A youngest ever ECAD Lions squad toured Milton Keynes over the weekend and ended with a win and a loss – both quite convincing.
In the first match against a Stony Stratford Development XI, captain Mike O’Mahony won the toss and decided to bat. The skipper opening the batting with new keeper James Foster, and added 39 before Foster was caught and bowled for 18. This brought man of the match David Baker to the crease and the old guard added a further 35 to take the team to 74 before O’Mahony was out caught for 31. Liam Savage fell quickly before Baker found support from Niteshk Chavda who made 31 off just 36 balls in a partnership of 48 for the 4th wicket. At 149-4 the Lions looked in a good position but wickets continued to fall regularly and it was Baker’s 86 not out off of only 79 which propelled the team to 216-7 off their 40 overs.
This proved more than enough thanks to a superb opening burst from Jamie Sorbie (2-10) and young Chris Flynn (1-20) backed up well by debutant Dominic Fox (2-18) as Stony slipped to 60-6. A recovery never looked on the cards and spinners Martin Henderson (2-12) and Sunil Sagar (1-19) all but wrapped things up as Stony were bowled out for 110 with 7 overs remaining.
The following day the Lions took on a strong Wolverton side but were depleted by a touch of “Delhi Belly” from the previous night’s curry. Losing the toss on a grassy wicket and unsurprisingly put into bat, the Lions lost O’Mahony early but Foster and late substitute for the ailing squad members, Gillions (non-Deaf player), took the score onto 60 before Foster was stumped for 21. The innings failed to take off from there and some tight bowling restricted the side to 137-9 off the 40 overs.
Wolverton were in no mood to be generous and opener Assam Hussain was in prolific form hitting 91 not out off just 49 balls with 5 sixes as Wolverton knocked off the runs in less than 20 overs for the loss of just 1 wicket.
It was a disappointing end to the tour but with squad members as young as 13, the future of Deaf cricket looks very bright indeed.