The U13s travelled to the splendid Dallas Burston Ground in Brixworth with the possibility of a 4-win weekend on the cards, with the senior 1’s, 2,s and junior U11s all already having won over the weekend. It would take some digging into the history books to find the last time it happened – if ever – and with no victory so far this season, it would take a proper underdog performance to make it reality.
The overhead clouds and spots of rain meant a reduced 16-over contest was agreed, and Brixworth were put into bat with the hope a result would be achieved. For the first time this season, the average ages of the two sides was probably not too dissimilar as Brixworth fielded a number of younger players too.
Devon Malcolm’s talented lad opened the innings with a mixture of aggressive stroke-play and horrendous running between the wickets as he could have been run out at least three or four times and was caught off a no ball! With skipper Jake striking twice in the same over bowling both the other opener and No3, Brixworth were 19-2 in the 4th over and when a run out was finally achieved, Jake swooping from short cover to make it 47-3, a close contest was on the cards. Young Malcolm continued hitting the ball to all parts as he ended up retiring not out on 32, with the prospect of a telling-off from his dad for his poor running!
The fielding up to this point had been excellent, with some notable stops from Aidan on the boundary, Will’s throwing from Fine Leg was very accurate and Mikey was having his best game of the season behind the stumps. Even the backing up was good…until the concentration seemed to disappear. Overthrows, wides, no balls suddenly crept in and the run rate began to climb with the Brixworth No 6 also weighing in with 26no, we suddenly found ourselves having to chase 101-4 from our 16 overs.
With the season’s highest total being 93-3 from 20 overs it would be a tall order, but the news filtered back to us that young Malcolm wasn’t going to bowl. Suddenly the batsmen all began to fancy our chances.
Jacob and Liam put on an excellent 17 before Jacob  fell to a good diving catch. Liam  went with the score on 27, pulling a long-hop straight to mid-wicket and Aidan  went 3 balls later to make it 33-3 and our hopes were waning. Mohit strode out to join Jake who was beginning to hit the gaps and the pair put on 31 before Mo  ran out of steam and was run out making it 64-4, still 38 runs from victory.
George came in down the order with clear determination having bowled uncharacteristically loose. No longer will George be known as Chris Tavare [although Devon assured us Chris Tavare could whack it as well as anyone], as he smashed consecutive boundaries and was then caught pulling to mid-wicket.
Jake then had to retire not out after hitting a superb 30 from 33 balls to glue the innings together and it was down to Prashil and Anya to get us over the line in the last 4 overs.
Brixworth sensed the pressure also and the wide-count was increasing and frantic running got us down to requiring 9 from the last two overs. With 4 required in the last over, Prashil hit a cracking straight drive went past the bowler for a guaranteed 2 runs, possibly 3…..when it struck the umpire’s leg and meant no run was scored….the collective heartbeats of parents, coaches and players alike was unbearable.
It all boiled down to the last ball, 2 to win for the Cooks, 1 to tie. Instructions were relayed to Prashil and Anya to run whatever….so they did. The ball was not taken cleanly by the WK and Anya and Prashil got home safely to secure a tie at 101-5.
It was a very exciting game, as usual some good points and some developmental points, but the main thing was it was fun. The game management was good and was a rare chance for us to actually get the kids involved in a proper run chase.
It was also great to see Archie and his parents supporting at the game, even though he wasn’t playing on the night, a good example of the team spirit the kid’s have achieved. Well done!
That is the final U13 game of the season, so I’d like to thank everyone for their help and support over the season, especially Ben and Jon for their coaching, Charlie for his umpiring and general support to the kids and all of the parents for responding to texts and getting the players to the game on time.
There is likely to be changes on the junior front before next season, but we’ll update you over the winter.