1st XI Cricket vs MCCS
On a thankfully dry last Friday in April, TWBS 1st XI Cricket hosted the annual fixtures vs MCC (the busiest cricket club in the world that play over 400 matches every year!). After the ceremonial photographs, and as is customary, the gentlemen of MCC batted first. TWBS had some good form coming into the game after their excellent bowling and fielding had set up a ten wicket victory over Claire’s Court School earlier in the week. Indeed it was the opening pair of Bailey Niblett (Year 10) and captain for the second consecutive year Charlie Dunnett (Year 13), who bowled with unerring accuracy and threat to stifle the MCC openers. Dunnett struck twice, clean bowling Feroz Baig first and then Josh Jayasingh taking a smart slip catch, to dismiss Adam Francis to leave MCC reeling at 19/2. Niblett then encouraged a false shot from Robert Eason and Kumayle Hussain took a simple catch – 29/3 before the first ten overs were completed. As expected, at this point the men of MCC showed the school boys how to deal with a tough start. Sensible batting, still in the face of good bowling, led to a promising partnership and a quicker scoring rate – the MCC fifty arriving in the 13th over of the day. Year 12 change bowlers Tegh Banse and Charlie Ticehurst then settled into their work and it was Ticehurst who got the timely wicket of the hard-hitting Ian Crosby – 73/4. By the time lunch was taken Tegh had clean bowled both the obdurate Ben Lane and MCC captain David Heavyside; MCC were on the ropes at 111/6 at lunch.
Upon the resumption of MCC innings, greater intent was shown by wicketkeeper Duxbury and no.8 Haines and the game moved on rapidly. By the time both had fallen to good catches off the same Tegh Banse over the score had moved to 168/8; from there MCC pushed to set a competitive total and declared their innings closed on 207/8. Tea was then taken before TWBS would begin their reply. Charlie Kingsford and Josh Jayasingh opened up the TWBS reply and made a great start to the run chase. Indeed, the first 50 runs came up in the tenth over and both boys looked comfortable at the crease. However, the introduction of a change of pace saw Bracey encourage Jayasingh to run past one to be stumped out for 38 and then slide one straight on to have Dunnett adjudged lbw first ball. TWBS had now slipped to 69-2 in the space of consecutive deliveries and also with now both their Year 13 students back in the Pavilion. Perhaps flustered by the quick change in fortunes, Kingsford chipped up a catch the very next over and TWBS were now 71/3. Pressure brings mistakes and Kerl Ziemkendorf’s run-less innings came with a tame catch and left TWBS 72/4. Perhaps learning from how MCC rebuilt their innings, Year 11s, Will Moss and Harry Bicknell, steadied the ship and put on a promising partnership to steer TWBS towards the 100 run mark. Unfortunately, Will’s innings came to an end with the score 99/5, giving Bracey also his third wicket. Tegh then joined Harry at the crease and runs flowed freely once again, giving the assembled crowd hope of a famous victory. In an inspired captaincy call, Heavyside brought himself on to bowl and took a wicket in each of his first two overs – Bicknell chipping a catch up for a handy 35 runs and then as the clocked ticked to 6pm, Tom Coomber playing all around a straight ball for just one run to his name. There was still hope of a win with Tegh at the crease, but his departure and then quickly afterwards Ticehurst’s gave Bracey a five wicket haul and MCC just one wicket from victory, TWBS now 145/9 and with little chance of victory. Niblett as last man went in to join Kumayle with just under six overs of the day left to try and cling on for a draw, and with instructions to do so. While Bailey dutifully played out the rest of the over as a maiden his end, Kumayle had his sights set on glory as he then launched Baig back over his head for a one-bounce four. Perhaps calmer heads prevailed as the rest of his over and the next were again full of solid defensive shots. However, a repeated attempt in Baig’s next over was less successful; Kumayle missed the ball, it thudded onto his pads and the umpire had no choice but to give him out lbw and consign TWBS to a 58-run loss.