Stratford U13s got their WCB Premier League programme of to a flying start with an impressive win against Coventry & North Warwick by 47 runs.
Put into bat, Stratford openers Ethan Evans-Cook and Theo Barnes got off to a steady start against some erratic bowling, but managed to gradually up the tempo and put on an opening stand of 83 in 15 overs (5.5 runs per over), before Barnes was bowled for 20. Skipper Harry Penney then joined Evans-Cook and what might have been a decisive partnership for the innings ended in a disastrous run out when Penney called Evans-Cook for a suicidal single and was run out for a very impressive 42. Penney soon followed and the innings lost its momentum. Robbie Fitchford (15) and Daniel Hooper (5) tried to increase the tempo but against accurate bowling and a slow outfield could only muster a stand of 21. However, the total of 119 for 5 off 25 overs was always going to be a challenging target.
Coventry & North Warwick got off to a quick start with 19 runs in the first 4 overs. But then an injudicious run by danger man Allan ended up with a brilliant piece of fielding by Will Dudley who picked up and hit the stumps direct. He then produced the next wicket by bowling opener, Johnson for 2. Joe Marrow was then introduced into the attack and with his first ball bowled Ellis for 7 and two balls later bowled Rithikmohindra for 0. The opposition were now in disarray and further wickets from Dudley, Marrow and Brown left them 40 for 7 from 11 overs. Stratford’s fielding then became ragged with 5 catches going down. But wickets still tumbled and the innings ended on 72 after 21.4 overs. Overall, the bowling was impressive with excellent performances from Joe Marrow (3 wickets for 1 run off 3 overs) and Will Dudley (2 wickets for 13 runs off 5 overs). Altogether, a very satisfying performance.