Berkshire under 10 boys march on towards the Taunton Festival
By Tim Hanson
Another solid victory against Middlesex
Berkshire and Middlesex under 10 boys played a match in an unusual format - a 'test match' of two 20 over innings per side, played in the beautiful setting of Merchant Taylors School, the base for much of Middlesex's junior cricket training.
Batting first, Berkshire made a characteristically slow start, losing three wickets for 25 in the first eight overs. Fortunately the middle order staged a recovery, with established batsmen Jimbo Isbell (20 retired not out), Sam Smith (17 retired not out) and Connor Lamsdale (21 not out) moving the score confidently on to 93 before the fourth wicket fell in the 20th over. In reply, Middlesex struggled against the penetrative bowling of Elliott Saunders (2 for 5) and Aayan Malik (1 for 6) who were backed up by the established range of seam and spin which restricted Middlesex to a first innings of 63 for 4 in their 20 overs.
With a comfortable first innings lead of 30, Berkshire made another poor start and found themselves on 15 for 4 after four overs. A later order stand between Alfie Agar (retired not out 22) and Jimbo (18 not out) moved the score to 87 at the end of the 20 overs, leaving Middlesex a target of 119 in their second innings. Berkshire's eight bowlers, backed up by tight fielding, restricted Middlesex to 51 for 8 which included five run outs. Berkshire's margin of victory over the two innings match was a comfortable 68 runs, and the game provided valuable match practice in preparation for the upcoming Taunton Festival.
Berkshire under 10s' record in inter county matches leading into the festival is good, with 5 victories and 2 defeats (one of which was against Warwickshire away, who Berkshire beat in the home fixture).