ECB NatWest U19 Club T20

Beddington U19    89 for 7 (18.4 overs)    Purley U19    86 for 6 (20 Overs)
On winning the toss Arun Butler had no hesitation in choosing to put Purley in on what was a rain affected pitch.

What a choice it proved to be. Aaron O’Sullivan took the first a third ball trapped their opener in front for nought. A great start got better when he had their number three charge the wicket only to nick behind to the keeper, Matthew Isaacs. 0-2 off the first over, not a bad way to start. With Bilal Tahir opening with Aaron, they limited Purley to 12 off the first four, Aaron then bowling through taking a third wicket to finish with excellent figures of 3-2.

Louis Cooper-Stewart and Arun Butler kept the pressure on, each bowling through and supported by an excellent fielding performance from the whole team. After 10 overs we were well and truly on top, them having scored only 25. Arun took 2 vital wickets to get rid of a Purley pair who had established themselves in his last over, and the two Harrys (Richards and Weil) kept the pressure on with their tight lines.

Getting into the business end of their innings, Purley were 50 off 16, but good overs against the bowling of Jack Green and a solid last over, taking 14 from it, pushed their score to 86-6. It didn’t seem much and on any normal pitch it isn’t much, but with good, tight bowling we knew this would be a challenge on a pitch that gave a lot of help for the bowlers.

Well, we did, but we made it difficult for ourselves. Jack Ballard and Dan Beeton opened up, and we knew a game was on with their opener (a left arm spinner) bowling a maiden to Dan Beeton. Ballard got off to a flier, flicking a loose first ball for four, but they got on top of their line and in the fourth over had Ballard bowled for 5, Beddington left with only 10 on the board. Arun Butler came in, and hit a flurry of fours before running himself out in the eighth over for 13. In the same over we lost Dan Beeton, mistiming a drive and spooning it to the bowler, before the next saw Matthew Isaacs and Jack Green bowled, both without scoring, leaving Aaron O’Sullivan and Janaken Prabhakaran at the crease to rebuild: we were 35 for 5 at this point, 10 overs in.

These two began to rebuild, O’Sullivan looking particularly good and able to find gaps and push the score along. He ended on 14, bowled again, but the important thing was a thirty run stand with Prabhakaran leaving us now needing only 27 to win. Bilal Tahir came and went, but in came Louis Cooper-Stewart, finisher supremo, to hit a flurry of fours. In hitting a four off his legs on the last ball of the nineteenth over to give the Beddington Lions a winning start to their 2016 campaign with a three wicket win.

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