School Sport: Newham College go so close at nationals
- Credit: Archant
Cricketers come second in tournament at international cricket ground Edgbaston
Newham College came close to taking national honours as they finished runners-up to Luton College in the Association of Cricket (AoC) Indoor 24 finals.
The Londoners travelled on the morning of the competition to Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket Ground, home to County Championship side Warwickshire, but it did not seem to affect them.
In their opening match, Newham took on local side South and City College and got off to a winning start, Fasil Fajarul starring with the ball.
But disaster struck in the team’s second game against Pontefract College, who were respresenting Yorkshire.
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After Pontefract stuggled with the bat they took a hold of the match with the ball and prevented the Londoners from reaching the target.
The defeat meant Newham not only had to win their final group match against Bridgwater from Somerset, but they had to do so by a large margin.
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They got off to a good start in their tough mission, smashing 55 runs from their six overs which later proved to be the highest score of the day.
Skipper Mahatir Kaffurudeen knew they had to back up their batting display with their bowling and Newham did, skittling out the West Country side for just 12.
Pre-tournament favourites Luton now stood between the Londoners and the AoC Indoor 24 trophy, but they looked to have a made a great start, reducing the Bedfordshire side to 28 runs.
In response, Newham made a steady opening, but lost wickets frequently to check their progress and fall an agonising two-runs short of victory, but manager Zaheer Daleel was still proud of the side’s efforts.
“The guys were gutted and it was a long-trip home, but they should hold their heads high,” said Daleel.
“They have beaten cricket academies and teams affiliated to professional clubs in this process so their efforts should not be underestimated.”
English Cricket Board Participation manager Chris Lock added: “That was a great final. Both teams deserved to win and of all the finals we’ve had over the years, that is the best one.”