TGA Cricket

"The Glasgow Academy is a happily busy community providing a unique wealth of opportunities. We strive to nurture our young people, enabling them to develop confidence and a spirit of 'can do, will do'." - Rector of The Glasgow Academy.
  • Day8

    Match Report 4

    February 17, 2017 in South Africa

    Our final game was a 40 over-per-side affair against Newlands Cricket High School, once again with a cloud-wrapped Table Mountain in the background.
    Following our lack of success batting first, captain John Oliver won the toss and decided to field first. Both himself (10-1-37-1) and Arman Khan began their opening spells well and this showed when the opposition were reduced to 19/2 then 65/3 in 14 overs. They both probed at testing areas and the batsmen generally found it tough to find the boundary. The introduction of our best spinner this tour- Jamie Percival (6-1-40-1) - yielded a few tight overs. However, while pressure was building, we failed to capitalise on this until an outstanding effort from Man of The Tour Ruairidh Russell at cover. High catches aren't easy, looking into the sun isn't easy and running backwards isn't easy. Nevertheless, Russell effortlessly did all three with such agility that he bagged a sensational catch. From there on in, Adam McMurray (2-0-7-0) and Greg Macmillan (8-1-36-0) both bowled well to maintain pressure. Particular mention must go to the latter for bowling an extremely consistent and tight line and length in what was by far the best spell of offspin bowling this tour. Nonetheless, we lost a bit of control as the innings progressed and an opposition partnership dangerously developed. This eventually led to an opposition total of 256/7. However, aside from some brilliant catches from Oliver in the slip cordon and Percival running in at long-off, and excellent keeping from Fraser Gordon, what stood out from the innings was Arman Khan's gritty 5-for: 8-0-69-5. Despite some poor fielding and talented batsmen, he patiently co stricted each of his overs and his achievement is evidence of this.
    Chasing such a big total, we were looking for batsmen to stay at the crease. When Ross Heginbottom and Jamie Percival strolled out to the crease, they did just that by occupying the crease for 8 overs and scoring 21 runs. Unfortunately, the opposition also chose to get involved in sledging and making comments which were too far across the line of the MCC Spirit of Cricket. They placed both a short leg and silli square leg under the batsmen's nose, and aside from fielding, their main job was to put off the batsman by making inappropriate comments and constantly talking while the bowlers were running up. Both our openers and No3 John Oliver fell due to their lack of concentration which may well have been a result of this act. In addition, the umpires were the home team's and one of them told Jamie Percival to "Shut up and stop moaning" when he politely informed them of the MCC Spirit of Cricket. Nonetheless, when Arman Khan strode out to give them a taste of their own medicine, the two close-in fielders fled to the boundary. Khan and Russell then constructed a 69 run partnership to take the team total to 95/3 when Russell fell to an unlucky nick. Khan carried on in his flamboyant style, never more evident than when he danced down the crease to send the ball flying for a huge 6 over the bowler's head. He too was unlucky to go for a counter-attacking 46(71). After the enterprising pair departed, the innings sadly folded due to a lack of application and poor decision-making and we ended on 135/10 after 39.2 overs.
    That said, this was our best performance of the tour: Khan's steely determination despite under par performances in previous games, Russell's superb fielding and hard fought innings and a huge team display in the field.
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  • Day8

    Table Mountain

    February 17, 2017 in South Africa

    I'd quickly like to apologise for the loss of chronological order: however, I hope it doesn't affect your reading too much.
    Before the Bishops game, we visited the famous Table Mountain and 'climbed' to the top in a sensational cable car journey. It is hard to describe the all-encompassing, majestic view of Cape Town that we received at the top, so I will leave you with the photos.Read more

  • Day7

    Match Report 3

    February 16, 2017 in South Africa

    In our third match, against Bishops Academy, we were once again privileged to play a 25 over game in the valley of picturesque mountains. Given our last two results, there was some frustration within the team. However, we were determined to put on a strong performance.
    Having won the toss for the first time this tour, captain John Oliver opted to bat on what looked to be a nice wicket to be bat on. Unfortunately, this judgement wasn't entirely true, as openers Heginbottom and Khan not found when they fell to deliveries which stuck in the surface. The rest of the top order fell due to similar reasons, and many dismissals were very soft. The innings finished on 76/10 - courtesy of a brave counter-attacking 15*(22) from Adam McMurray - after 20 overs, and disappointed as we were at being unable to bat the full 25, we were confident our bowling attack could defend the score.
    Captain John Oliver opened with his own seam and swing, but inventively decided to use Percival's lethal leggies to get rid of the opposition top order. Unfortunately, whilst Oliver's tactics and a high intensity in the field threatened to cause an upset for the first 5/6 overs, the opposition comfortably chased the runs with many overs and 9 wickets to spare.
    Overall, it was a tough day in the field and we came out on the wrong issue of the result. That is not to say that there weren't positives in the field. Arman Khan pouched an extremely difficult wicket, diving at midwicket. In addition, fielding had generally improved, but nonetheless, we hope for a better result in our last game vs Newlands XI.
    After the Bishops game, we got to see one of their senior teams face an English county under the lights: a brilliant experience.
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  • Day7

    Sorry for the delay

    February 16, 2017 in South Africa

    Yesterday's game's match report will follow in the evening. In terms of the result, we were unfortunate to lose by 9 wickets.

  • Day6

    Robben Island

    February 15, 2017 in South Africa

    After a visit to Table Mountain which we decided to delay for later due to massive queues, we were privileged to see Robben Island. Two guided tours, one from an ex-political prisoner, thoroughly informed us of the history of the island. We also got to see Nelson Mandela's cell during his time at the island. This morning we are returning to Table Mountain and then in the afternoon, we play Bishops School.Read more

  • Day5

    Evening

    February 14, 2017 in South Africa

    After returning from SACS, some of us went to grab a KFC whilst others headed over to a sushi bar. Having enjoyed what the complex had to offer, we headed back. Today, we look forward to Table M and Robben Island.

  • Day5

    Match Report 2

    February 14, 2017 in South Africa

    Yesterday morning we set off for a training session at the South African Cricket High School (SACS) followed by a T20 match against them.
    Following the 3 hour training session which included nets, target bowling, high catches, and fielding in the slip cordon, and after some lunch, we lost the toss and were sent in to field.
    The opposition immediately took the attack to opening bowlers John Oliver (4-0-26-0) and Arman Khan (4-0-50-2). First change Adam McMurray brought things under control with a brilliant 2 over spell: 2-0-15-0. However, the lack of a wicket meant that with the opposition set, they could take on our spinners. Both Jamie Percival (4-0-32-1) and Greg Macmillan (2-0-21-0) were targeted but both set fields to counter this. Nevertheless, with the opposition looking to threaten with a 200+ score, frustration and disappointment set in. Whilst Ruairidh Russell (3-0-29-0) did well to restrict the opposition, and Ross Heginbottom's solitary penultimate over (1-0-9-0) helped make sure that SACS were kept to 188/6, the fielding side looked a bit down after a hard day in the field.
    That is not to say that there were no positives: Fayz Siddiqui impressed behind the stumps with a very solid performance when he finished a run out, and made an amazing direct hit.
    Nonetheless, when Heginbottom and Khan strolled out to the crease, they knew that 190 was more than achievable given the fast outfield and flat track. Heginbottom immediately took the attack to the opposition by striking the ball very cleanly and sending the bowlers to all parts of the ground. However, when he found himself unfortunately run out on 12(8), the innings lost a sense of impetus. Our entire top order struggled and only John Oliver (48(46)) was able to make a score. We finished on 95/6, and lost the match by 93 runs.
    In the end, there were things to be happy about, and things to improve on. In their post-mortems, both Mr Pearce and Mr Hariharan captured it perfectly: we were playing some of the top cricketing schools in an elite cricketing nation. What was important was that we had given both teams a run for their money and moreover, learnt a lot about the game.
    Thanks to both our coaches for their helpful advice and constructive criticism, and to SACS for their warm welcome to us and an invitation to have dinner with him.
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  • Day4

    Evening

    February 13, 2017 in South Africa

    Last night we were treated to some lovely Italian cuisine which we thoroughly enjoyed. After spending some time in the entertainment facilities in the complex, we went back to our rooms. Now we are looking forward to our second game today.

  • Day3

    Thanks to Wynberg

    February 12, 2017 in South Africa

    Thanks are also due to Wynberg High School who were warm, welcoming and accommodative hosts. Indeed, when our 11 batsmen had batted, they let our other 4 also come in. They were all lovely people and were always willing to tell us a bit about their school's heritage: Jacques Kallis.

  • Day3

    Match Report 1 vs. Wynberg High School

    February 12, 2017 in South Africa

    Our first match touring in SA was played at the picturesque Wynberg High School Ground.
    Following a tentative hour where overcast skies and light drizzles ( reminiscent of the climate we'd left behind) threatened to put the game in danger, both sides decided upon a 45 over match. Captain John Oliver's intensive practice tossing a coin paid off when he won it and opted to bowl given the Trent Bridge-esque conditions. The usual pairing of Oliver (9-2-25-2) and left arm quickie Arman Khan (9-1-50-1) opened up with some incisive fast bowling. Despite several half-chances, the duo were unfortunate to have just 3 wickets at the end of their respective spells. However, the introduction of talismanic legspinner Jamie Percival produced three wickets in three consecutive Percival overs, giving Academy a very promising 77-6 on the opposition scoreboard halfway through their innings. Nonetheless, complacency and tiring legs in the field gifted the opposition batsmen with a chance to rebuild with a brilliant 7th wicket partnership. Between them, the two batsmen involved in this partnership scored 117 towards the final total of 201/8 that they went on to reach.
    Despite strong bowling performances from Greg Macmillan (4-0-22-0), Adam McMurray (4-0-16-0) and Ruairidh Russell (5-0-26-1) in an attempt to restrain the opposition, and a wicket to Adnan Iqbal (1-0-9-1), we felt that we had let slip our tight hold on the match. Regardless of the scores though, there were some highlights in the field: Heginbottom and McMurray both made two difficult catches look simple and youngster Sambhav Chadha demonstrated composure above and beyond his years when he took a high catch with great skill. Once again, Fraser Gordon showcase exemplary keeping and picked up two thoroughly deserved stumpings. Overall, spirits were kept high in the field with a lot of noise and applause all round.
    Whilst chasing 202 was never going to be easy in the unfamiliar, tropical South African conditions, a good catch, an unnecessary run out, and a controversial umpiring decision which the umpire himself admitted was wrong left the tourists reeling at 45/8. In general, the situation could have been better read, given the fairly low required run rate of 4.5. However, with experienced Russell and debutant Christopher Holdstock at the crease, we set to rebuild the innings. What followed was simply astounding: a solid and composed knock of 12(39) from Holdstock by a stupendous effort from Ruairidh Russell. With a 360 degrees range of shots and one of the coolest heads I'm the team, he lay the foundations for a monumental 74*(99), brimming with luscious drives and powerful legside shots. The confidence and serenity with which he compiled his innings was an illustration of true grit and determination in difficult times. His 15 boundaries on the huge outfield was equally remarkable. Nevertheless, we went on to lose the game by 68 runs having scored 133/10.
    Whilst the eventual result didn't go our way, it was amazing to witness a true team perform in less than favourable conditions. Those who adapted we'll reaped the benefits and the rest of us can certainly learn from this. Thanks also to Mr Hariharan for what has been a great tour so far, Mr Menzies for some expert photography and Mr Pearce for some intensive but rewarding training.
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