Match Report
Reading Blue Coat School Boys-U12A vs  Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood
On: Saturday, 18 May 2019
Venue: Away

Merchant Taylors' School U12A vs RBCS U12A

MTS won the toss and elected to bat

MCS: 141-7 (25 overs) James Isbell 3-19 (4 overs), Krishna Anup 3-21 (4 overs), Louis Taphouse 0-15 (5 overs)

RBCS: 122 (21.5 overs) James Isbell 57 (51) Louis Taphouse 18* (22)

RBCS lost by 19 runs

Man of the Match: James Isbell for a super all-round performance.

RBCS lost a match that ended up rather closer than it may have otherwise been against an evenly matched opponent from the famous cricket school of Merchant Taylors'. Our captain Isbell lost the toss and was asked to field, which was a decent outcome given the damp nature of the outfield from the previous day's rain. The MTS openers started steadily in the face of some decent bowling from Louis Taphouse and Krishna Anup. The opening partnership was broken by an excellent run out from Jaime Llamazares in the deep. Their other opener slowly accumulated runs, eventually retiring on 30 from 50 balls. The middle overs were defined not so much by the MTS batsmen, but rather from some rather scattergun bowling that saw us ship 47 runs in extras - a number that would ultimately be a major determining factor in the match's outcome. It wasn't until the introduction of the skipper Isbell in the 18th over that wickets began to fall (2 lbw dismissals and a caught behind), before Krishna returned to clean bowl three tailenders with straight, full bowling - something that all of our bowling unit must strive to emulate! Still, a target of 142 to win from 25 overs was gettable.

Our chase began in the worst possible way. Alfie chased a very wide, full ball down the leg side and top edged to the keeper on the second ball of the innings, before Tom Reseigh was run out only 3 balls later. Jaime Llamazares went full-blooded at another wide ball and managed to splatter his stumps with his bat, leaving us reeling at 3-2. Having had a decent bowl earlier in the morning, James Isbell had dropped down the order to number 5 but still found himself at the crease before even the second over had been completed! He and Krishna put on a good recovery before the latter was caught for 6 in the 9th over. Our lower order came and went in processional manner with the exception of Louis Taphouse who, having run out of partners by the end of the 15th over with the RBCS total on just 73, was eventually rejoined by Isbell (who had earlier retired on 30) to reprise their successful partnership from the previous day's match against Aylesbury Grammar School. The pair gave it a great go, running well between the wickets and putting away bad balls to keep the scoreboard creeping up towards the MTS total. Unfortunately, James was run out in rather bizarre manner, having dropped the ball down into the covers, called for a single and then stopped halfway under the impression that he had just run out his partner, only for the fielder to throw down the stumps at the bowler's end! Another excellent innings of 57 from 51 balls from this talented young cricketer, but this time in a losing cause.

On reflection, a 19-run defeat probably flattered us a little, and had we snatched an unlikely victory then it would have been very tough on the MTS side who, in all honesty, had just that bit more depth than us: their bowling was tighter and more threatening on the whole, particular in their spin department; and their runs were more evenly distributed throughout their scorecard than ours. Our batsmen need to put a higher price on their wicket, protect their stumps and bat for time a little more. Too many of our middle/lower order went for big shots and missed straight deliveries when we still had plenty of time to accumulate runs steadily. Relying on the runs of two or three players is not the best recipe for success!