Warwick School’s Under-14 A clinched the County Cricket Championship in a nailbiting final against KES Birmingham.
Warwick won by 10 runs in a 30-over match and will represent Warwickshire in next year’s Under-15 National Competition – The Lord Taverners’ Cup.
Warwick won the toss and elected to bat. This looked a good decision as their county openers, Lynch and Yates, looked largely in command taking the score to 39 after 10 overs before posting a half-century partnership in the 12th over and the century partnership in the 20th.
Yates was out to KES leg-spinner Elphiston for 46 from 59 balls after an opening stand of 116 and Warwick tried to increase the scoring rate with wickets in hand.
Instead, Lynch was bowled round his legs in Elphiston’s next over for 62 (89 balls) and the attempt to hit out further had some success but also a steady clatter of wickets as Warwick closed on 150-7 with spinners Elphiston (3-29) and Kulkarni (6-0-23-0) the most successful and economical bowlers.
The tea-time pundits reckoned this was a very competitive score but possibly 10 or 20 short of what Warwick might have hoped for after the opening stand.
KES started well in pursuit, partly helped by another left/right opening pair and a large number of wides.
Eventually Bailey was caught behind off the last ball bowled by Whitby (4-1-12-1).
Cue Warwick’s first-change bowlers, Lynch and Curtis, effective all season at drying up runs just when batsmen were looking to score.
And so they did once more, with Lynch’s figures being 5-1-14-0 (including two consecutive fours in his final over hit by Hussein) and Curtis 6-0-20-2, and creating the pressure that led to a suicidal run-out.
It was 55-4 after 17 overs and, with the run-rate climbing above seven, it looked a difficult task.
But KES started to attack with De (36no) taking the attack to the Warwick spinners, accompanied by Hussein, until he was snared by Farthing’s leg-spin, and Bartley, who hit his first ball for six and then, aiming for his third six in eight balls, was caught near the mid-wicket boundary for 19 off Farthing, who finished with 3-28 from four overs.
Even then, at 105-8, KES kept battling and only 30 runs were needed off the last four overs.
Warwick turned to previously unused seamers, Yates and Louis, who bowled extremely well, with Yates’ two overs only costing eight, while Louis’ first over, the 28th of the match, only cost one run and yielded a wicket to effectively end KES’ last real chance.
Warwick become the first-ever winners of the John Marshall trophy.