4 May 2022

The season got underway this weekend with our first full block fixture against Berkhamsted School. At Berkhamsted, the 1st XI and 3rd XI both elected to bat first. After the loss of an early wicket, the 1st XI put themselves in a strong position at the halfway stage of their innings and at 124 for 2, looked well set to post a good total. The loss of 5 wickets in the next 10 overs, along with some good spin bowling from their opponents, stemmed the run rate and it required some late hitting from Tom Hughes (34 from 29 balls) to post anything like a competitive total, eventually making 199 for 9. Notable contributions with the bat came from Freddy Selby-Lowndes (46), Max Siriwardene (31) and Caspar Mannix (35). Between innings, both teams and umpires gathered in the middle for a moment’s silence out of respect for the recent passing of an Upper Sixth Abingdon student, organised by his good friend and 1st XI captain, Caspar Mannix. In response, the Berkhamsted batsmen lost wickets steadily in the first 20 overs of their response and the game looked well balanced 25 overs into their innings. A very good 4th wicket partnership then swung the game back in favour of the hosts, and despite losing a couple of wickets in the final stages of the chase, Berkhamsted passed the Abingdon total for the loss of 6 wickets in the 48th over. Connor Lamsdale was the pick of the Abingdon bowlers, taking 4 for 27 from his 10 overs of left arm spin.

On the adjacent pitch, the 3rd XI made good progress with their innings, but struggled with the loss of regular wickets. That was until Todd Stanmore came to the crease. 59 runs off 27 balls later, with some booming sixes from the blade of Stanmore, the 3rd XI posted a challenging 178 for 8. In response, some early wickets to Zach Broad got Abingdon off to a great start and the Berkhamsted response never really got going, with wickets shared, and eventually bowling the hosts out for 110 to win by 68 runs.

On War Memorial, the 2nd XI hosted their counterparts, again batting first. Abingdon took the game to their opponents, posting an impressive 170 for 9, thanks largely to the innings of Amar Mattu (50) and Jamie Wickens (42). In response, the Berkhamsted side struggled to score at the required rate and lost regular wickets to reach 98 all out, with the pick of the bowlers being Arthur Sheppard with 3 for 11.

On a tricky wicket at Cox’s Field, the U15 As bowled first and reduced their opponents to 141 all out. In a nail biting conclusion, with Abingdon requiring 2 to win off the last ball, the hosts managed just the single to produce a very rare tie! On the adjacent pitches, the U15 Bs and Cs performed well, but neither side could quite match the Berkhamsted run rates with both sides falling slightly short with the bat in a couple of two-innings matches.

The U14 As were set a very challenging target away at Berkhamsted, needing 196 for victory. After a slightly slow start, the innings gained real momentum, but they couldn’t quite get themselves over the line, falling 14 short in an exciting chase, with Oliver Hewes making a fine 73. The U14 Bs won a close two-innings encounter which included some fine individual performances from Thomas House (4 for 15), Ryansh Anand (3 for 28), Seb Phillis (37) and William Walters (26*), whilst the U14 Cs all contributed to a competitive victory, scoring at a better tempo than their opponents overall. In some well-fought Lower School fixtures the U12s suffered two losses, whilst the U13 As managed a good victory with a win in the last over of their match; Henry Golding finishing with 3 for 12 from his 5 overs and Henry Purcell finishing the game in style with a boundary in the final over.

Next weekend, we look forward to another full block of fixtures against Warwick School.

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