As Ritchie Benaud would say ‘it was a scorcher down at The Gabba’ when Cranleigh’s U14 cricketers took on GEMS CIS in their first competitive fixture of the season. We knew this would be no easy fixture. GEMS CIS – an extremely talented and experienced side on paper – were put into bat first and our Captain, Cooper, knew that he and the team would have to go above and beyond out on the field.

GEMS got off to a brilliant start with their opener batsmen hitting a couple of boundaries in the first two overs. However, Murad showed his true colours with a couple of fantastic catches and others followed with another two catches. What was even more impressive to see was the level of intensity in our fielding, which saw three run outs from the remarkable keeping of Freddie. The final wicket came from a fantastic Murad delivery, which sent the GEMS side out to field with a very low score of just 27 runs in 11 overs. There was no need for tea and cake during the short changeover. The Cranleigh boys could see the end in sight. Saaim and Jimin were quickly out onto the wicket and ready for action. GEMS also came out of the block flying, knowing that they would have to make amends from their poor batting. However, excellent batting from the openers saw an easy 16 runs being hit, before the first wicket fell. Thomas then came into bat to hit a few more runs before Jimin was bowled. By this point Cranleigh was only five runs short of winning with only eight overs to go. Murad came into bat to hit a quick three, before he ironically was caught. Our Captain, who had demonstrated fantastic leadership throughout the afternoon, was then into bat. We only needed two more runs for the win. GEMS’ opener bowler came back on to bowl, rushing into Cooper for his first delivery of the eighth over to find that it was a wide, which meant Cranleigh had won their first league game of the season by six wickets.