It’s been a steep learning curve for the revived 1st XI cricket team during the first half of the summer term, but while a win has proved elusive just getting a side on the field and competing at this level is victory enough – for now. Grateful thanks go to a St Bart’s parent, Michael Stanton-Jones, and many others at Falkland Cricket Club for enabling us to use their splendid turf pitches for home matches.
Led with care and diligence by Elliot Crouch, we began our season in the majestic setting of Bradfield College, whose full-time coach had been seconded to Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League! We put up a good show, however, against a lively U17 team, with opening batter Marcus Bucknell player of the match. Two further games against Reading Grammar and Burford saw, respectively, a spirited performance with the ball from Harrison Blakemore and enterprising batting (and running) from Nathan Delavere before a memorable clash – partly witnessed by Mr Robbins – against Radley College’s 3rds.
After the opposition amassed 219-5 off their 20 overs, Bart’s began brilliantly with a partnership of 49 between Elliot and fellow opener Kunj Patel, foiled only by Kunj’s leg injury. But that was topped by a 97-run partnership between Elliot and Y10 Jimmy Herdman, who scored 61 and 52 before both fell – freakishly – in consecutive balls. Jimmy had earlier taken 3 wickets for a mere 11 runs on a day when almost every other bowler’s figures (on both sides) were severely dented. Although we came up short at the end, this batting effort was tremendous to watch and should be a great boost to the team’s self-belief as we go into the rest of our first season back in “senior” school cricket.
A final word of thanks to all the students (more than 30 in number) who have either played in games or attended the winter nets on Fridays at 4pm earlier this year – your commitment is appreciated!