The blazing heat and man-eating flies welcomed the U11s at Charlbury. We were down a couple of strong players but their replacements more than made up it. We had 11 and they were ready to unleash havoc on our hosts.

Having won the toss, captain Kalan chose to bat. I thought that was a brave choice but he didn’t disappoint. The opening pair were Jono and Kalan and they battled through the opening bowlers from Charlbury. Jono was unlucky early on in the innings swiping a little too early on a carefully delivered looping ball – stumps were struck. However, Kalan was still there and looked settled.

There was some good support for Kalan from various players, but the shot of the day has to go to Charlotte. Although not in for very long, her opening shot would have made Tendulker re-evaluate what he had to offer! It was a good delivery from the bowler, but Charlotte has no time to admire it. Back foot drive through the covers, along the ground, the ball seemed to be late for an appointment with the boundary rope. Quite magnificent. However, it wasn’t to last and succumbed to some fine bowling. But, Kalan kept going.

It was a true captain’s innings that saw Kalan to his first retirement for The Downs – a brilliant 25 not out. The team put on a respectable, and defendable, 78 for the loss of 7 wickets.

So, it was now the turn of The Downs to put the pressure on the Charlbury batsmen. Edie Welch opened and what a sight. Thundering in at such pace, the bowling action of Trueman at his peak, Charlbury were pinned to their crease. Fantastic effort.

From the other end it was Kian. Kian, who has about another 5 years with the under 11s (!), was bowling from the bottom end – not easy – from where I was umpiring. Every ball was on the stumps and length-perfect. Wickets were surely going to fall. They did… he took 2 wickets (bowled) and kept the pressure on set by Edie from the moment they started. Superb effort.

Kalan continued the pressure with his initial fast bowling spell followed by the loopy leg spinners that kept the batsmen guessing. Then, towards the end, he put a fast one is that clipped the edge of the bat and fired towards brother Kian at fly slip. Gallant effort from Kian, who sadly could not hold on to it.

Other superb bowling from Max, Charlotte, Ben, Freddy and Zach kept the pressure on Charlbury. Jono put in a very brave performance at Wicket Keeper, putting his body on the line for the club. Charlbury eventually reached a total of 67 for 4 wickets, a great effort from Charlbury but victory belonged to The Downs!

Again like last week, great team spirit and very positive in the field. It is a great squad of players!

The Player-of-the-Match this week goes to Kian Niyarepola for not only his excellent bowling, but effort in the field also. The drop catch was an outstanding effort with applause from the watching crowd.