Match Report
Ardvreck School Boys-U11A vs  Merchiston Castle School
On: Wednesday, 25 May 2022
Venue: Away

A day filled with sporadic squally showers periodically punctuated play and made life really rather damp for everyone on the Merchiston Cricket pitches. But in True Ardvreck Scottish Spirit we played on and finished a match.

The team were excited to play hard ball cricket against an experienced and disciplined Merchiston team. Ardvreck won the toss and looking at the incoming showers, elected to bat first.

The first pair were clapped out into the sunshine and quickly set up a rhythm Robert defending well against some powerful bowling. Running between the wickets was risky, but Dexter tested the fielding with a swift single risking it by running hard at Robert and forcing him to leave the crease. They made it and got off the mark. Dexter maintained a strong stance and got on the board with a clip past the keeper for 1 (one of very few that the excellent Merchiston keeper missed in the match)

After retiring not out Archie and Charles came to the crease. their partnership saw a number of runs piling on. Archie's backing up is starting to pay off with a number of sharp singles giving the pair a good chance at a reasonable tally.

Victor and Patrick took the wicket next and batted admirably, having to defend a number of straight balls which went straight at middle stump. Eventually, one of them found their way through and decimated the middle of the wicket.

Our dream team of Johnnie and Jon found themselves batting together for a few overs, fearful at first, but eventually scoring a number of excellent runs. Whilst they were finding it hard to break through the tight fielding, they did take a few quick runs, putting them under pressure and pushing the fielders into some mistakes. Eventually they went one time too many and the ever present wicket keeper took the bails off, just before the bat went down. A lesson to all the boys to run their bats in rather than place it down across the line.

Captain Baptiste had put himself low down in the order ensuring that there was no opportunity for any collapse. A strong tail end saw the runs piling in for the team and the partnership with Austen saw many singles between the stumps. Another lethally straight ball snuck it's way past Austen resulting in Charlie and Thor facing the dying overs. These two big hitters ensured the team went home with a couple of big 4's and set an epic target for the home team.

After an excellent match tea (many thanks for an outstanding chocolate brownie, Merchiston!) the Ardvreck Colts went back in to defend their total.

The bowling of the team has always had some strength and pace, especially our opener, Robert. However, the first pair were prepared for even the fastest ball and ruthlessly used Robert's speed to their advantage making the fielders chase the ball all over the field. Austen went in next with his slightly less disciplined approach giving away a wide on his first ball, a 4 on the second but a wonderful wicket fell with the third! The stumps lifted clean out the ground, the batsman was sent away.

This was followed up very quickly by an expensive over from Thor, expensive for both teams! Again, the pace allowed Merchiston to find the gaps and take a couple of 4's, but also gave Thorsten a wicket and followed immediately with an excellent run out with both Charlie and Charles working brilliantly in the field.

Charlie then took the ball to bowl his first over and, with excitement building through the whole team, 5 dot balls went by. On the verge of our first maiden over of the season, Charlie delivered a ball which sadly had to be called wide - he would definitely be brought back later in the innings to hold Merchiston at bay again.

Other well deserved wickets went to Thor who bamboozled the batsmen and bewildered the onlookers with a sensational yorker which hit the bottom corner of the middle stump. Another wicket taken! And a truly genius run out from Johnnie who saw his bowl hit straight down the wicket as the batsman was backing up, Johnnie brushed the ball just enough to count and allowed it to continue on its way to the stumps running out the astonished batsman at the bowler’s end. Johnnie had clearly been listening to Rory M in the seniors when he explained that a run out only happens if the fielder touches the ball first. The genius of Johnnie's move was to allow the speed of the ball to carry through to the wicket rather than stop it and pick it up.

After a few quiet overs, the batters and bowlers settling into a rhythm, A superb decision from Baptiste ensured that Charlie was brought back to bowl from the pavilion end. 2 dot balls into the over, Charlie was showing his form. the third ball saw him push the batsman backwards, sending the ball high into the air and straight to the bowlers outstretched hands, diving on the floor was possibly overkill, but the effect was electric! Caught & bowled! With his next ball he removed the outside stump and, on for his hat-trick, Charlie took a moment before running in and delivering his next ball - snick - "OWZAT" went the cry from Wicket Keeper, Charles. the umpire had no choice but to lift his finger for a third time in three balls. A rare achievement for a young bowler! The hope of a first sadly the maiden over was missed on the final ball, again! We have every confidence that Charlie will deliver one this term!

Bookending the bowling by closing the innings for Ardvreck, Robert took the pavilion end and was determined to send the batsmen back to the side-lines. With another pacey ball the Merchiston tail enders had a lot of power to play with and managed to sneak a 4 with a cover drive to the boundary. However, Robert, filled with the fury of a man who has seen his best bowl thwacked for too many runs, ran in hard, devastating the batsmen's wicket and sending them back to change. 2 balls later he took another well-deserved wicket, an absolutely plumb LBW gave the umpire no choice.

A huge thanks to Merchiston for hosting a wonderful day of Cricket. Congratulations to their players on a hard fought match and many thanks to their caterers and teachers for a delightful day’s cricket.