1st XI v Zayed Academy
The 1st XI kicked off the tour with a win against the Zayed academy. Having won the toss and elected to bat the start was far from ideal, with the loss of 4 wickets for less than 20 runs.
Arguably we were not helped by some of the early umpiring decisions, but it was mainly due to some lose batting that led to us finding ourselves in this position. However we then regrouped through a good partnership between Jack Bailey and Jamie Board, but it was disappointing when they both fell in the space of an over straight after the drinks break.
More wickets began to tumble and we found ourselves 7 down for 100 runs off 25 overs. We once again regrouped, this time through Mark Prescott and Alasdair Pollock, both playing very effective roles. We ended up on 154 for 9 wickets in our allotted 35 overs.
With a slightly under par score on the board we felt like it was early wickets that were going to be the key, but after an initial success, through Steve Barnard, we were unable to capitalise due to bowlers struggling to maintain a consistent line, this unfortunately allowed them to gain the upper hand reaching 50-1 off just 7 overs.
The spinners then came into the attack and managed to contain and apply consistent pressure on the batters, picking up wickets on regular occasions. However the opposition did manage to get a couple of dangerous looking players in. It was vital that Ruaidhri Smith, this year’s Cassidy scholar, bowled a really effective spell which made up the six final overs from one end. Ruaidhri finished with 4 wickets to his name.
As the game closed in the intensity of the fielding drastically increased with some outstanding catches and stops being made. This was to prove decisive as the game went down to the final over, which was bowled by Jack Hudson-Williams, and they ended up 148 all out, meaning a win for Shrewsbury by 6 runs.
U15 vs Zayed Cricket Academy
Playing at a ground named the Zayed Cricket Stadium where only very recently Pakistan played South Africa in ODI’s and a Test Match, was definitely a good enough reason to be up for a game vs their academy. After a long journey from the Airport to the hotel resulting in a late night and then an early start, tiredness proved to be a major factor towards the end of their innings. There were a couple of positives which we could take from the game such as not losing our first wicket till the ninth over and some good fielding displays from everyone helped in keeping them under 200 runs. We could tell that it was going to be a tough match when their two openers took full advantage of the poor bowling lengths for a pitch of that quality. We started off our batting at a healthy run rate, but unfortunately this seemed to slow down and wickets started to fall due to the pressure of their bowling. Towards the end off the innings Kidson started to put up a fight but this couldn’t win us the game. He made 27 in only a few overs. We ended up losing the match by 88 runs. This proved to us that we needed to up the levels of energy and concentration or we would go back to a cold England losing the majority of the games.
Harry Flowers & Charlie White