Shrewsbury School

Cricket Tour: Match reports Days 2 to 7

Sunday 5 December 2021

13 Dec: Match Day 2 – Shrewsbury School 1st XI vs British School Abu Dhabi

After a narrow win against the Zayed Academy under lights on the previous night, we now faced the challenge of the British School Abu Dhabi played at the Emirates Palace, quite possibly the most picturesque and spectacular ground in Abu Dhabi (see ‘Facebook’ pictures). The toss was made and controversially our opponents decided to bat first.  We planned to bat first as this was an ideal opportunity to use as many batsmen as possible in this 20-20 format.

Nevertheless we stayed professional and it was vital that we limited the amount of runs scored by the opposition and took as many wickets as possible. We did exactly this and by the end of the first innings we had the upper hand. The British School Abu Dhabi were bowled out for just 80.

Aston, Mason, Styles, Hanmer and Prescott all bowled well to collect a wicket a piece and Jack Hudson-Williams took two wickets including a sublime reaction catch with his first ball. A very good spell from George Hanmer followed, he took one wicket and bowled very economically.

Our innings then commenced with Matthew Gregson and William Mason opening the batting. They took full advantage of the small boundary and ill directed bowling, knocking off the runs in the space of only 5.4 overs including hitting two sixes and fifteen fours.

Matthew Gregson finished on 33 no and Mason 34 no, both carrying their bats, two very well played innings, to seal a very comfortable win.The team then had a victory swim in the serene waters of the vastly impressive Emirates Palace to top off the day.

Mark Prescott

13 Dec: Match Day 3 - Shrewsbury School 1st XI v Dubai College

With two wins already under our belt, we woke bright and early in search of a third victory to complete the set. The coach journey back to Dubai went a lot smoother than on the way 3 days previously, as this time the coach driver didn’t get lost and require a taxi to follow!  

The journey to the Dubai 7’s complex took one and a half hours, however we were amazed by the outstanding variety of sky scrapers in Dubai including the world famous 7* ‘Burj Al Arab’ hotel.

On reaching the ground, most of us pretty shattered already, we won the toss and elected to bat. Steve Leach and Charlie Farquhar set out to commence the innings, our 3rd different opening partnership this tour, which shows the depth and talent of our batting line up. After Steve was bowled early on Charlie and Ruaidhri Smith set about laying a solid platform on a difficult surface.

After Charlie departed in the 17th over Freddie Cox came to the crease and with Ruaidhri started to increase the run rate until Freddie was unluckily run out, just as he was starting to look solid. Ruaidhri finally departed for a well made 78, then after a couple more quick wickets Steve Barnard and Jack Hudson-Williams resurrected the innings with some hard running and powerful shots. We finished the innings on 192-8.

We were confident that this would be a competitive score, however the opposition got off to a flying start due to some wayward bowling and good batting from the Dubai openers.

Steve Barnard bowled consistently well and picked up a well deserved wicket in his 4th over. With the game still in the balance on came the spinners whom immediately reduced the run rate.

Henry Lewis picked up 2 wickets, but more crucially Alex Styles took 5 wickets including a hat trick! With his first wicket he dismissed the opposition’s best batsmen who looked well set with a tactical long hop hit straight down Matt Gregson’s throat at deep-square who took a quality catch on the second attempt. Charlie picked up 1 wicket and a good piece of fielding by Will Mason resulting in a run out finished the innings.

Shrewsbury came out winners by 85 runs. This brought to an end an exciting first leg of the tour and puts us in a great position for Australia.

Dubai conquered!

Ali Pollock

13 Dec: Match Day 3 - Shrewsbury School U15 vs Repton International School 1st XI

We travelled back to Dubai from Abu Dhabi for our third game of the tour versus Repton. Another good ground and the wicket wasn’t bad either. We lost the toss and were put into bat. An early wicket wasn’t what we wanted but with a decent run rate we were giving ourselves a good chance to post a good total. Wickets began to fall though and after 10 overs we were 47 for 4. A solid partnership from Blofield (23) and Crawford (10) sent us up to 87 but again wickets fell. We plummeted to 117 for 9 after 23 overs but Flowers (40) and Lewis took us up to 164 with a very good 10th wicket partnership.

We battled hard in the field with a sharp run out in the first over but we were punished by an excellent opening batsman who went on to score 86. Poor line and length allowed him and the other batsmen to knock off the runs after just 20 overs. Blofield took two wickets, a good stumping from Humes off the bowling of Bibby, and a run out were the only wickets taken in a disappointing bowling and fielding display that also featured some dropped catches. Hopefully in Perth we can win most of our games and show improvements to take into the season in England.

Charles Kidson

16 Dec: Match Day 4 - Shrewsbury School U15 vs Christ Church Grammar School U15

We won the toss and elected to bat on a hard, flat wicket. Humes and Warburg opened the batting, however we were quickly one down after four overs. Crawford came in at three and hit a good 20 (all in fours).  Earlam came in seven overs before drinks and smashed his way to 50. At drinks, we found ourselves with a healthy run-rate, but losing too many wickets (75 for 4). Flowers and Earlam made a solid partnership of about 90 with Flowers playing a mature innings of 30.  Earlam made Christ Church pay by dropping him first ball to go on to hit a magnificent 123 off roughly 90 balls.  White came in at number seven and hit 20, but we lost wickets too quickly in the latter stages of the innings.  We were bowled out for 236 with five overs remaining. Considering the good wicket and the fast outfield we thought this might be slightly under par.

Flowers and Bedson opened the bowling and both got the ball to swing away nicely from the right hander. In the fourth over, Bedson bowled a teasing ball outside off stump and the batsman played a slip drive straight to Blofield at first slip. At the first drinks break they were 63-2.  Hayward came on to bowl and kept it tight, taking two wickets in the process. Flowers took a magnificent catch on the boundary off the bowling of Green, which gave the whole team a lift. We took the last drinks break and got some advice from Old Salopian and England ‘A’ cricketer Jimmy Taylor - ‘get a tan like me’!  They needed 66 off the last ten overs with four wickets in hand. Bibby came on in the 43rd over and he was rewarded for his good lines and lengths with three wickets in an over. Their run-rate slowed up and we then looked like definite winners. We ended up bowling them out for 199 and winners by 37 runs. This performance should give us confidence heading into the next match.

Henry Blofield

17 Dec: Match Day 5 - Shrewsbury School 1st XI v John Forrest Senior High School Cricket Academy

After our tight win versus Christ Church, we faced the John Forrest senior high school which is a part cricket academy. It was an exciting pitch which provided a good contest between bat and ball.

As the heat was increasing, John Forrest won the toss and elected to bat. Soon Steve Barnard and James Aston were steaming in but it proved to be the change of bowler to Jack Hudson-Williams, which brought the first breakthrough in the 9th over.

Thereafter it was Shrewsbury dominance with Pollock and Mason, while the other seamers also bowled well. The spinners also bowled tightly with Henry Lewis bowling very economically and the infamous DJ Sparky ending with figures of 3 for 3 off 3.

With the opposition bowled out for the modest total of 85, things would seem relatively straightforward. However the heat just continued to soar, with rumours circling that it touched 34 degrees, thus the run chase would not be easy.

This point was hammered home when DJ Sparky received a short ball which just skidded low across the deck, trapping him plum in front. With our man of the moment gone, hard graft would be the doctor’s orders, and that was exactly what we got. Steve Leach and Henry Lewis were calm and collected and slowly started to knock off the total, playing the spinners with particular ease and by the 18th over we had knocked off their total with Henry and Steve ending on scores of 42 and 38 respectively. Another victory, 5 wins from 5, dare we dream of an unbeaten tour.................?

Freddie Cox

17 Dec: Match Day 6 - Shrewsbury School U15 XI vs Willetton Cricket Club U15's

After captain Blofield won the toss and elected to bat, it was clear that the pitch would be very flat and great to bat on. Lewis and White (on his birthday) opened the batting hoping to score runs, but unfortunately good bowling from the Willeton opening bowlers saw the opening partnership broken and another quickly followed. When White departed after 15 overs Humes came in at number five and top scored with 19. Flowers and Waterworth both made 14, but we finished on a score, which we felt would be hard to defend, of 84 all out.

Knowing that the only way to win the game would be taking wickets an attacking field was set. This chance paid off when Blofield and Bedson both bowled good opening spells with Blofield getting the two openers out very cheaply before the lunch break; he finished with figures of 10 overs, 2 maidens, 2 wickets for 32 runs. Wickets also for Hayward, after a brilliant leg side stumping from keeper Humes, and Lewis who also picked up a wicket at the end of the Willeton innings, but their number three stuck out the overs and batted well, eventually finishing on 48*.

A disappointing result, but a game that we hope to learn from.

James Warburg

17 Dec: Match Day 6 - Shrewsbury School 1st XI v Southern Cricket Academy

After winning five matches out of five, the first team embarked on the challenge of facing the Southern Cricket Academy at Willerton Cricket Club which possessed a beautiful deck, the best we have played on so far, and the first pitch that was not in the bowlers favour.

After winning the first toss of the tour, skipper Henry Lewis inevitably decided to bat first, sending Will Mason and Freddie Cox in to open the batting, who demonstrated what a good batting deck this was, getting off to a good start but losing the wicket of Coxy in the seventh over, top edging one to mid on.

Mason carried on well with Ruaidhri Smith until Mase was run out after a confusion between the two of them for 16. Ruaidhri batted well and ended up on 15 off just 11 balls after being run out with yet another confusion between the batsmen, this time with Jack Bailey.

This gave entrance to the inform Steve Leach who batted well with Jack Bailey until Bails got clean ripped for 43. Leachy batted magnificently and carried his bat to end up on an awesome 101 not out. Stylo came in after JB and thought he was still in the last match, trying to clear the boundary rope of cow corner, to unfortunately miss the ball and listen to the crunching sound of his castle being knocked over.

This gave entrance to the also inform Henry Lewis, who batted confidently with Leachy and he ended up on 39, after being caught near the end going for a big shot with aim to quicken the run rate. Alasdair Pollock and Jamie Board supplied support for Leachy towards the end and we ended up on 269 off 48 overs.

This was a par score for the pitch produced and possessed a challenge for our bowlers, especially seamers. A quality opening partnership of James Aston and Alasdair Pollock saw the opposition only scoring 34 of the first 12 overs.

Charlie Farqhar and Alex Styles then bowled in a good partnership, both coming on first change and keeping the run rate to a bare minimum. Henry Lewis and George Hanmer continued this theme and pinned their batsmen down to a low run rate. Will Mason also had a bowl who has a knack of cleaning up the tail which he successfully did. Wickets were shared round, with Pollock, Styles and Hanmer all picking up 2 each.

The fielding on a whole was tidy, including a great catch from Ruaidhri in the deep. On the whole, a good win which we all hope that the habit shall continue!

Jack Hudson-Williams

19 Dec: Match Day 7 - Shrewsbury School 1st XI v Claremont-Nedlands Under 17s

We had an early start for the 20/20 match against Claremont-Nedlands. After a sluggish warm-up, we started well in the field with our opening bowlers, Jack Hudson-Williams and Henry Lewis, being very economic, restricting the opposition to less than 5 an over during the powerplay.

Claremont then came back slightly during the middle overs and towards the end, but our bowlers continued to bowl well and we managed to restrict the opposition to 123.

Opening the batting, Will Mason and Matt Gregson, started well but then after a few quick wickets, Jack Hudson-Williams (57) and Steve Barnard (24) steadied the ship, batting with aggression and calm heads, took us to within 20 runs of victory.

After these two fell in quick succession, it was then down to George Hanmer and Mark Prescott to take us home. After a few shaky overs, we finaly sneaked home with 4 balls to spare.

This was a good fielding performance, but should have been finished off sooner and much easier than it finally was.

R.Smith

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