It’s always important to be there at the breakthrough moment. The day at Little Kimble in 1989 that 15 year old Michael Horwood took 5-30 to be announced in the daily papers that week as the Swing King at 15. Or the 27th June 2015 when 13 year old Raunak Khandja scored 50* for the 2nd team at Watton. http://www.rickmansworthcc.co.uk/teams/82959/match-centre/1-1240947. The there was the colts match when a 10 year old Tahir smashed 6 consecutive sixes in an over against Old Albanians. Or Dave Lewy’s 72 at the age of 16 in partnership with 68 year old Archie Yates. You had to be there.
And so it was a privilege to be at Park Road on Saturday to witness another breakthrough performance, which was 47 by Harvey Blackwell who has only just turned 16, for the 2nd XI. It wasn’t just the style and array of shots, but the fact he outplayed many more senior club members and effectively held the middle order together enabling Ricky the post a competitive 197 against a strong Datchworth attack.
Datchworth beat Ricky twice last year to finish above us, so it was important we put that bogey to bed. Paul and Sohail gave a solid start and then Rohan (25) on Ricky debut and Bobby (21) established a further base before both losing their wickets when set. Rohan in particular looked classy, hitting a long ball or two. Asghar also had a big innings in him before holing out for 19. At this stage Ricky were 118/5 with only the all-rounders to come.
But Harvey then marshaled the innings with clever singles and twos (some great running by Waheed and then Waqqas in the heat) whilst also smacking some boundaries of his own. Harvey would easily have gone past 50, but with 5 balls to go he perished playing another attacking shot in the spirit of helping the team. But 197 was not a bad score all round.
When bowling, apart from our traditional mid innings wobble, where the players lose their heads and their concentration, Ricky actually did very well. Working our way through the line up with some safe catching (and one spectacular one from Faizan) and some very tight bowling from Ashiq and Faizen whose combined 18 overs went for just 40 runs. This enabled Waqqas to give the ball more air and he benefitted with 3 – 36. Top work.
And so the Datchworth innings rather fizzled out as, for the last 10 overs they were just playing for batting points. Ricky duly gained the win and stay top of the League after 4 games. With a bit better discipline this is a team that should get promoted. There are many tough games to come. But the future looks bright in the hands of our young players.