On Saturday 7th November, the Bat and Ball Cricket Academy from Budapest, Hungary visited Austria Cricket Stadium, Vienna to take part in a day of cricket. The original plan was to play Indoor cricket, but unseasonably mild weather, meant that the hosts, SNASY Masters Cricket Academy, were able to offer an outdoor fixture – probably the first ever international junior cricket match ever played outdoors in November in Europe!
The weather, whilst prompting sme non-regulation clothing and not requiring the use of sun cream, did allow two 15 over games between the two Academy teams. Visiting Vienna for the second time this year, Bat and Ball brought a young side very keen to play and the hosts were able to let a total of 16 players take part – including several competing in their first ever hardball matches.
The first game saw the Hungarians bat first and get off to a great start with an excellent opening partnership of 40 between captain Nico and Shaan. But tight bowling particularly by Pranav (3 overs 3 runs 2 wickets) and Oscar (3 overs for 5 runs) restricted the total to 65 for 2 off the 15 overs. The Austrian’s also started well and despite some good bowling, reached 66 in the tenth over with the loss of just one wicket, through some strong batting from Rory, Oscar and Pranav.
The second game again saw Bat and Ball lose the toss and end up batting, but this time they reversed the batting order. This resulted in both more runs but also more wickets – with Fiona and Sammy getting their first hard ball wickets in their formal hardball debuts. Sai batted well and enabled the side to post a total of 78 for 8. SNASY’s more experienced batsmen succumbed to some excellent bowling and much improved fielding by the visitors, leaving the younger players too much to do in their first outtings. The innings closed at 44 all out meaning that each side had won one match apiece – a fair outcome. More importantly all players had had another chance to develop their cricketing skills and build new friendships – all good and important steps towards the future of cricket in these countries.
Despite the November date, no-one was cold and rain didn’t stop play – but a nice hot meal at the end with cake and fruit certainly helped.
Thanks to Andrew Leckonby and all from the Bat and Ball Cricket Academy for coming and to SNASY for hosting a potentially record breaking day!