Yet another nail biting U9 cricket match took place this week. Luke won the toss (well, without a coin we resorted to rock-paper-scissors) and put HXP in to bat. The Copthorne bowling was mostly tidy though a little wayward at times. HXP scored from 2 runs an over to 11 scored off the most expensive. James was the most economical followed by Toby, Daniel P and Daniel J, all of whom conceded just 4 runs in their over. With a target of 182 our first pair of Daniel J and Luke had to face some wayward bowling in their overs. Nonetheless, they scored 11 between them and the next two pairs of Andrew, James, Daniel P and Marcos each scored another 12 keeping us nicely in line with the  required run rate.  With double-effort stars on offer to the pair that ran most aggressively between the wickets, at this point Daniel P and Marcos were in pole position for this award.  Matteo and Matthew then took 7 off their first over and were moving the total along nicely until they took my instructions a little too literally and a run-out cost us a deduction of 5 runs.  The required run rate was now up to 7 an over and looking challenging but an excellent performance by Dylan and Arthur put us right back in the race with 18 runs scored in their overs.  Felix and Toby put on another 10 runs which left our final pairing of  Finley and Thomas with 14 runs to win.  Some strong stroke play and an real enthusiasm between the wickets put on 9 runs in the penultimate over.  5 required off 6 balls.  A nicely taken single was followed agonisingly by a lofted drive by Thomas to square leg and a well taken catch and a deduction of 5 runs.  At the death we were left needing 2 to tie and 3 to win off the last ball.  Thomas hit the final ball well but crucially paused to admire his drive.  Finley did well to call for the run but they only  managed a single which meant we lost by just one run!

A real nail biter.  Man of the match must go to Thomas for so nearly winning the match for us and the double effort star award goes to Thomas and Finley for charging up and down the wicket in the search of runs for the team. HS