By Alex Watson
Harrow U14B- 123/9
Shivang Shukla 3/29, Jaipaal Ghotra 2/17
Hampton U14B- 124/4
Stan Amor 58 (59)
On a warm, sunny afternoon, the Hampton cricket U14B team made the journey to Harrow School to play their second match of the cricketing season, coming off the back of a narrow game against Merchant Taylors’, which Hampton won in the final over thanks to three sixes.
In spite of suspicions regarding the state of the pitch, the game went ahead as usual with Hampton captain Jack Youster winning the toss and electing to bowl. Tight opening bowling from Alex Watson, Ben Fairbairn and Shivang Shukla kept the scoring rate to around five an over in the opening stages, before Shukla took the opening wicket with a simple, quick, straight ball, catching the batsman out LBW. Another wicket was soon to follow as the other opener, going for a quick two, was run out, giving Hampton a good foundation for the remainder of the Harrow innings.
Harrow looked to regain control and some big hitting from their number three pushed them back into a more favourable position, but Shukla managed to take two crucial wickets through a barrage of short deliveries picking up two caught and bowleds. Spinner Ameya Mathur added to the Harrow misery with his first opening wicket, before a pair of brilliant in-swinging yorkers cleaned up two more of the home side’s batsmen.
Now into the tail, Mathur picked up another wicket as a simple catch was skied to Will Kirk at point. Though a brief show of resistance was put on by the Hampton tail, their innings came to a shaky close, with a run out from the very last ball thanks to a great throw from Ben Fairbairn and great work behind the stumps by wicket keeper Charlie Moffat. Harrow had reached 123-9 off their 25 overs.
After tea, Moffat would then walk out to open the batting alongside Stanley Amor, the pair fully focused on achieving the 124 run target. Unfortunately, Moffat would not have as good a time out in the middle as he did behind the stumps, as he was removed early for a duck after miscuing a drive directly into the hands of cover. Captain Youster and Amor looked to rebuild, but another wicket was soon to come as Youster was clean bowled for 2 off a skiddy delivery.
Out came Kirk at number 4 to join Amor, the two immediately looking in control. Amor in particular looked comfortable against the Harrow bowling attack, smashing numerous boundaries including two big sixes. Meanwhile Kirk supported him well, adding a few boundaries of his own and keeping the scoreboard moving.
It wasn’t long before Amor reached fifty, greeted by cheers from the other players, scoring 8 fours and 2 sixes in his knock. Unfortunately soon after, number four Kirk was removed for 23 and in came Adi Kumar to help guide Hampton to a victory that was now in sight. Amor was then also dismissed, smashing a ball straight up into the air, and he left the middle having scored 58.
Luckily for Hampton, Kumar and new batsmen Stefan Hilmy played well to guide Hampton to a routine win, Kumar finishing on 10 not out and Hilmy on just 3 not out.