Silver success for Wandsworth's young cricketers

Surrey Comet: Close: Wandsworth's boys with their silver medals Close: Wandsworth's boys with their silver medals

Wandsworth's young cricketers did the borough proud at the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games Indoor Cricket Finals at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Sunday, March 3.

The boys' team almost went the whole way, but settled for a fine silver and the girls' team enjoyed an invaluable experience as they placed joint seventh.

After a successful qualifying campaign at Harrow Leisure Centre last month, the boys kicked off the day in impressive form, beating Hackney by knocking off the required 88 runs in the seventh of ten overs.

Next up they faced defending champions Redbridge in a nail-biting semi-final. First Wandsworth smashed an impressive 92 runs in their innings and then with some spectacular fielding dismissed Redbridge for 75 within seven overs.  

The final against Harrow provided plenty more excitement but in the end Wandsworth came up just short as Harrow knocked off the required 73 runs with just two balls remaining.

Team manager Kiyo Jason was delighted with his team’s performance. He said: “The boys did absolutely fantastic; they made it to the final. They were underdogs throughout the whole competition but through their training, their character and their mentality they showed they are phenomenal players with great potential.

“The boys have gained a lot of experience from the competition, and they have grown – even though they lost. I think they will come back from this even stronger.”

Wandsworth girls lost to Hackney (81-79) in the quarter finals. They were unable to get the better of Bromley in their consolation match, going down 111-110, but Jason remained upbeat about their achievements.

“Those girls played fantastically,” he said.

“In the first match they showed a bit of a lack of experience and were bowled out for 79 – so that is a learning curve for them. They are a young team so they have many years left to come back and dominate the competition.”

The 10 over format for year 8 and under pupils made for a thrilling day’s cricket with the capital’s finest young players revelling in the atmosphere of playing at the home of cricket.

Amongst those enjoying the action was England U19s international Kishen Velani who represented Redbridge at the London Youth Games in 2007 and 2008.

"This event encourages youngsters to get to know each other around London," he said.

“Counties can come in and if they see any talent they can give them a chance. Fortunately for me, I played there, then went to Essex and then got picked up for England. Who knows we could be seeing another England player here?”

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