The first match was a T20 format game between the visiting Austria A-Team and the hosts Harrow St. Mary CC. It was played on a wet, but drying afternoon on a grass pitch. The hosts included two Austrian players, Lakmal Kasturiarachchige and Satyam Subhash and a wealth of local and overseas talent, including an Indian U17 player.
Harrow batted first and posted a very competitive score of 152 for 3. Lakmal and young De Silva batted excellently for the first wicket, which put on over 60 and then Shivam joined the party with a quick fire 30. The bowling and fielding performance was good but lacked sharpness, and there were too many extras. Waqar and Akhilesh were the pick of the bowlers, Waqar taking 1-14 in 3 overs and Akhilesh bowling a very tight 4 overs. Other highlights were the excellent catches by Aqib and Navin.
In Austria A-Team’s reply, a couple of wickets were lost quickly, but Aqib (38 (28b)) and Klair (15) looked to be in control and building momentum until both were out in short succession. Another group of wickets were lost until young Zeshan (38* (25b)) and first Waqar (6) and then Muzammal (10) put together little partnerships. The batting of the joint top scorers was encouraging, although with differing styles – Aqib’s batting was quality and measured and Zeshan’s energetic and opportunistic.
The innings closed at 139 for 9 with the A-Team 13 runs short – a brave effort for this young, new side, playing its first game on grass and some good individual performances, but with room to improve.