U17s defeat Dubai Cricket Academy
Sunshine greeted the two teams as they gathered for a T20 International Fixture, Effingham U17s playing their first fixture for two years (when they were U15s) and the Dubai Cricket Academy the first match in their UK tour.
As the Academy went through their drills, Effingham Captain Cameron Walters won the toss and elected to bat first. His opening pair were unique in that neither Joel Stroud or Ben Windsor had batted since Winter nets in January, so several middle order batsmen thought it wise to be padded up ready to enter the fray.
They need not have worried as the Effingham openers set off at a decent rate with both hitting sixes in the third over of the innings. The Academy were very well drilled (and noisy) in the field and kept the pressure on the batsmen, but the bowlers started to leak a few wides as the innings progressed. Sadly Ben only found the boundary once more when he was bowled by Nathan in the 7th over with the score on 45-1, replaced at the wicket by Captain Walters. This pair, despite the very hot weather, ran well and hit 15 boundaries between them, reaching 174 for 1 when the 20th over completed, Joel on 65* and Cameron scoring 46*.
There was a sense that the victory target would make for an interesting finale. Effingham, with three younger players in the team, would have to bowl and field well. The Dubai openers got a good start but were pegged back a little with pace from Alex Cooper and Joe Roberts, Alex taking the first wicket when he clean bowled Simon in the 5th over. However opener Partha and new bat Abhishek came together to push the score on and to put pressure on the Effingham fielders with two spilled chances. Captain Walters turned to spin in the shape of Stan who bowled a tidy spell. A sharp chance went down behind the stumps, but the run rate was rising. In this third over Stan got his reward when Abhishek hit a ball to wide long on for Cameron to take a fine catch.
Partha got his 50, but was struggling to stay with the rate finally holing out with a steepler to Joel at long on off the bowling of Ollie Tebbitts. Another fine catch was taken by Alex off of Owyn Haylings, who bowled a tidy second spell. Still the middle order chipped away at the total with 35 needed off the last 4 and then only 24 off of the last 2. Batsman number 5, Hritesh, was run out from the boundary with a direct hit by Joel, but still Dubai had a chance. With six needed from the final ball from Joe Roberts, four was scored and Effingham won by 1 run. A fine match and worthy opponents.
Next up is a fixture against a team from Rome on 9th August.
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