Under 17 Boys Development XI Round-Up
Gloucestershire Under 17s Development bounced back from a narrow defeat against Warwickshire to record convincing wins over Northants and Somerset.
In each game Glos fielded youthful line-ups containing a number of the Under 14 squad alongside more experienced individuals.
Against Warwickshire, Glos won the toss and chose to field. But they may have been ruing their decision as the visitors reached 72 without loss in double-quick time. The introduction of spin brought the breakthrough as skipper Max Shepherd (2-32) (Bourton Vale) clean bowled Alfie Blundell for 26. Shepherd struck again soon after to remove the other opener Callum Herron (30) as the home side wrestled back control of the game. Legspinner Sam Swingwood (1-37) (Monmouth) then got in on the action to dismiss Hashim Iqbal (9) and make it 99-3. But Warwickshire fought back with a fourth wicket stand of 82 between captain William Isles (53) and Yasin Khan (60). The game then swung back Gloucestershire’s way through the introduction of legspinner Tamed Ahmed (3-45) (Weston-Super-Mare). He broke the fourth wicket stand by removing Isles before clean bowling his replacement Idris Otto-Mein. Ahmed then had Dinuk De Silva stumped by Under 14 Sam Brooks (Bristol YMCA) and ran out Khan to help restrict Warwickshire to 247-7 from their 50 overs.
In reply Glos put on 31 for the first wicket before Freddie Merrett (Lechlade) was trapped LBW by Angad Kandola for 8. His opening partner, Brooks, continued to play positively, with 30 that included seven fours before falling to the same bowler. When number four Fuzael Ahmed (Bristol YMCA) went cheaply Glos were wobbling on 60-3. They got back on course with 40 from Tamed Ahmed who shared in stands of 43 with Kunal Barman (15) and 37 with U14 captain Ben French (Frocester). But with the run rate rising and wickets falling just as partnerships were developing Glos were always chasing the game. French was eventually run out for 33 and despite Swingwood making 35 from 28 and receiving good support from the tail, the home side were eventually bowled out for 231 in the 48th over.
Against Northants, Merrett led the way with a composed 75 from 110 balls. He was supported by Tamed Ahmed (27) and Swingwood who made an excellent 52* from 64 balls coming in at number six as Glos finished on 237-8.
In reply the visitors saw off the opening bowlers but lost their first wicket to first change quickie Alex Haynes (1-15) (Cirencester) who had Sam Birch caught and bowled for 16 to make it 41-1. But it was the Glos spinners who eventually did the damage. After recovering to 80-1, Northants lost their last nine wickets for 81 runs as Tamed Ahmed (4-19) and Shepherd (3-33) combined to rip through the visiting batting line-up to secure a dominant 76 run victory.
Away to Somerset a Glos line-up containing six Under 14s pulled off a creditable 49 run win. Batting first, the visitors racked up 193 all out with contributions from Max Trotman (43) (Twyford House), Swingwood (35), Oliver Wood (24) (Cirencester) and Shepherd (20*).
In reply 14-year-old Taylor Ireland (Frocester) bowled an incredible spell, taking 2-20 from 16 overs to send the run rate rising. Shepherd and Swingwood continued their fine allround form taking 2-24 and 3-28 respectively to ensure Somerset were bowled out for 144.