After a first day in the training nets yesterday, Team St Helena got back into the cricket action today with two friendly matches back to back with hosts Team Botswana. The matches followed the T20 format and all 16 players were rotated to give everyone a turn to participate.
Captain Scott Crowie won the toss electing to field and were unable to contain Botswana in the opening overs with them racing to 37 for 0 in 3 overs without loss. Team St Helena become more involved in the game and reduced the run rate, with David Young taking five wickets in his allotted overs, with Ryan Belgrove taking five catches. Botswana finished their innings on 158 for 8.
St Helena got off to a poor start with openers Damien Obey and Ryan Belgrove out for 10 runs between them. Things didn’t get any better as tight bowling restricted the runs for St Helena and the hosts with sound knowledge of the pitch started eating at the wickets. However a very strong performances from David Young 26 and Rhys Francis 17 helped St Helena to 88 all out beaten by 70 runs.
The days lunch of stir fried noodles and beef stew was provided by the Botswana Cricket Association before Scott won the toss and again elected to field. Botswana struggled with the bowling early on but raced to 142 for eight in 20 overs.
Ryan Belgrove and Darrell Leo opened for the Saints… Ryan opened with a six from the off and another six and a few singles followed before he was dismissed. Whilst all made a contribution outstanding with the bat was Jordi Henry who was caught behind for top scoring with 70.
Contributions from Scott Crowie 23 and Gareth Johnson 10 saw the Saints needing 17 from the last over. Very good death bowling meant that the Saints fell short by seven runs … but a great improvement from the first game and changes that were made to counter some inefficiencies were successful.
After the game St Helena hosted a braai for both teams and members of the Botswana Cricket Association (pictures to follow).