David Swan provides the latest of his Coach's Blogs,
reflecting on last night's U14 ESCL Cup victory over Reigate Priory
at Reigate Pilgrims' ground in Betchworth.
It's been a long time between drinks.....from a silver
Greenest wicket we've ever played, so when Reigate Priory won
the toss and chose to bat, we had a head start.
Initially, some time was lost with a change needed to the
Matt Evans, back on form, bowled very well, unlucky not to
have a wicket in his first over. But un-nerved, he went on to bowl
two maiden overs in his opening stint.
Ben Jones had more luck, with a wicket in his first over,
per favore a very good catch by Alvin Sathya which boosted
everyone's confidence. Merstham kept Reigate to a very low run-rate
with the opening bowlers followed up by Daniel Botma and Zohaib
Faisal....only 11 runs from the first five overs before
Zohaib struck in the sixth with what was the catch of the
match.....Alvin (again) at short mid-off (diving head-long
With the third wicket, in Zohaib's second over
(c&b). Priory were reeling at 22-3 after eight overs.
Never to be under-estimated, Priory took the upper hand and were
starting to take the initiative.
Still only three down for 61 after 13 overs....and
looking a little bit dangerous. A much-needed wicket, clean bowled,
from Oliver Barkwith and the tide turned again in favour of
Joe Stapleton struck in the 16th over and then one of those
unimaginable direct hits by Charlie Parkes, who had removed his
wicketkeeper glove, chased the ball down, turned for a blind
throw, and, with the batsman caught well short (well, short enough,
anyway), claimed a great run-out wicket.
RP's innings finished at 102-7 (20 overs). For a CUP
final, definitely defendable, but also beatable.
Merstham's batsmen were warned, the pitch was still seaming
and very variable. It had helped us, but it was going to help them
However, a somewhat uneasy, and certainly not chanceless,
opening partnership of 60 was surely setting Merstham up for a
Then Alvin went for a big shot and missed. Bowled for 31 by a
short and unpredictably very low bouncing ball (it was the right
shot for another pitch and another day!). Jasper Parsons came in
and was struggling against the conditions, with six swings and
six misses in one over, but he was still there, while Adam Swan at
the other end was trying for a more exciting finish by putting
another shot down the throat of the same fielder who had previously
dropped Alvin and was still gracious enough to give Adam another
To their absolute credit, Adam (40 not out) and Jasper (9 not
out) stood their ground, played the next balls on their merits and
had us coasting to a well-deserved victory in the 18th over!
Where we won it: In the field with good fielding, good
bowling, and a well thought out field placement.
MOTM: A toughie, Adam's unbeaten 40, but in the end I have to
go with Alvin's fielding and opening partnership.
Congratulations to all the squad, and for those players
who were unavailable, or rested, it was MCC's U14 win. Thank you
for the support on the night, and Jane for the scoring, and John
for the congratulatory beer. I knew that this season
was going to bring some joy