Match Report - Game 8 v Nalanda College
Disappointment that the Psara International Stadium was unavailable due to inclement weather in the lead up to the game was quickly forgotten when the team saw the boutique nature of the replacement Moors Cricket Ground, itself a first class cricket venue.
The day dawned cloudy but incredibly humid and in the lead up to the game persistent drizzle meant a delayed start. Our opposition school is a single sex boys’ school of over 5000 students. They proudly boast a number of former Sri Lankan international cricketers including Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Dharmasena, Roshan Mahanama, Asanka Gurusinghe and Gaminin Wickramasinghe.
The match was eventually reduced to 30 overs per side fixture. At the toss Nalanda College decided to bat first and they were aggressive from the get go. Despite the fall of regular early wickets they continued to play their shots. One of the 6's that was hit out of the ground almost required us to hire a tuk-tuk to retrieve it. Nalanda found themselves 50 for 4 off 11 overs with Jack Harris and Bradley Fulton picking up a wicket each and miserly Isaac Harris (captain for the day) grabbing two. Our opposition continued the onslaught putting on a partnership of 72 in 8 punishing overs. Once this partnership was broken wickets again began to fall regularly as the Nalanda side continued their aggressive approach. Charles Parker grabbed two stunning catches in these middle overs, one was an overhead backwards running catch and the other a diving one handed effort. Our opposition were eventually bowled out for a very respectable 192. Isaac returned the figures of the day with 2 for 6 of 4 overs, James Stratton claimed 2 for 29 and Bradley Fulton 2 for 41.
The school's run chase began disastrously with the loss of two cheap wickets and the score slumped to 1 for 2. Hugh Symes (13) was joined by Tom O'Connor in a partnership which yielded 65 runs in 11 overs. Tom scored a hard hit 55 off 52 balls including 5 fours and 3 sixes. With the score at 86 for 4 up stepped Charles Parker to play one of the innings of the tour. Charles blasted a swashbuckling 57 runs off 30 balls including 2 fours and 6 sixes. When Charles was dismissed the team required a further 25 runs off 23 balls with 2 wickets in hand. Unfortunately the innings was prematurely wrapped up for the addition of only 4 more runs. Despite the 20 run loss the school made may friends today. Their end of match Haka was welcomed by a knowledgeable audience. The Nalanda coaching staff made it very clear that the school was welcome back any time which is the best accolade a touring team could get.
- Mr Paul Gibbs, Manager