Wales’ cricket teams have continued their strong start to the season, with a series of wins across the age groups.
The Wales girls U17 team travelled to Cornwall in their first game and were put into bat first, scoring 189 with Charlotte Scarborough (Gwent) hitting 58. Chasing 190 to win Cornwall fell short by 4 runs with Sara Jenkins (Carmarthenshire) (2-49) and Charlotte Scarborough (2-28) doing most of the damage with the ball.
They then hosted Gloucestershire with the tourists electing to bat first. But Gloucestershire were rolled over for a meagre 86 with Nicole Reid and Ella Reed claiming 8 wickets between them. In reply Wales strolled home inside 25 overs with Jessica Thornton (Gwent) top scoring with 23.
In a match reduced to 35 overs a side, Wales U17 then played Somerset and got off to a great start with Jessica Thornton taking 4-14 to limit Somerset to just 97. In reply, Gwent pair Rose Evans (44) and Ella Reed (35) scored a rapid rate to bring Wales home by 10 wickets.
The win against Somerset was then followed up by a terrific performance in the return tie against Cornwall at St Fagans. Batting first the tourists struggled from the onset and were only able to put 71 on the board. In reply Ella Reed (29 not out) again provided the impetus in chasing and ensured Wales got home in quick time, winning by 8 wickets.
Following the lead of the women, Wales’ male teams enjoyed a recent run of form too. The Wales U12 side were made to field when they hosted Somerset. They struggled to make regular breakthroughs with the tourists raking up 97 runs from just 25 overs. However the introduction of Steffan Crimp (Cardiff and Vale) (3-9) changed the whole complexion of the game and Somerset slumped to 138 all out. Chasing 139 to win, Cardiff and Vale pair Osian Evans (27) and Jac Lloyd (19) put on a partnership to lead Wales to a 4 wicket win.
Wales U12 then travelled to play Cheshire and were put into bat on a damp wicket and struggled initially. But a half century stand for the 3rd wicket between Gwent pair Ollie Robson (14) and Joe Westwood (40) put Wales back in a strong position before Steffan Crimp (30 not out) scored late runs to spring Wales to 156-8. Chasing 157 to win the hosts started well but the introduction of spin through Luc Rees (West Glamorgan) (2-7) and Ioan Phillips (Carmarthenshire) (1-17) changed the situation of the game and ensured a victory by 47 runs, Wales’s fourth in a row.
Elsewhere Wales U13 hosted Staffordshire in a low scoring contest at Newport CC. After winning the toss Wales decided to bat first. Wales struggled to maintain a steady run-rate throughout with only Tegid Phillips (Cardiff and Vale) (18) and Sam Jardine (West Glamorgan) (22) reaching double figures as they were bowled out for just 106. However with Phillips and Ben Davies (Gwent) picking up a couple of wickets each in the chase, Staffordshire’s batting line-up collapsed to 75 all out.
Somerset were Wales U13’s next opponents and after losing the toss Wales were inserted to bat on a damp track and managed to score just 157 off their allotted 40 overs. But chasing 158 to win Somerset struggled from the onset, losing two early wickets. From there they were unable to recover and slumped to 138 all out with Tegid Phillips (3-30) and Matthew Jones (Eryri) (2-16) the pick of the bowlers.
In the U17 age group Wales beat Cheshire in a two innings a side game at Elworth CC. Cheshire batted first and put 182 on the board, with Oliver Pike (Cardiff and Vale) (3-23) doing most of the damage for Wales. In return, the Welsh batting line-up surpassed Cheshire’s 182 with 243 with Scott Thomas (West Glamorgan) (53 not out) guiding Wales to a commanding first innings lead. In their second innings Cheshire stumbled to 174 all out, leaving Wales needing 113 for victory which they did emphatically without losing a wicket.
Wales U17’s trip to Oxford to play West of England was a far closer affair however. Batting first, West of England posted a formidable 235 from their 50 overs, with the Welsh bowlers struggling to contain the run-rate throughout. However in reply, Tom Bevan (Cardiff and Vale) (61) and Chris Matthews (Mid Glamorgan) (64) came together to put on a century partnership and that put Wales in a terrific position chasing 236. And thanks to a quick-fire 29 from only 31 balls by Prem Sisodiya (Cardiff and Vale), Wales won by 1 wicket.
Wales U17 then entertained Middlesex in a tight game. Batting first Middlesex hit 221 from 52 overs before Wales replied with 211 – Sisodiya (61 off only 30 balls) doing the majority of the work. Middlesex in their second innings then heaped on the pressure by scoring 239 runs in only 44 overs. And despite a 94 run partnership for the 1st wicket, Wales were bowled out inside 50 overs for just 216.
“It’s very encouraging to see some great performances by our teams across the age groups,” said Cricket Wales performance manager, John Derrick.
Cricket Wales is the national governing body for junior and recreational senior cricket in Wales. It works closely with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, which governs the men’s professional game. For information visit www.cricketwales.org.uk