U15: Ricky hammer Hemel to go top of League
Batsmen get the glory, whilst bowlers do the hard work
With a tough proposition against Hemel, Ricky needed to be at their best to get a win on a warm evening with a lightening outfield. Hemel also possesed the quickest bowling attack in the league and so in bowling first, Ricky had to keep the score below 120 if possible.
Tahir Hussain opened up and conceded 10 off the first over as 2 balls flew off the edge to the boundary. A tough hour in prospect. However Harvey Blackwell produced a lovely outswinger in the next over to take the edge of ex-County hopeful Will Hodgins and a good catch was taken by Bilal at first skip. Tahir slowed it down for his 2nd over and after 4 overs HHTCC were 26/1. Then what followed was perhaps the turning point of the game, as Ricky rotated the bowlers, all of whom kept the bowling tight and didnt enable Hemel to break the shackles. Bilal Hassan went for 3 an over of his leg spin. Yash Ruparelia, 3.5 an over, whilst Yusuf Khan (playing 3 years above his age group) didn't concede one boundary in his 3 overs either. Kinushan kept up the good work and Rory (1-7 including a nice catch by Rahim) and Callum Watson-Humphreys (0-5) also kept the scoring rate around just 5 an over.
When Tahir returned he subjected the Hemel batsmen to a torrid time, striking them numerous times on the body and his last two overs went for just 2 runs off the bat. They didn't have an answer. Special mention should be made at this point for young Fred Maggi, also playing 2 years above his normal age group, as wicket keeper. Though Tahir was at full pace the young fella took everything he could and palmed away the rest. He will have some sore hands in the morning. Harvey was a little more expensive in his remaining overs, but he bowled Harley for 5 and then Wasif first ball with a terrific yorker. He starts his next game on a hatrick. And Hemel were 101/4 with Mitchell having retired on 40. Of these 10 were wides and this is something we need to tighten up on. But otherwise the efforts in the field were superb and once again, in the spirit of the colts games, Ricky used 8 bowlers to ensure everyone possible got a game.
102 to win was still a stiff ask, so a new opening partnership of Bilal and Yash was tried out. Why not!. Both were good at maneuvering the ball around the field with deft touches, cuts and pulls, and the Hemel bowlers would be quick. And so they were, but Yash and Bilal did exactly the job asked of them. When Yash was out in the 7th over for 11, Ricky were a little behind the rate, but we knew the big guns were cming next. Sure enough Tahir smashed a long six into the trees and then another one even further over the sight screens, (and this on a championship ground). Bilal was equally impressive, growing into his role and striking one particular boundary back over the bowlers head for a one-bounce four. Bilal was scoring at a run a ball and so it was a pity when he was bowled for 38 with the finishing line in sight. In strode Harvey, with 20 needed to win, which he and Tahir made short work of. Tahir finishing the game with another towering 6.
It was a perfect display against strong opponents. The next game against Chorleywood will define the progression these boys have made. One thing is for sure - it's going to be exciting watching.