RCC u13 112/10 beat WGC u13 109 by 3 runs
Underdogs win again
After finishing in 4th place in the Western Division, Ricky scraped a place in the Quarter Finals against the League winners in the eastern Division, Welwyn Garden City. A game that in all honesty Ricky were destined not to win, due to the proliferation of County standarde boys in the Welwyn team. But what Ricky lack in superstar wuality, they more than make up for with team spirit and so the cars headed off for the game in hope, rather than real expectation.
A great start when Ricky chose to bat first was Tom Riddle with 10 in the first over and eventually 12 runs. Lewis, already a veteran of one County Final in 2013, played brilliantly for 19 whilst Yash (4) and Eli (1) produced quick but all-too fleeting cameos.
Then, perhaps the first the turning point of the match was the outstanding partnership between Yusuf (11) and Neeyam (25). Not only was there fabulous batting but also amazing running for every wide ( there were a few - extras top scored with 31) which turned one extra into 2.
A few other wickets fell and it was left to Hamish and Callum put on a respectable 9 between them for the last wicket. How valuable those runs would prove - but more of that later. Ricky batted for 19.5 overs with a score of 112 - about par and all to play for.
The Welwyn innings started well ( and Ricky parents started their cars!), in fact alarmingly well, with the top 2 batsmen both retiring after hitting 34 and 30. 11 overs in and they had 85 runs on the board. They could win by losing 9 wickets or less so the maths was simple - 27 runs off 9 overs at 3 an over. Ricky were on the floor facing a knockout.
But then began the comeback with some outstanding team work. Eli Hearn ( 3 for 15 off 4), Yusuf Khan ( 1 for 18 off 4) and Yash Ruparelia ( 1 for 14 off 4). combined to keep the scoring in check. And somehow the WGC batsmen seemed stuck between going for the runs and just defending. And combined to do neither. Throughout the innings Lewis Moxon kept well, and with the bowlers help only conceded 11 extras. But still WGC only needed 6 to win off 3 overs. There could only be one winner, surely.
Yash bowled over 18 - a maiden. It was now 6 runs needed off 12 balls.
Neeyam Patel bowled the 19th over. Another maiden. Surely not! Now WGC needed 6 off 6.
So now it was up to Eli. Eli, the coolest player on the field at this point, due to his playing a very high standard of football for Watford FC, bowled a handful of dot balls. 4th ball was struck sweetly to the boundary, where Hamish Starling dived to stop it going over the ropes and the ball was thrown back. 2 runs the result. The next ball was a dot and with a boundary needed off the last ball, Eli castled the young batsmen sending the players (and watching supporters) into a frenzy of joy.
There can be no man of the match when every player did what he could to gain a famous victory.
The finals are at Datchworth on Sunday 16th July. Can Ricky pull off another miracle as they did winning the U13 Championship back in 2013 at the same venue ? Who dares to believe otherwise. This team is sprinkled with magic dust and they deserve it.