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Excellent Bowling Display from Hampton U14Bs Leads Them to Impressive Win Against Reeds

By Alex Watson

Hampton U14B 137-8 (30 overs)

Steffan Hilmy 43 (59)

Ollie Williams 14* (9)

Charlie Moffatt 13 (22)

Alex Watson 13* (12)

Reeds U14B 110 all out (25.4 overs)

Ameya Mathur 3-28

Ollie Williams 2-17

Alex Watson 2-32

Tom Boardman 1-8

Coming off the back of two straight wins to kickstart the season, the Hampton U14Bs were looking in good shape. On a slightly overcast day at their home ground, they took on a strong Reeds side. The toss was won by the visitors, who sensibly elected to bowl, and Charlie Moffatt and Will Kirk stepped out to the middle to begin the Hampton innings.

A solid partnership was built early on, with Moffatt and Kirk both looking in good shape, although they did profit from a few early extras from the Reeds bowling unit. Just as Moffatt had reached double figures with a crisp boundary, he was unfortunate to see a tight LBW shout given the way if the bowler, meaning he would have to depart with 13 to his name.

Number three Stefan Hilmy came in and immediately began to show some intent, rotating the strike nicely. Kirk on the other hand was struggling to score and succumbed to a nippy straight ball which took out his middle stump.

Captain and wicketkeeper Harry Drewry hit a good early boundary which many of his teammates hoped was a sign of good things to come, but he was soon trapped LBW by a Reeds spinner, making just 4, the same as Kirk.

Whilst Hilmy was batting brilliantly at one end, numbers five, six and seven were struggling to score at the other. Adi Kumar scored 5 off 14, Jaipaal Ghotra scored 3 off 17 and Jack Youster scored 6 off 21.

This put Hampton in a precarious position- many batsmen were struggling to score though Hilmy had progressed well into the 30s. In next was Tom Boardman at number eight, and he also struggled to get in on a slow, low pitch. He was caught well at deep mid-wicket for just 1 off 7 balls, leaving Hampton at the worrying stage of 108-7 with just four and a half overs left of the allotted thirty.

Alex Watson came to the crease and started to score well, hitting a four off his first ball and continuing to rotate the strike. However, he did run out the brilliant Hilmy whilst pursuing a quick single, and the number three had to walk off after single handedly dragging the team to a somewhat respectable score with 43 off 59 balls.

With just three overs left to go, new pair of Watson and Ollie Williams batted brilliantly to propel the total up by 25, giving Hampton a score of 137-8 off their 30 overs. Watson finished on 13 not out off 12 balls and Williams finished on 14 not out off 9. However, despite the late flourish the total was definitely sub-par and the Hampton bowling attack would have to do well against a strong Reeds batting lineup to ensure a victory.

The Reeds innings started with a wake-up call as Shivang Shukla’s opening ball was skied to Ameya Mathur, who put it down. Luckily, Hampton’s intensity did not waver and they soon had the same batsman run out three balls later, thanks to some great work from Moffatt at point. They had the perfect start.

Tom Boardman and Shukla bowled in tandem for six overs, keeping things very tight and limiting the Reeds scoring rate. Boardman in particular was very economical and picked up a deserved wicket when the ball was chipped to Youster at cover who took a good catch.

Williams and Watson were the change bowlers and they kept things fairly tight, although the big-hitting Reeds number three was looking dangerously good. A partnership was starting to build, the game starting to slip Reeds’ way, until a stunning piece of bowling from Williams saw him pick up two wickets in two balls including a pacy to dismiss the new batsman for a golden.

However, the number three, Qureshi, was still smashing the ball around left right and centre, even hitting a six off the new bowler, spinner Mathur. With support from the other end, he began to push the Reeds total higher and higher until they were almost in control. However, at the crucial moment, Hampton grabbed a wicket. Qureshi drilled the ball to Ghotra at mid-wicket, set off for the run, and sent his partner back far too late when he saw Ghotra already had the ball in his hands. The Reeds number six was run out thanks to some smart hands from Mathur at the bowler’s end, and the game was back on- Reeds were 76-5.

Mathur continued to bowl tightly and was rewarded with another wicket when a hoik from the new batsman was met by nothing but the sound of the bails dropping behind him. However, despite these breakthroughs there was one major problem: Qureshi was still in, hitting big, and approaching his fifty.

On came Watson to bowl, and a slightly wayward over involving two sides transformed into the most crucial one yet, as he produced a brilliant yorker to burst through Qureshi’s defences and get rid of the danger man for a well-played 48 off just 44 balls.

The game was now in Hampton’s control, Reeds 83-7 with their main batsman gone, and Mathur seized upon the opportunity with two more quick wickets to put the opposition in a precarious position at 89-9.

Hampton thought they had the game won, the celebrations were already starting, but the visitors number 10 and 11 decided this was far from the case. A decent partnership began to build, the pair putting on 10, then 20. Reeds only now needed 28 runs to win, and it was very possible with 5 overs of their innings still to play.

However, Watson managed to have one final say, producing another yorker to knock over Reeds’ number 10 and secure Hampton’s 27-run victory, making it three wins from three for the season. However, there were still a number of places where the 14Bs had to improve if they were to win their next few games, a matter addressed by their coach Mr Trivedi.

Hampton U14B win by 27 runs

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