UBCC Progress to the National Indoor Last 8 Stage after 100% record at the Action Indoor Centre
Having topped their qualifying group last semester, the indoor side arrived at the Action Indoor Centre in high spirits ahead of the Northern Championship Qualifiers yesterday. Having had the opportunity to train twice at the venue, they felt they had an advantage over their opposition, and this became evident in their first fixture against Leicester.
Will Kerr lost the toss and Brum were asked to field first. The team for the first game was Will Kerr, Robert Yates, Tom Forster, Abraash Khan, Josh Dooler and Gishan Herath, with Abraash and Forster opening up with the ball. Wickets were hard to come by, as Leicester seemed content to just hit the side wall and score at 6 an over. Birmingham continued to contain Leicester, courtesy of some tight bowling from the two spinners, Yates and Dooler, as the opposition finished up on 58-4 from their 10 overs. The wickets were shared around with Forster, Captain Kerr opened up the innings with Yates, both batting sensibly, accepting any easy singles off the wall and settling to score at the required run rate. Kerr anchored the innings throughout the chase, with Yates being the more aggressive batsman, which included him hitting two 6s in 3 balls, leaving Brum strong favourites after 6 overs. Yates retired on 25 which left Forster and Kerr to finish the game off comfortably, as Birmingham won by 5 wickets with 3 overs left.
The second game was against Newcastle, where UoB were asked to bat first after Kerr lost his second toss for the day. The team remained unchanged, as Yates and Kerr opened up, with Yatesy continuing on from where he left off, finding the back wall freely. Yatesy retired just after the halfway stage, where they were 43-0. Kerrsy and Forster started to push the fielders, and managed to sneak in a couple of 3s, as our score flew past the predicated par of 65. Some late hitting from Forster and Abraash saw Birmingham reach 93-2 off the 10 overs, with both Kerr and Yates retiring. Newcastle’s innings never got going, as they were constantly behind the rate, once again thanks to regular wickets and tight bowling from Dooler, Yates and Forster (3 wickets.) Newcastle finished on 69-5, meaning we Brum victorious by 24 runs, and were 2/2.
The final game for the day saw the team take on Bradford, knowing a win would confirm progression into the national last 8 stages. Joe Morse came in to the side to replace Abraash, as once again Kerr lost the toss, and we were asked to bat first. Yates fell early to a sharp catch off the net, which meant Forster joined the skipper in the second over. Runs were hard to come by due to accurate bowling from Bradford, and not helped by the loss of regular wickets towards the end, but thanks to Dooler, the side scraped to a sub-par total of 55 from their 10 overs. Bradford controlled their innings smartly for the first half of the chase, as they kept up with the required run rate, with the loss of only wicket (36-1 off 6.) With plenty of support on the side-line from UBCC members, Yates and Dooler turned the game in their favour picking up a flurry of wickets. 2 overs to go, Bradford required 10 to win, with 2 wickets remaining. The penultimate over saw them score 3 runs, but more importantly Yatesy picking up the 5th wicket with a catch from Kerrsy behind the stumps. This left the experienced Josh Dooler to bowl the final over, which saw UoB needing one wicket to win, and Bradford needing 7 runs. Single. Dot. Dot. The pressure mounting on the number 6 batsman, with the UBCC members celebrating every dot ball clearly having an impact on him. 6 off 3 needed… A dot and a single followed, before Josh took the final wicket off the last ball of the game, with some great glove work from Kerr.
“3 wins out of 3 means we have qualified for the last 8 of the indoor nationals, for the second year running. A great achievement by all the players involved, and we as a club are looking forward to supporting the team hopefully go at least one further than last year and reach the final.”- James Hastings, Club Captain
There were many contenders for player of the day, but it was awarded to Rob Yates for his 54 runs across the 3 games, as well as picking up 4 wickets and a superb catch. Will Kerr ran him close after scoring 57 runs in the 3 games, as well as 6 catches and 2 stumpings, as did Josh Dooler with 5 wickets and Tom Forster taking 3 wickets and having an economy less than 5 an over across the day.