Hampton School 138 all out (38.4 overs, Berg 50)
St. Kabir School Ahmedabad 141-2 (31.2 overs)
St. Kabir School win by eight wickets
A fighting innings of 50 by Jack Berg was the highlight for Hampton School’s cricketers in the fifth match of their Indian tour, but his innings failed to rescue the tourists from a convincing defeat after a frustrating performance with the bat.
Batting first after winning the toss in cool conditions, the tourists made a confident start, reaching 66 for one in the 17th over, with Pravin Kiritharan’s patient 27 off 51 balls an excellent foil for the more assertive Berg.
But as the pitch started to dry out and the opposition’s spinners began to take control, the tourists’ batsmen went into their shell, responding passively to the challenge thrown up by the Indian spin attack.
Even so, at 111 for four in the 28th over, with a potential 17 still to come, Hampton were very much in the game. But four wickets fell for the addition of nine runs, and despite some late hitting by Mikey Ford, a total of 138 looked well short of par on a pitch that was flattening out fast.
As if to emphasise the point, the St Kabir opening batsmen made a rapid start, dealing aggressively with Hampton’s attack. Opener Harsh in particular lived up to his name with a devastating innings of 66 in 99 balls that took his team to the verge of victory.
Stand-out bowlers for Hampton included the leg-spin duo of Pranav Pandey and Gurmeher Samra, each of whom snatched a wicket as St Kabir chased down the target with ruthless efficiency. Also impressive was opening bowler Kieran Downer, who had no luck at all with ball in hand but bowled with plenty of heart.
Hampton coped well in the field, but the match was lost in the second half of their innings. At the post-match presentations, the St Kabir coach suggested that playing spin is the real challenge at this level: a lesson his spinners had already taught the tourists’ batsmen earlier in the day.