Initial training at the Poona Cricket Club ground was followed by the first match against their U19’s. The first ball of the tour produced a superb piece of fielding from Ed Cooper, soon followed by Charlie Hill taking the first wicket of the tour. However, the team was not able to keep this up, bowling far too many bad balls, and we eventually conceded 263 in the first innings, with Sam Dickson, Nat Lubbock and Ollie Trower being the pick of the bowlers. After losing wickets cheaply we finished on 208 all out. With Ollie Trower scoring 57 and Sam Dickson getting 48 not out, it was a positive start to the tour seeing as we had not played outdoors for over six months.
The next day was an early start against the PYC Academy U19. They batted first and scored 302, despite three wickets each from Sam Dickson and Charlie Terry slowing the run rate in the final overs to give us a chance. During our innings Ed Tristem was rushed to hospital in a tuk tuk after cutting his ear, and returned with 2 stitches and a massive bandage! Freddy Austin went on to score a respectable 41 and Ollie Trower stole the show with 90 not out but we could not match their score.
In the game against Deccan Gymkhana Academy U19’s, we batted first, starting well with an opening partnership of 112 between Freddy Austin and Max Subba Row s(51 and 53 respectively). A collapse in the middle order followed but Sam Dickson stemmed the fall of wickets by getting a quick fire 51. We posted 225 from 45 overs. The fielding was the best it had been all tour with 6 out of the 8 wickets catches. Ed Tristem was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4 overs 3 for 15. However, our efforts were not enough with Deccan Gymkhana managing to total the score in 43.3 overs with 2 wickets remaining. This was perhaps the best side we played all week and really gave us confidence going into our last two games.
We felt more confident, therefore, as we faced Poona for a second time. We were put into bat and scored 246 for 7 off 45 overs. Lewis Bedford showed great character in scoring 114 runs with his fourth century for Cranleigh, from good partnerships with Sam Dickson and Nat Lubbock. We started well in the field and after 19 overs they were 110-4, with Nat Lubbock and Harry Horstead taking 3 and 2 wickets respectively. Poona were close to victory with 220-7 after 43 overs on the board until Ed Tristem cleaned them up with a hat trick, giving us out first tour win.
The final match was a 20/20 against Poona and batting first we posted a decent score with Harry Watkinson hitting a monstrous six off a free hit. Our middle order collapsed but Sam Dickson and Lewis Bedford came in and gave the team a target to defend. With the side going into the final session of the tour, we started very tightly with Charlie Terry bowling a fantastic delivery to remove their best batsmen. Nat Lubbock, Sam Dickson and Ed Tristem once again bowled superbly and the opposition needed 12 runs off the last over. Ed Cooper came on to bowl his first ever over for Cranleigh school; executing his skills well he went for 8, leading to a second victory and players ending the tour on a high note.
A big thank you has to go to Graham Cooper, Stuart Welch, and Alex Forsdike for organising and leading such a successful tour.
Ed Tristem & Sam Dickson