St George's U15s cricketers made the relatively short journey to Kings Heath School on Wednesday 25th April on an overcast and breezy afternoon. Captain Asad Ali lost the toss and St George's were fielding first.
Openers Mustapha Babar and Akmal Mahood bowled well enough in the face of some big hitting from the Kings Heath opening batsmen. Saif Rahman and Rohan Malik then came on and bowled reasonably tight lines but without the luck of picking up the wicket we needed to dismiss the Kings Heath aggressive batsmen. Asad Ali and Asad Abbas suffered because of this in their first spell however the return of Mustapha and Rohan into the attack saw Kings Heath reduced from 75-0 to 90-2. Mustapha picked up another wicket thanks to some good attacking bowling with Asad Abbas, Akmal Mahmood and Asad Ali all picking up a wicket apiece to ensure Kings Heath ended up on 130-6. Pick of the bowlers was Mustapha who finished with figures of 4 overs 2 for 20.
Skipper Ali opened up with Suvraj Kumar, who must have been tired from an excellent and busy keeping stint in the previous innings. Asad was bowled early on but Suvraj sought to cement his place in the side as the ‘Little Master’and compiled runs assuredly at the other end. Suraj was aided in the chase by Mustapha who played some excellent cover drives until he was caught for 17 leaving St George's on 60-2 halfway through the innings, with victory still very much a possibility.
Too many dot balls however thanks to some good bowling from the Kings Heath spinners in the middle overs, saw the required run rate creep up above a run a ball despite the best efforts of pinch hitter Akmal Mahmood who, after 4 consecutive fours, was bowled for 16. Saif and Suraj did their best to get St George's as near to their target as possible but fell just 15 runs short on 115-3 at the death. Suraj had managed to carry his bat throughout the innings for a measured 35* playing a full range of shots. Saif ended up on a quick 15 that unfortunately for the boys was not quite enough.
Overall however the boys can be very proud of themselves - if it hadn't been for a bit of luck for the attacking Kings Heath opening batsmen then they could well have won and easily. A great positive first performance of the season in less-than-summer-y conditions that we can take into the rest of the season.
Best on Ground Award: Suraj Kumar 35 not out and a catch behind the stumps - kept the innings together and kept St George's in with a chance of victory throughout.