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Come rain, come shine, the winners are U9

VCC’s youngest team, the U9, continued its progress in the month of August. It is time for an update.

VCC U9 – Excelsior ʼ20

On August 1st, VCC U9 played at home against Excelsior ʼ20, with splendid weather. Could VCC U9 get a first win in the absence of rain? That was the question.

The captain of the day was Richano, who did a great job. He won the toss and decided to bat first. The VCC players enjoyed the time in the middle and together they amassed 103 runs from the bat in 12 overs plus 26 wides. It was the first time this team scored a “century” of runs from the bat. A great achievement. These runs came at the expense of only a single wicket (a run out).

Defending our (batting) total of 129, our bowling was – as normal – disciplined (only 10 wides were bowled in total) and our fielding fine. Most of our bowlers bowled very economical, with Hridhaan taking a wicket. The team also managed to make one run out. In the end, our bowling and fielding was too much for the Excelsior ʼ20 side, as they managed to score only 50 runs from the bat plus 10 extras. Adding the 5 bonus points for the single run out from our batting innings, their total was 65.

This was a long way behind our total of 139 runs (129 batting runs plus 10 bonus points for the wickets). A clear victory for VCC U9, the first in sunny circumstances! This was celebrated in style with a delicious lunch on our VCC terrace, thanks to chef Aimee and sous chef Josje.

VCC U9 – Punjab U9

On August 15th, VCC U9 hosted the match against Punjab U9. We had won the away match against them with the small margin of 9 runs. So, a close match was to be expected.

On the day itself, however, there were some bad omens. Where VCC U9 normally has 8 or more players available (6 players is the standard for this age category), this time we only had 6 players. Moreover, one of them fell sick the night before the match. So, we had only 5 players, Punjab six.

But the players did not let this inconvenience trouble them. The captain of the day, Pranav O., decided to play ‘for two’ and the other players apparently followed his example.

After Pranav had lost the toss, VCC U9 were sent in to field. Another bad omen, as all our victories had been ‘batting first’.

Opening bowler Uzair showed, however, immediately the team’s intentions by bowling the Punjab batsman on the very first ball of the match, followed by a second wicket later in the over. Captain Pranav bowled a maiden over, made two successful direct hits in the overs bowled by Noah and caught another Punjab batsman off Uzair’s bowling in a later over. Uzair took 3 for 14 in his 3 overs. Richano and Ninah also bowled economical spells.

The 5 VCC players kept the score of Punjab to 57 runs from 12 overs plus (only) 8 wides, so 65 runs. A great job! In the meantime, they already collected 25 (bonus) points for the 5 wickets taken. Could our fabulous five successfully chase the Punjab total?

Punjab also bowled in a disciplined way (9 wides in total) and our openers Noah and Ninah took some time to settle. The next pair brought captain Pranav O. to the crease together with vice captain Richano. They delivered a ‘captain’s knock’, scoring 30 runs (plus 3 wides) as a partnership (in 4 overs). Uzair then batted the last four overs, each over supported by another of his teammates, in a similar fashion: this yielded 22 runs (plus 5 wides).

All these runs came at the expense of four wickets (all bowled), which gave Punjab 20 bonus runs. So, VCC U9 had to score a total of more than 85 runs to win.

And they did! VCC scored 61 runs from the bat plus 9 wides and the 25 bonus runs for the wickets taken. A total of 95: the five players of VCC had won by a margin of 10 runs, even bigger than in the away match against Punjab! And it was also our first victory ‘batting second’: another milestone.

As always, the match was followed by an excellent lunch, this time arranged by Uzair’s dad.

Quick U9 – VCC U9

A week later, our team had to play at Quick against their U9 team, who had managed to defeat us earlier in the competition. Our only loss until then. All our players were very motivated to show the team’s class in this very encounter with Quick.

Rain was predicted, a good omen (see the previous report about U9).

One of the team’s youngest players, Noah, was our captain of the day. He lost the toss, but that was of little importance as we were nevertheless sent in to bat (which had been our choice as well). Furthermore, Aurelio and Noah showed their sportsmanship by helping Quick field, as they were a man short.

Noah chose to open the batting with his sister Ninah. Inspired by his captaincy he hit back-to-back fours. The partnership yielded 16 runs (+10 wides) in three overs. Pranav S. and Uzair followed suit in the second partnership. Particularly, Pranav S enjoyed the free hits, hitting 3 fours from it. They scored 27 runs from the bat (+6 wides), but…their aggression came at a price: they were clean bowled twice.

Enrique and Aurelio formed the next pair, facing a couple of the better bowlers of Quick. Circumspect, but using every opportunity to score they collected 15 runs (+2 wides). More importantly, they did not get out, so they did not gift bonus points to Quick. Richano and Pranav O. closed our batting, showing a lot of intent, which resulted in 3 fours. In total they scored 21 runs (+3 wides). The price they paid is that they were bowled 3 times…

At the innings break VCC had collected 100 runs (79 runs from the bat + 21 wides) and Quick 30 bonus runs for 5 bowled wickets and a catch.

In the meantime, we had had a couple of rain breaks because of passing showers. Would our total be sufficient? With a run a ball (and no wickets), Quick could chase it…

However, our bowlers killed any hopes on Quick’s side with a tremendous bowling display. The figures tell it all. First, we bowled only a single wide!! Pranav O, Uzair and Enrique bowled a maiden over, while the other bowlers conceded at most 5 runs from their overs.

After 7 overs, Quick had scored 16 runs, still a long way to go to the 70-odd they needed. So, their batsmen started to take more risks, which allowed us to make three run outs. After the 8th over, we had another rain break. After that, Pranav S resumed the bowling, but after his over the rain returned.

And during this rain break, the umpire from Quick told us that the match would be finished here, because of the rain. Back in the pavilion, ‘our’ umpire, Mr Mohamed, knew that in such a situation the average run rate should be calculated, pursuant to the KNCB regulations.

The outcome of these calculations was as follows:
VCC U9 scored 100 runs in 12 overs plus 15 bonus runs in 9 overs. Average: 10.0 runs per over.
Quick U9 scored 28 runs in 9 overs and 30 bonus runs in 12 overs. Average: 5.61 runs per over.

So, VCC U9 had given an all-round display! Scoring more than a run a ball from the bat and bowling and fielding in a fantastic way (37 dots of the 54 balls bowled…), they had overcome Quick by a huge margin.

What an amazing team are the U9: the combination of dedication, skill and team spirit has brought them 6 victories from 7 matches!


Over de schrijver

Richard de Lange