Our U19 Boys Cricket team won the Middlesex Cup last weekend. Please see a match report below.

Last weekend the William Perkin U19 Boys Cricket team arrived for their date with destiny. More than four years in the making the Elite Cricket Academy had reached the top of the mountain and only one more team stood in the way of them planting their flag. That team was Avanti House, itself a state school and on its own remarkable journey.

William Perkin won the toss and opted to bat first as they had done in the previous two rounds. With hope and expectation the watching players and spectators held their breath as the first balls were bowled. Any thoughts of any easy victory were in tatters by the 10th ball as two wickets fell before a 3rd run had been scored. 2 for 2 off two overs was not the start of champions. This bought Nain and Smith to the crease. Both had scored valuable runs in the tournament so far, and the middle order was largely untested. This then became the key partnership of the match.

It was a careful and circumspect start from the two young batsman as they sought to steady the ship and get used to the slow pace of the pitch. It was crucial for Avanti to take a wicket quickly, but the two young players were equal to the task. Nain, in particular, was punishing hitting a majestic 63 off of 43 balls, including 4 6’s before holing out to long leg. The young Malik joined Smith at the crease and the onslaught didn’t stop. On his second ball he nonchalantly flicked the ball off his legs for six. Smith saw the innings to a close with a masterful unbeaten 69 off of 54 balls. Was it to be a match winning innings? Well the target was set at a challenging 163.

Avanti House had beaten Merchant Taylors and past-winners Highgate on their way to the final so they weren’t to be taken lightly. An excited William Perkin took the field and first ball fast bowler Harvey got bounce, movement and a leading edge to gully to leave Avanti’s opening batsman shocked. While Avanti House did a good job of keeping their wickets they showed no signs of being able to score at the pace required. As the innings entered the 8th over it was clear that the pressure was getting to the batsman and a misjudged run broke the most promising partnership. This turned out to be the death knell for Avanti House as Nahar took wickets with the 1st ball of his 1st and 2nd overs and the 3rd ball of his 3rd to end up with 3 for 19. Eventually Avanti House finished their 20 overs with a respectable 123 for 7, but it was still some way off the William Perkin total.

It was an outstanding all round performance and aside from the initial wobble the result was never in doubt. During the tournament the team has demonstrated consistently excellent fielding, high quality batting and a depth of bowling that means that they are able to get teams out on a variety of pitches. The future is bright for this team.

Congratulations to the team and may this be the start of an amazing journey.

Steven Fletcher, Communications Director at Middlesex Cricket said of the win:

"Massive congratulations to all involved, and brilliant reward for a huge amount of hard work being put in at the school. William Perkin is a brilliant example of what can be achieved in a state school with the right approach and commitment"