Old Basing Too Good For Under 11s

Old Basing was never going to be an easy starting point, but it would give Coach Paddy Saines a sense of where his young charges stood after months of training and speculation.

Oaks Bat First

Our eagle-eyed reporter is unsure who won the toss, but regardless, Skipper Alex Pardoe strode to the crease with Dan Saines to open for the young Oaks. Alex and Dan are seasoned pros—if you can use that term for 9 and 10-year-olds—and both looked sharp with the bat for any loose deliveries. However, Old Basing bowled tightly and fielded well. Dan is a speedster and will run at any opportunity, so they managed some nice singles, while Alex hit a glorious four to get Oaks on the board. Sadly, as would prove the case all evening, neither could really get going. Dan (7) was bowled in the 3rd over, and Will Rutt (0) joined him the next over to a very similar ball, leaving Oakley at 17-2 after 4 overs.

Finley Poulter (2) was next in and out, skying one to square leg, which brought Remi Suntah to the crease with Oakley at 30-3 after 6 overs. Remi always looks cool and composed, and with the Old Basing attack clearly rattled by his demeanor, they started to throw down some wides. Alex and Remi began to pick up some runs, but sadly, Alex (7) went a few overs later, leaving Oakley at 49-4 after 10 overs. Jake Potter (0) came and went quickly, but Remi and Ben Buckmaster stuck at it. When Remi (12) was finally run out after a steady innings, the score was a much better-looking 89-6 from 19 overs.

Ben (2) and George Miller (2) saw out the last over safely, but the target of 93 was going to be very hard to defend.

Can Miracles Happen in May?

So Oakley needed to bowl and field like demons to pull this one back. Could they make early inroads into the Old Basing attack, piling on the pressure to pull off an Oakley comeback for the ages?

Well, sadly, no. While everyone bowled and fielded well, Old Basing proved too strong and quickly started to rattle off the required runs. Ben Saines finally got a wicket from a lovely ball in the 8th over, but by that point, OB were 59-1. Hrishant Joshi picked up the second wicket, which was caught by Skipper Alex, but Old Basing reached their target with 8 overs to spare.

Final Thoughts

An opening night defeat, but the young Oaks showed flashes of what they can do. Coach Paddy likely wouldn’t want them to peak too early in the season anyway!