U13 Boys win the Merchiston Super 8s

A fabulous day of cricket!

U13 Boys win the Merchiston Super 8s by the barest of margins

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Group games

Cargilfield 78-6 (10 overs) (J Walker 24)

Watsonians CC 58-8 (10 overs) (A Lyell 4 wkts)

Cargilfield 89-2 (10 overs) (M Bennet 24, J Walker 17no)

Carlton CC 68-4 (10 overs)

Final

Merchiston 88-2 (10 overs)

Cargilfield 92-3 (9.2 overs) (J Walker 21no, T Reis 16no)

The Merchiston Super 8s is always one of the highlights of the cricket season and it is such a good format, with strong cricket clubs taking part, 10 overs per side with batsmen retiring at 25 and everyone having to bowl, all of which allows for some exciting cricket to be played and all the matches are usually very competitive and played on good wickets! Having not really been tested this season, I was certainly looking forward to the boys having to perform under pressure, where their skills with the bat, ball and in the field would be tested in the heat of competition.

The sun was shining in Colinton, and our opening game was against Watsonians CC. We elected to bat first and in out 10 overs reached 78 for 6. Our innings was centred around a powerful knock of 24 by Jamie who hit the ball very hard and straight, and this was always going to prove a tough chase given the strength of our bowling attack. In fact Watsonians had an excellent opening pair and they put on 38 and were looking dangerous until James W forced a false shot and broke the partnership and then it was left to Alex with his beguiling leg spin to wrap up the innings with 4 wickets including an sharp stumping by Dexter. An excellent start to the day!

Next up was Carlton, last year’s winners and who have an outstanding junior programme producing excellent cricketers. We chose to bat first again and Monty and Theo batted very well together, if a little cautiously; however, they put on over 60 for the opening partnership before Monty was out for a well made 24, and it was left to Jamie to hit three balls to the boundary in making a quickfire 17no, to get is up to 89 in our 10 overs. In reply, Monty got as wicket first ball of the innings and although one or two of the Carlton players hung around, they were never going to threaten our total and ended up on 68 for 4. There were some excellent catches taken, in particular a diving one from Rafa in the covers which showed real athleticism. So, we were in to the Final for the first time, to play our hosts Merchiston on their 1stXI square!

Sadly, our regular fixture with them at the start of term fell victim to the weather, but we knew they were a talented outfit with some very strong batsmen at the top of the order, and had seen them play at the Glenalmond 6s where they narrowly lost to Belhaven in their group. Having won the toss, we decided to bowl first for the first time, the reasoning being it might be easier to chase a score and bowling last, under pressure, can be very difficult. However, things did not go to plan, and although we bowled pretty well, our fielding was a little disappointing and we ended up gifting them an extra 10 or 12 runs, and their opening pair put on 79 before we managed to take a couple of wickets in the final over, but not before Merchiston has amassed 88 for 2 in their 10 overs. A huge total under the circumstances and one that we would have to bat very well to chase down.

We got off to the worst possible start as James was bowled on the first ball of the innings, and Monty and Rafa fell soon afterwards leaving us on a very precarious 35 for 3 at the end of the 5th over, still needing 54 runs from 30 balls, with Jamie W and Theo at the crease. It would be a very tall order indeed to get anywhere close, and we couldn’t really do it…..could we? However, the two of them, in their different styles, batted extremely well together, running well between the wickets, taking a few quick singles when fielders overthrew at the stumps, then nudged and edged the odd boundary and suddenly we were on 68 with 12 balls left….just 21 runs required to clinch what be a famous victory.

It was now that Jamie decided to go all out attack and open his shoulders, hitting three boundaries in the 9thover which went for 16 runs; he timed the ball really well, committed to the shot and hit the ball with real power as it raced across the outfield to the rope. Now it was just 5 runs needed off the final over, and incredibly we just needed less than a run a ball. Game on. With the spectators chewing their fingernails as the tension rose, the pressure of the final over proved too much for the bowler, and after Theo scored a two of the first ball, the next one was a waist high full toss no ball down the legside which went to the boundary, and amazingly, with four balls left, we had done it. By the barest of margins!

What a final, what a day of cricket and what a truly wonderful team performance from all nine of the boys who played throughout the day., but particular well done to Jamie and Theo who both batted superbly under pressure with an unbeaten partnership of 61 to get us over the line in the Final - a very mature display of batting by both of them and a match winning partnership. The whole team were excellent ambassadors for the school, playing some outstanding cricket under pressure, showing real cricketing nous, and playing the game in the right way. Richly deserved champions!

A big thank you to Merchiston for organising such a great day, and organising the sunshine too, and many thanks to the army of parents who came along to support the team – it is always hugely appreciated.

Well done, chaps. A day to remember.

DSW

10.6.24

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