3 May 2017

The Cricket Club started the season with a block fixture against Reading Blue Coat this weekend. The 1st XI travelled away and won the toss, electing to bat first on a good wicket with very short straight boundaries. Abingdon got off to a good start with Ethan Webb and Tom Dingwall providing a solid foundation before Webb went for 23 from 26 balls. Tom Dingwall continued the momentum, ending on 72 from 81 balls and was well supported by Oscar Fountain with 28 and Jamie Lawson with a quick fire 43 at better than a run a ball. Wicketkeeper-batsman, Toby Collins held the innings together in the latter stages with an excellent 54 not out (from 46 balls) to set a challenging total of 333 for 9 from the allotted 50 overs.

The Reading Blue Coat innings got off to the worst possible start, with three quick wickets. Debutant, Sam Warren struck twice in his first over and captain, Max Mortimer took an early wicket to have the home side faltering at 12 for 3. At 63 for 8, the game was all but over despite some aggressive rear guard batting from the lower order to reach 107 all out in 30.1 overs to complete a 226 run win. The impressive bowling figures for Mortimer (2 for 31 from 8.1 overs), Warren (2 for 22 from 7 overs), Jupp (1 for 15 from 5 overs) and Alex Ling (2 for 8 from 3 overs) topped a fine team performance to start the season.

On War Memorial, the 2nd XI was equally impressive, again batting first on a good batting wicket in a 25 over contest. Having shown some promising form on the recent tour to Sri Lanka, Charlie Goulder stepped up with the bat, recording an impressive 94 not out with Alexander Sayeed making an excellent 80, catapulting the Abingdon total to an excellent 216 for the loss of just the one wicket. In reply, reading Blue Coat struggled to keep pace with the run rate and eventually fell 82 runs short on 134 all out with Bertie Thomas claiming excellent figures of 3 for 18 with his off-spin.

On Cox’s Field, the U15 sides entertained Reading Blue Coat, with both home sides batting first on unseasonably dry surfaces. James Coombs scored an aggressive 73 in the U15A’s total of 120, but he received little support in posting a modest total on a fast-scoring ground. Reading Blue Coat batted sensibly and chased the total down relatively comfortably for the loss of 4 wickets. The U15B team posted a more competitive total of 142 for 5 in their allotted 20 overs, with Oscar Hitch and Nikhil Vyas making strong contributions of 33 and 32 respectively. In the field, the boys were unable to sustain periods of pressure on the Reading Blue Coat batsmen, who managed to reach the target for the loss of 5 wickets.

Travelling away, the U14 sides both elected to bat first, which proved excellent decisions. The U14A found themselves 35 for 2 after 7 overs, but an excellent partnership of 114 between Freddie Smith and Oliver Deans steadied the ship and provided the foundations for an excellent total of 200 in their 30 overs. Oliver Deans made a muscular 52 from 45 balls and George Siriwardene finished the innings with 21 not out, whilst Freddie Smith recorded the first century of the season, with an impressive 104 not out from 97 balls.  In reply, the Reading Blue Coat innings never got going with regular wickets falling and some fine bowling building constant pressure, with most taking at least one wicket. Impressive spells from Eliot Hyman (5 overs, 4 maidens, 1 wicket for 4 runs), Henry Wooding (2 for 10 from 4 overs), Thomas Owen (1 for 22 from 5), Karum Sangha (2 for 23), Owen Ravden (2 for 6 from 4 overs) and George Siriwardene (1 for 7 from 2), ensured that their opponents were bowled out 89 runs short, for 111.

On an adjoining pitch, the U14B side played some entertaining cricket in securing their first win of the season. Greg Northwood made a solid 44 to guide Abingdon to a competitive 163 for 9. Morgan Atkins provided some pace and hostility with the new ball, taking 3 wickets for 10 runs and making early inroads into the Reading Blue Coat batting line up. Always slightly behind the run rate, the hosts fell away to 116 all out, securing a pretty comprehensive 47 run victory.

Two lower school sides started their season away at Reading Blue Coat, and despite two defeats, there is plenty to learn from and be positive about. Nathan May scored a dynamic 74 not out for the U13A side and Alastair Gray made an impressive 68 not out for the U12As. Both teams fell just under 30 runs short in their chases of 187 and 163 respectively. This week the boys will focus on rotating the strike more regularly when batting and their ability to limit the singles close to the wicket when fielding, which will hopefully pay dividends when they next take the field.

Overall, a very positive start to the season, with plenty of runs scored, and we look forward to fixtures versus Stowe and Warwick this week.

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