After a long wait for the first ball of the summer due to the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic, the U14Bs this year, now known as the Kites, got the ball rolling with a friendly with close rivals Four Oaks Saints CC at the Prince of Wales Ground on Tamworth Road. Despite the long break from cricket, any rustiness was not to be seen as Walmley put on a competitive 142, powered by the captain and wicketkeeper Michael Shackleford’s excellent 30 runs. Quality bowling from Krish Chauhan and tight fielding meant that the Saints only managed 108 runs, despite Rohit Jakhu’s fighting 35 retired.
After winning the toss, home captain Seb Hoffman inserted Walmley. Kian Eratne top-edged early for 1, just 9 runs scored. After the slow start, then Tom Hanlon and Michael Shackleford put on a partnership of 56 runs only for it to end with Michael being bowled for 30 runs, 5 short of a retirement. Despite the setback, Tom Hanlon continued to charge on, supported through to the end of the innings by Josh Chagar’s 14, Deeyan Patel’s 11 and Shlok Mehta’s dashing 15 to finish the innings on a high with 142 on the board.
A big task ahead, Saints were derailed from the start as Krish Chauhan took 2 wickets in the first over. A past runscorer against Walmley, Rohit Jakhu and captain Seb started to rebuild putting on a partnership of over 50. Rohit Jakhu retired on 35 after hitting 6 boundaries and Seb was dismissed shortly after. Four Oaks’ 2 mainstays gone, Aaryan and Eesa batted to the end of the innings, Aaryan dismissed right at the end. Walmley’s Amber Williams and Rhea Busst both picked up a wicket whilst Rhea also bowled a maiden.
After winning the first match of the season, the Kites now have another friendly at home on Court Lane against Ambleside on Thursday, August 6.
Summary: Walmley CC 142-4 (Michael Shackleford 30, Tom Hanlon 28) win against Four Oaks Saints CC 108-4 (Rohit Jakhu 35, Seb Hoffman 19, Krish Chauhan 2-9) by 34 runs
By Aditya Muthukumar, U14 Kites