Optimists Cricket Club News story

Under 15’s complete unbeaten league season

20 Sep 2010

Last Sunday the Optimists Juniors travelled to Ghent for the final game of the Belgian Cricket Federation Under 15 League against Arcadians.  There was an air of quiet confidence following the four previous victories.    

Despite damp conditions Optimists chose to bat first.  After a few gentle overs to familiarise themselves with the pitch, Timothy Barker and Charlie Ramsden launched a blistering attack on the inexperienced bowlers.  Runs flowed from both ends and the century partnership was reached in only the tenth over.  Timothy then reached his half-century and retired.  Charlie almost did likewise but fell just short on 46.  Coincidentally both openers collected 30 of their runs in boundaries.  Even after their departure the run flow remained high and, with several more batsmen chipping in, the innings closed on a mammoth 189 for 6.

The Arcadians youngsters found run scoring difficult against their more experienced opponents.   An early run out, followed by five catches, demonstrated the keenness in the field.  Wickets fell regularly and, although they managed to occupy almost all of their twenty overs, the home side was eventually all out for 46, leaving Optimists winners by 143 runs.  The wickets were evenly spread amongst the bowlers, Puneet Vyas achieving the best figures, of 3 wickets for just 4 runs.

This handsome victory, with bonus points for bowling as well as batting, left the Optimists Juniors winners of the Under 15 league at their first attempt, having won all five of their matches.

The second game of the day gave an opportunity to some of the younger members of the squad to show their development.  This time it was the Arcadians who batted first.  They accumulated runs patiently at nearly 5 an over.  However, the bowlers were well supported by good fielding, notably three fine catches by William Cope.  The close of the twenty overs saw a score of 93 for 8.  The bowling honours on this occasion went to Lucas Whale, with 3 for 13 and Thomas Martin, 2 for 11.

With a less forceful batting line-up the Optimists knew they were in for a struggle and so it proved.  Although the runs were coming so were the wickets falling.  At the half-way mark the match was evenly balanced at 51 for 5, following the departure of Puneet Vyas for a competent 21.  The momentum now changed as Marcus Cope and Lucas Whale added a patient 32 for the sixth wicket.  Although two more wickets followed, victory was achieved in the 19th over, by three wickets, with Lucas still there on 11 not out. 

Celebrations soon followed, both for the league triumph and the younger team’s victory too.

The long drive back passed by quickly, at least for the players, with memories not just of a successful day but also the season as a whole.