The catch that didn’t lose the match

Photo: Noah and Ninah batting for VCC while Branko and Enrique help Hermes field

Almost halfway this summer’s competition it’s time for a match report from our youngest team, the U9. Last Saturday, the U9s were playing Hermes DVS, away in Schiedam, alongside the fellow-VCC teams U13 and U15. It became the match that wasn’t lost by the catch…

The first hurdle was to reach the Hermes DVS ground. Noah and Ninah came all the way from The Hague by bike – what a dedication – while some other players were sent to the wrong sportsground by their navigation. But, eventually, at 9 a.m. all 11 (!) players were at the Hermes ground.

We lost the toss and were sent in to bat. As the opposing team had only 6 players, we lent them two fielders, so both teams could have 8 fielders. This time, the honours were taken by Branko, Uzair, Enrique and Pranav O. It is nice to see that even when they field with the opponents, they do it with the same dedication as for their own team (proof will follow).

In U9 cricket, either side plays 12 overs. In our case, with 11 players, it means that we had 6 batting pairs who all batted 2 overs. One player (Jamie) batted twice. We had a couple of very productive partnerships: Pranav S & Uzair (16 runs), Hridhaan & Pranav O (14 runs) and Richano & Jamie (13). The communication between the batsmen was good and we saw some active running between the wickets.

Also the batting pairs with fewer runs played well: nobody was bowled, neither was anyone run-out. A sign of a good defence and good calling! It’s something we paid attention to during the training sessions, so it is great to see the kids show it in the matches.

And then came the 11th over, packed with drama. Our Jamie hit the ball nicely towards the boundary only to be caught by … his own captain (for this match) Enrique who was fielding for Hermes DVS. This resulted to be the only “out” for Hermes. In U9 cricket, each wicket/out gives the fielding team 5 bonus points, which are added to their batting total. Enrique’s team mates didn’t look happy, but still valued this sign of good sportsmanship.

However, the big question was if these bonus points for Hermes DVS would (not) be decisive in the end…

In our fielding innings, our bowlers were determined to defend our total. In U9 cricket, all players are supposed to bowl, so 10 of our players bowled a single over and Pranav O had the privilege to bowl two overs against Hermes DVS. In total, only 8 wides were bowled, showing how disciplined our bowling was.

The bowling figures speak for themselves: in each of the overs bowled by Hridhaan, Pranav S and Uzair were only 2 runs scored, in the overs by Enrique and Jamie 3 runs. And also Aurelio and Noah bowled much better than last week.

And our ‘double bowler’ Pranav O should not be forgotten. In his first over he bowled a bit short, which suited the Hermes’ batsmen, but when he returned for his second spell, he adjusted his length and bowled the Hermes’ batsmen twice in a row. Unfortunately for Pranav did the batsman survive the hattrick ball, but one day he’ll take his hattrick!

Our bowling was backed-up by some excellent fielding. The fielding has won this team matches. In total they achieved three run-outs. A couple of direct hits, but with a good back-up at the wickets. All players were active and attentive, and communicated well – a necessity, if one takes into account that they rotate their fielding position after each over. .

But…would it be enough? After the scorers made their calculations it turned out that Hermes DVS had scored 60 runs plus 8 extra’s and 5 bonus points (from Enrique’s catch), so in total 73 runs. VCC had scored 57 runs plus 16 extra’s and 25 bonus points for the 3 run-outs and 2 bowled wickets, in total 98 points. Basically, our bowling and fielding had made the difference. VCC won.

And, fortunately, Enrique’s catch did not win the match for Hermes DVS, nor lose the match for his team VCC.

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