This festival is always a great way to start the season - short format, excellent regulations designed to allow everyone to play their part and contribute and some strong opposition, which is just what you need after a long winter of indoor nets. It was a bitterly cold afternoon over at Merchiston on Sunday but lots of parents braved the icy conditions, and the boys played some excellent cricket which bodes well for the season ahead. First up was Sedbergh, who are a fine cricketing school and it looked as though it would be a tough start to the day.
Cargilfield 87-5 (15 overs)
Sedbergh 50-4 (15 overs)
Cargilfield won by 37 runs
We batted pretty well considering it was the first time on grass with Cody and Xander both batting sensibly and running well between the wickets, and Xander was particularly quick to pick up on anything leg side; it was also good to see Felix and James both playing good cameos too. We tried hard to keep the scoreboard moving and it would be a challenging target given the quality of our bowling attack. In response, Sedbergh found it tough going with too many dot balls meaning they soon fell behind the rate and found it very hard to get the ball away through the inner field. We bowled very well with James bowling two maidens and Thomas, Charles and Xander all impressing. The bowlers were backed up by good fielding and it was a fine performance overall and a well deserved win. Our next game against the hosts, Merchiston, should have been a tougher encounter but it was a challenge we were keen to take on as the icy late afternoon wind continued to gust!
Cargilfield 100 - 8 (15 overs)
Merchiston 86-3 (15 overs)
Cargilfield won by 14 runs
To be honest, the result looks closer than it was. In reality, our batting innings won the game and 100 in 15 overs is a terrific effort given the very cold weather! I shuffled the batting order round from the first game to make sure everyone got to bat, but we then subsided to 49-8 in the 9th over, so plenty of time still to bat and we really did have to bat through the overs and use all our balls up. Some poor running between the wickets and some disappointing shots against their leg spinner - a few lessons to learn here, such as dropping and running, getting the singles and not looking for the big heave ho which one or two were guilty of. However, early season, and it was left to Charles and Xander to bat the remainder of the innings , putting on over 50 runs together in what was a super display of batting so early on in the season. They worked really well together, calling quickly, rotating the strike and frustrating the Merchiston bowlers. Charles played the shot of the day with a sublime cover drive, but neither ever once looked in trouble and it was a superb effort to get us to a 100 and a match winning total. In reply, Merchiston never really got going and our bowlers bowled a pretty consistent line and length which made scoring difficult; there were lots of dot balls and the run rate quickly climbed. Thomas bowled an excellent two overs and then Xander really did turn the screw on them and the game was done and dusted really. We conceded a few extra runs due to the horrible weather which made fielding difficult with such cold hands, but the result was never in doubt.
So two wins against very good cricket schools and a very pleasing and encouraging start to the season. It is great to be playing proper cricket once again and I am looking forward to see how this group of boys, and others who were not selected this time develop over the course of the season. I am also hoping for some warmer weather!! Thank you to the parents for their support and to the boys for starting the season so positively after such a long time without competitive cricket.