A cold and blustery afternoon saw First Ball Academy take on a talented T20 Community Academy. FBA won the toss and elected to field in their first-ever academy game.
The game started slowly with the T20 openers adjusting to the Astro turf surface, with mistimed shots aplenty. The game sparked into life when Harris number two opening bowler had their opening batsman caught by Noah at short fine leg for 2. As their captain strode to the crease, I realised it was Ralph a player I had coached at Purley CC. Immediately Ralph attempted to take on the FBA bowlers, with mistimed shots over the top, with one shot inches away from a fielder.
Ralph eventually retired on 31 of 26 balls with 4, 4’s at a strike rate of 120.00 The pick of the bowlers Harris Khan removed the second opener with an easy catch to vice-captain, Matthias two balls later Harris removed a middle-order batsman for a duck.
T20 innings closed on 106 – 3 after 20 Overs
In reply, FBA lost their first wicket (Johnny) in the second over followed by (Leo) for 2. With the Captain and Vice at the wicket the strategy was to rebuild the innings by counter attacking. FBA top scorer went about this by pulling the only six of the game over mid-wicket and timing the ball to the boundary twice more. Just as he was looking to unleash, he chipped a ball off the leg spinner straight to mid-wicket. A dejected Vice- captain walked back whilst Captain, Aaryan set about maintaining the scoring rate.
Two cheap run-out in the middle order of Omar and Safi halted progress until Harris and Shemar came to the together. In particular, Shemar improvised backing away off side and on to loft two gorgeous shots for 4. Harris also chipped in with a quick fire 10 to give FBA hope of an unlikely victory.
In the end T20’s superior game match experience told, knocking over the lower middle and tail to win by 27 runs. There were lots of positives to take away for FBA, the girls and boys will be better for the experience against a well-drilled T20 academy in difficult weather conditions.
Man of the Match: Harris Khan with figures of 4 overs 1 maiden 3 wickets for 10 runs. With the bat, chipping in with a breezy 10.