Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

Boys' Cricket: 1st XI v Ardvreck

Boys' Cricket: 1st XI v Ardvreck

Saturday dawned warm and bright and then in sharp contrast to every other day in the past few weeks, got steadily more so. Cricket in the sun – brilliant! There are few things I enjoy more than being out on the Belhaven Hill main pitch, in glorious weather with a good crowd of enthusiastic supporters (no parents this time, unfortunately) as a game  of cricket unfolds.

We were hosting Ardvreck and agreed on a 25 over match; Ardvreck won the toss and elected to bowl first.

Our openers, after such a successful outing last time round, remained unchanged. They got off to a good start but then disaster struck as Tommy played across the line to a straight, full ball and was out L.B.W. An over later, Theo went reaching for a full, straight ball and was bowled. These dismissals brought Hugo and James to the wicket. For about 10 balls, they looked steady and James clipping a ball down the leg for 4 and Hugo cutting one for two; then Hugo was out L.B.W. playing across the line to a pitched up straight ball (if you spot a pattern developing, you are not the only one!).

Harry was next in and he stuck around for ten balls, striking a lovely boundary before being bowled; George was L.B.W first ball - you guessed it - playing across a straight, pitched up delivery. Then Charles was caught after three balls bringing Rory to the middle. Rory struggled initially but grew in confidence and ran well between the wickets.

And all the while, James held up one end. Well, he more than held it up. He did  start rather nervously but a few boundaries helped him to relax and he began to move his feet a bit better and punish more of the loose balls sent his way. In fact, boundaries and concentration were key features of James’s innings.

With James now scoring freely at one end, and Rory holding up the other while keeping his own score ticking over nicely, an impressive partnership developed. In fact, it is, quite possibly the biggest partnership in Belhaven’s history*, one worth 123 runs. While James certainly scored the majority of the runs, he could not have done so without Rory’s help, support and excellent running between the wickets.

It took James 28 balls to reach his half century and then another 23 to reach the magical 100 mark, thus becoming only the second Belhaven boy to do so in the past 20 years and when he finally retired undefeated on 117, he became the highest (as far as we can tell*) ever scorer at Belhaven Hill. Well done indeed.

After James, Constantin, Duncan & Matty all had a bat and all did well – Matty and Duncan making their 1st XI debut. At the end of our allotted 25 overs, the score was 222 for 8 wickets.

And so to bowling. With a good total to defend, it afforded us the chance to rotate the bowling and I was delighted that every single boy got a chance to do so.

Harry & Tommy opened for us. Harry started well, bowling some cracking, inswinging balls in his first over for no reward while Tommy bowled straight in somewhat short, collecting one wicket when he pitched one up. James and Rory took over and James bowled the best I have seen him bowl thus far while Rory, after an erratic first over, found his rhythm, line and length and bowled some lovely balls, fully deserving his wicket (bowled).

Hugo and Charles were next to have a go and Hugo bowled beautifully, eventually getting his man caught out. Charles struggled a bit for rhythm today but was determined and this paid off as he bowled one boys and had another caught.

Theo really struggled, bowling some horrible deliveries but walked away with two wickets while Matty bowled accurately, if a bit down the leg side and was picked off for a few boundaries – sometimes that’s the way it goes. Fortunately, one of Theo’s was a caught & bowled dismissing their top scorer (52) who had played a brilliant innings and really put us under some pressure.

Duncan had one over – his first hard-ball over in a match – and then Constantin and George (discarding the gloves), between them cleared up the final 3 wickets, both bowling very accurately indeed, leaving Ardvreck 76 runs short of our total.

I must commend the team on their fielding as, despite the heat and blazing sun, they remained energetic to the last ball. Also, there were very few errors and though none of the four direct hits led to a run-out, they were a fine demonstration of the hard work the boys have put in.

Before the match I told the boys that what I wanted from them was enthusiasm, energy and a positive, supportive attitude and they delivered on all points. The support from the boundary while we batted was loud and encouraging, the energy in the field was brilliant and the support between them all was gratifying to see. Well done boys.

Result: Match won by 76 runs.

MOTM: James

Batting Bowling
James 117 n.o. off 57 balls (21 x 4, 2 x 6) Theo: 2o 0m 10r 2w
Rory 21 off 23 balls (3 x 4) Charles: 20 0m 5r 2w
Tommy 13 off 10 balls (3 x 4) Constantin: 2.3o 0m 8r 2w

*There is a 12 year gap in the records.