their second lives to put on an unbeaten partnership of 206, with Ed scoring 115* and Shreyas 75*. OEs bowlers simply could not find a way through and stage fright had set in.
A target of 207 was a mammoth ask for the OEs batsmen. After the loss of three early wickets, James and George made a valiant stand for the fourth wicket as did George and Shrey for the fifth, but attaining the target was never a realistic prospect. The only consolation for OEs was that they managed to bat through their 20 overs.
Notwithstanding this bumpy end to the season, I hope that those boys for whom this was their last season as U15s will have found enough enjoyment and challenge to bring them back for senior cricket next season (after the small matter of GCSEs has been dealt with). For those who will be back in next year's U15 squad, the experience of this game should provide the impetus to aim higher next season. This was uncharted territory for us but that won't be an excuse next year.