Crowthorne & Crown Wood Cricket Club

Crowthorne & Crown Wood Cricket Club News story

Crows U13s flying high at top of the table after final-ball thriller at Finch

29 Jun 2022

An exciting evening of Under 13s cricket at the Finchampstead Leas Ground built to a crescendo as Crowthorne & Crown Wood U13 Crows edged past Finchampstead U13 Falcons in the last ball of match.

The Falcons won the toss and elected to bat on a lovely mid-summer’s evening.  Excellent spells with the new-ball from the C&CW opening bowlers reduced the hosts to 20-2 from the first five overs with Katie F’s prodigious away swing picking up two wickets.  A determined counter-attacking display in the middle overs from Hussnain (15) and Finn B (23) helped Finch recover to 96 off 16 but both batters eventually fell to great catches by the ever-reliable hands of Crows’ skipper, Stirling L.  Some tight and hostile death bowling from Crows (Austin B, 2-7 & Stirling L, 1-2) strangled the end of the Falcons’ innings, which came to a close after the allotted 20 overs with 103 runs on the board.

Crows’ innings began slowly as their openers battled to repel an early onslaught from the Finchampstead bowlers.  A brave defensive display from a battered and bruised Joe F (10) and a typically classy knock from Shravan S (30*) contributed to a very solid, first-wicket partnership of 44 from the first 9 overs.  Some trademark big hitting from Crows’ Captain Stirling (21) pushed his team ahead of the required run rate with plenty of wickets in hand.  The game appeared to be heading towards a comfortable run-chase for the visitors until some impressive bowling (Finn B, 2-10 & Dev 1-5) and a flurry of stunning catches pegged back the young Crows to 96-5 off 18 overs. 

Two new batters were at the crease, two overs were remaining from two experienced bowlers and eight runs were required.  The tension built as the first 5 balls of the 19th over went for only two runs but a big leg-side wide off the final ball kept the game on a knife-edge.  The ring of Finch fielders crowded ever closer in on the nervous batting pair in an incredibly tight final over and scores were tied in the penultimate ball with Josh C & Alex C desperately scrambling a bye from a ball that went through to the keeper.  A hush went around the Leas Ground and a challenging final ball was deftly pushed through the tiniest of gaps between the mid-wicket and mid-on fielders, to enable Crowthorne to squeeze home by the narrowest of margins.

The decisive final run sparked scenes of jubilation on the boundary as the Crows youngsters swept onto the outfield to embrace their teammates, to the delight of the large contingent of raucous away supporters.  The Falcons players collapsed to the floor, understandably dejected, but should be incredibly proud of the fantastic part they played in such an absorbing contest.  The thrilling victory maintained C&CW U13s’ 100% league record and cemented their place at the top of the Berkshire Youth Cricket League’s U13 T20 Challenge Central Division.