Chittagong but not forgotten
Posted in England U19s
Our stay in Chittagong is now over and we have moved on to the Rose View Hotel in Sylhet, providing a much welcome change of scene and the chance to see another part of Bangladesh.
Our time in Chittagong saw us play three matches. In the first we won the toss and elected to bowl. Bangladesh Under-19s got a few more than we hoped, reaching 265 in their 50 overs. Woody (Sam Wood) was the pick of the bowlers with 3-48. Before the game we had decided that 220 was a par score on the pitch so were disappointed to let them get 45 too many.
In reply we only managed 221 before being bowled out in the 48th over, despite a strong performance by DBD (Daniel Bell-Drummond) with 55 off 79 and quickfire contributions of 43 off 49 from Aneesh (Kapil) and 32 off 22 from myself. This, however, was not enough and we went 1-0 down in the series.
In the second match we moved over to the strip where we played the practice match. We were obviously slightly wary of this, having being bowled out for 85 on it a few days earlier.
Again, we won the toss and put Bangladesh in to bat and they managed a similar total, scoring 256 for nine. Woody got another three wickets, going for just 34 off his 10 overs.
As we saw that it was difficult to get spin away, skipper Adam Ball threw Rammy the ball and gave him his first bowl ever in an England shirt. He picked up three wickets and caught one on the boundary, so doing more than his duty.
We were aware that a few guys might have to turn their arm over. Due to the injury of three of our spinners before the tour we only had one or two frontline spinners playing in each game.
Our chase saw us fall 19 runs short, finishing on 237 for seven. DBD showed his class once again scoring 92 off 124, playing a brilliant innings fighting through a couple of tough phases in the game when their spinners were bowling extremely well.
During the game there was an incident where their captain slowed down as he got to the top of his delivery stride about to release the ball. Assuming he was going to release the ball, I stepped out of my crease and as I did so he took the bails off and the umpire gave me out. This caused a massive stir and brought emotions to boiling point, causing the next game to extremely spicy.
In the third game everyone turned up to the ground with focus and fight due to the events of the day before. I for one was up all night turning my anger into extra motivation to ensure we crushed them on the field.
Bally made it three wins out of three at the toss and we stuck to the game plan of putting them in. They reached 252 off their 50. Emotions ran high as their captain walked into bat and it motivated all to play with more passion and aggression than I had ever seen on a cricket field before.
It was clear to see the fear their batsmen had in their eyes as we used all our resources to make them feel as lonely as possible out there batting. Again Mr Consistent, Sam Wood, picked up another three wickets - this time at the cost of 44 runs. The skipper also showed the way with 4-44, bowling a great spell showing the guys how to do it on the pitches we faced.
We chased the target of 253, seven wickets down with six balls remaining to take the score back to 2-1 in the series.
As I walked out to the crease, a quick word with the captain was all I needed to make sure we won the game. I scored 111 off 118 deliveries and felt I was batting really well, managing to hit the ball to the rope regularly before a dubious run out saw me heading back to the pavilion.
Bally then managed to take over, scoring 24 off 27 and being not out at the end of the game. Kishen Velani was also not out, scoring 12 off 13 which was a brave innings considering he had been hit on the head by the ball whilst fielding earlier on in the day and didn't really know what was going on.
We now look forward to three games in Sylhet on the 28th, 30th and 31st where we will look to build on our win.