Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Worcs Duo Xavier And Zain Help Midlands To Bunbury T20 Success

Worcs Duo Xavier And Zain Help Midlands To Bunbury T20 Success

Worcestershire CCC Academy-Pathway programme duo Xavier Clarke and Zain Ul-Hassan played key parts in the Midlands winning the English School Cricket Association Under-15s Bunbury Festival T20 competition at Radley College.

Clarke, part of the satellite academy in Shropshire under the guidance of ex County paceman Paul Pridgeon, top-scored with 46 off 40 balls with two boundaries batting at number five in the seven run semi-final win over South and West.

He shared in stands of 47 with Louis Bhabra (22) and Joshua Lacey (16) before being run out in the final over as the Midlands Under-15s totalled 150-7.

In reply the South and West were restricted to 143-5 with Clarke (Oswestry CC) bowling three overs for 21 runs and picking up a wicket and Ul-Hassan three overs for 24.

It was with the bat that Ul-Hassan (Stourbridge CC) made an impact in the final against London-East as the Midlands triumphed by 21 runs.

Ul-Hassan, who is part of Worcestershire's senior development of excellence programme which sits just underneath the academy programme, made an unbeaten 53 from 38 balls with two sixes and two fours.

He came in at 87-4 and added 70 with Lacey (23) as the Midlands totalled 170-7.

London-East were restricted to 149-8 despite Sean Sullivan's unbeaten 48 off 30 balls with Clarke involved in instigating two run outs at the end of the innings.

Paceman Matthew Davis, who was a consistent performer throughout the Bunbury week, and batsman Jack Haynes completed the successful Worcestershire quartet who were part of the winning T20 line-up.

Old Elizabethans player Davis, also part of the senior development of excellence programme, returned 1-26 from three overs in the final.

The Midlands had to be content with one victory from three games in the Bunbury 50 over competition and that came in the final match against South and West which they won by one run.

Clarke again impressed in rescuing the Midlands from 62-5 after coming at number seven.

He struck 54 from 77 balls with four boundaries and added 73 with keeper Ben Griffin who ended unbeaten on 55.

Davis removed both South and West openers cheaply but a stand of 131 between Ben Charlesworth (65) and Fletcha Middleton (53) lifted the total to 152-2.

But wickets then fell at regular intervals with Clarke involved in another run out and holding the catch to dismiss the last man with three balls remaining as the Midlands edged home by the narrowest of margins.

In Game One, the Midlands – captained in the 50 over games by Haynes – had lost another closely contested match, this time by four runs to London-East.

Davis bowled six overs for only 11 runs as London-East were dismissed for 173 in 44.5 overs.

Joseph Evison made 78 for the Midlands who reached 104-1 from 30 overs but they collapsed to 169 all out in 48 overs with Sullivan taking 5-25 from 10 overs.

In Game Two, the North made 200-7 from 50 overs and the Midlands were dismissed for 160 in 45.5 despite Davis (22) adding 66 in 10 overs for the ninth wicket with Richard Bell (85).