By James Herron
Day 4 and our first match on tour – Combermere School, an institution deep in West Indian cricketing history – four of the current international squad are recent alumni (Carlos and Kraigg Brathwaite, Royston Chase and Shane Dowrich) as is Chris Jordan whilst for those of us slightly older Worrell, Walcott and Gladstone Small – pedigree indeed! For those with an interest in music – Rhianna is also alumni.
Unfortunately due to a “breakdown in communication” between the tour rep and the school matters didn’t go according to plan and instead of starting at 10am and playing 2 x T20’s, we instead started at 1.30pm and played a 30-over game. This tour is about creating good memories, I won’t linger on those that are not!
We lost the game by 3 wickets having laboured to 111-7 in 26 overs (cut slightly short to get the full game in) on a difficult pitch with uneven bounce and at least playing two-paced! To get us to this total saw an excellent knock from Dinuk de Silva ably supported by Jacob Clarke. A special mention must go to our youngest tour member, Michael Shackleford who at 13 years old stood firm against 16 overs of at times hostile short pitched bowling on a track that did everything. He knows how to duck and weave! Well batted, Michael.
In return Jacob took a wicket with the very first ball of the innings and with other wickets shared between Lumb, Gillan and Carey and supported by excellent catches (the Callum’s / Calum’s – Herron & Shackleford) at 55-5 we had Combermere in trouble. However, when you can call upon a West Indian U19 batsman and 2 x U19 Barbados players to steady the ship the tide swung in their favour, but not before a cameo with the ball from Calum Shackleford with 2 wickets in 2 balls, but at 7 down and with their star batsman (also a Brathwaite – no relation) still pulling the strings Combermere were home.
The game was played in fantastic spirit, I can confirm cricket is truly alive and well in Barbados and had we not been so rusty, and had been able to add a further 30-40 to our score the result may have been different.
Our first ever overseas game, a memory that will never be erased and as I reflect on it, we can all be proud of how the lads represented Walmley – they did our club proud.
Our next game is against another local school, Ellerslie. Now a little less rusty, I am confident we will see our first victory tomorrow. Let’s see…