Ulster Schools 142 all out (47.4 overs) BJ Rose 34, SJ Nelson 32, M Poskitt31, D McNulty4/25
WDCU Select 143/4 C Brockwell 73
MJ Clarkson reports on a fine win on a fine day; On a perfect day for cricket, the Western District Cricket Union Select team took on a team from Ulster Schools U19 in a 50 over friendly played at Hamilton Crescent.
It was the visitors who won the toss and elected to bat first, and Gavin Pitt (Prestwick) and David McNulty (West of Scotland) opened the bowling. It was the West paceman who caused initial problems as the visitors were reduced to 8/3 in 3.4 overs. Marcus Poskitt and captain Stuart Nelson steadied the ship as they added 65 for the fourth wicket, before the former was caught by Sachin Chaudhry (Prestwick) off the bowling of Calum Drummond (Clydesdale) for 31. Chaudhry would also have an hand in the next two wickets – as first Nelson (who scored 32) then Jonathan Hunter came too far down the pitch to his bowling, and wicketkeeper Jak O’Connell (Kelburne) had two run outs to his name. The score was now 92/6 after 32 overs, and the main batting now fell to Ben Rose who hit some powerful fours to keep the Ulster Schools team in the game. However, wickets feel steadily – as both Chaudhry and Amir Gul (Uddingston) took one each for the West, and when McNulty returned for his second spell, Rose (34) became the third run out of the innings. Despite a flurry of runs from tailenders David Robinson and Matthew Foster, when McNulty bowled Foster, Ulster Schools were 142 all out in 47.4 overs.
The WDCU reply was spearheaded by captain Shahzad Rafiq (Prestwick) and Chris Brockwell (St Michaels). Rafiq would be the first to fall being caught by Jack Burton with just five on the board. This brought Gul to the wicket and it was these two that would make the highest partnership of the game – 82 runs as Brockwell started to dominate the bowling – eventually reaching 50 off just 51 balls (57 mins, 6 fours). After 15 overs, the West were 87/2, at which point, Amir Gul (28) was very unluckily run out as a straight drive hit by Brockwell was deflected off bowler John Glass’s hand and onto the stumps. Brockwell continued to dominate the batting. With the score on 119, Chaudhary edged a Jonathan Hunter ball to James Metcalfe and Brockwell quickly followed on the same score stumped by the same player. With two new men in – Fraser MacDonald (Prestwick) and Jak O’Connell – the Western District side may have looked slightly vulnerable, but any concerns of a collapse quickly evaporated as both started to hit boundaries to reach the 143 target. It was MacDonald who hit the winning six over long on to seal the six wicket win.