County champions and the top-ranked team nationally: Year 7 cricketers’ season to remember

County champions and the top-ranked team nationally: Year 7 cricketers’ season to remember

Victory in the final of the Middlesex County Cricket Cup for QE’s U12 side sealed a vintage season for the School’s youngest players.

The final held at Harrow School ended in exciting fashion, with QE beating St Benedict’s School, Ealing, by two runs, after successfully restricting the opposing batsman to a single run off the last ball of the day.

With 11 wins from 11 games and a total of 1,297 runs, QE’s boys have shown consistency throughout a busy season and currently lead the national rankings for their age group.

Their county cup triumph also qualifies the team for the National Cricket Cup next summer, where they will face the other county champions in a knock-out tournament.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “We are all super-proud of our Year 7 cricketers! What a great season – and one which augurs very well for cricket at the School in the coming years.”

It is not only the A team in Year 7 which has enjoyed success. The School has fielded teams from A to D this season, with the B–D teams matching the A team’s 100 per cent win ratio and accumulating 11 victories between them for their total of 11 games played.

The champions’ coach, James Clarke, said: “Many congratulations to my U12 team, who topped off a memorable season in style with a thrilling contest against St Benedict’s. I am extremely proud of them.”

In the county cup semi-final, the boys took on Hampton School. Hampton were playing at home and, after winning the toss and choosing to bat, they got off to a flying start, scoring almost nine an over. A combination of strong bowling and impressive fielding limited the damage, but they still finished all out for a “respectable 121 runs, which looked a tall order,” said Mr Clarke, who is Head of Rugby.

QE’s batsmen took to the field in determined fashion and stayed ahead of the required run rate, yet when wickets started to fall, tensions rose. But after Hampton dropped a skied ball from QE captain Aarush Choudhary, he piled on the agony for the hosts in the final stages, securing victory with “a magnificent captain’s innings of 42 not out,” Mr Clarke said.

“In the final, Vikyath Vatnala’s two wickets in the 19th and penultimate over – including the St Benedict’s opener on 52 – proved to be the turning point: it slowed their run rate at a crucial point and kept us in the contest.

“Captain Aarush had already put in another excellent batting performance – 42 not out again, helping us to our rain-affected total of 126 runs in 20 overs – and he now showed great courage and leadership in stepping up to bowl the final over of the day.

“The match went down to the final ball, with St Benedict’s batsmen requiring four to win. Thankfully, they only managed a single run, and QE were victorious by two runs in an enthralling contest,” Mr Clarke said.

Aarush was named Player of the Match.