St George's Under 15's faced Priory on what turned out to be a glorious Wednesday afternoon in our first home match of the season. Winning the toss Asad Ali decided to bowl first on what would turn out to be a fiery wicket.
Mustafa Babar opened the bowling with Saif Rahman and had Priory 3 for 1 thanks to a wicket in the opening over from Mustafa – Lee Johnson who was excellent behind the stumps all afternoon taking a great catch to dismiss the Priory opener.
3 for 1 became 30 for 1 after 6 overs however as Priory's number 3 set about getting the scoreboard ticking over. Asad Ali bowled with increasing control in his spell of four overs and was rewarded with figures of 4 wickets off 4 overs for 25 runs thanks to some more excellent catching from St George's. Max Teckoe took a great catch on the boundary to dismiss Priory's number 4 and Sam smith held on to one swirling round in the air to cause batsman number 5 to depart.
Priory went from 52-3 during this halfway stage to 66-8 after 15 thanks to fantastic bowling from Rohan Malik who bowled 3 overs, 2 maidens and took 1 wicket for only 1 run. Sam smith was equally impressive, burgling a wicket for just one run also.
Suraj Kumar ended Priory's last vestiges of resistance, turning the ball square to leave the batsmen in all sorts of problems. Suraj picked up Priory's final 2 wickets for 8 runs and would have been on a hat trick if there were any batsmen left to bowl at! Priory finished on 83 all out. A low total to try and get after, so we thought.
After the interval Mustafa and Suraj opened up and batted absolutely fantastically against the quickest bowling they will face at this level, on a pitch that had the ball whizzing past their ears at one time and keeping dangerously low at others.
At 12-0 off 2 they were negotiating things well until Mustafa got one that reared up sharply off a length and was unfortunate to be given out caught behind after the ball had hit not his hand but his elbow. Suraj continued to negotiate the hostile spell with the calm assuredness that we have become used to seeing him bat at the top of the order. This was until the 6th over when he got a ripper of a quick delivery that seamed in half a yard and removed his off peg. 83 at this point was beginning to look a long way off.
Saiif and Asad steadied the ship somewhat but Saif was bowled playing across the line and Asad walked past one and was stumped. Things were not looking up for St Geprge's at 31-4 at halfway. Zain Yaqoob, Rohan Malik and Max Teckoe came and went despite looking good. Wicket-keeper Lee Johnson and Sam smith gave us a fighting chance, running quick singles but Sam was bowled by another that kept low leaving us 44-8 and staring down the barrel of a successive defeat. Credit to Tarun Bains and Callum Berry who held out against a good bowling attack until nearly the very end. Callum was eventually run out in the last over with St George's on 56 all out off 19.3 overs.
Overall an excellent Bowling and fielding performance. Not a catch was dropped and all the practice in this department that we’ve been outing in is paying dividends. The batting is something we will work on but the pitch and good bowling played its part in us failing to chase down what seemed like a low score. Another result to be proud of.