04 Apr 2023
Day 6 - Final Match in Delhi

As usual, the day started nice and early and the boys had secured the pre-game breakfast and were en routé by 8:30. After the unfortunate results of the opening matches the lads were ready to get back out onto the field and hoped to secure the first win on tour. After a quick 20 minute drive we had arrived at the ground, the pitch was dry with some wet patches around the boundary from the previous nights rain. Max was elected skipper and when he heard the news from Francis that the pink ball would be deployed, he knew a bowl would be the correct call. With Bolam at the wheel there was no doubt that the toss would go in his favour and it did, a bowl was the call as Warwick charged out onto the field, searching for the first victory on tour.

Watson opened the bowling, and as he usually does troubled the batsmen with the speed and consistency of his deliveries as it became obvious they couldn’t handle the blue and whites. Budd followed on the good form of bowling and the 2 set up Warwick well going into the 5th over with a maiden from both as Lodhi were 12 for none. Hampson was first change, and bowled well picking up a wicket in his first over helped by a great diving catch from Eshan. Budd followed on the bowling for his last over and proceeded to pick up 2 excellent wickets through his dangerous spin which the Indian batsmen clearly couldn’t hack. Hampson then had another over of pure class and picked up 2 more wickets to add to his collection before Westrope was deployed by the skipper to
mix up the game. Westrope started well before a full toss led to the ball being hit high into the air and looked as if it would be heading over Braine’s head at short fine leg to the boundary before he plucked it out of the air one handed whilst falling back on himself, a quality take which won him moment of the match. The team was impressed including OROB who supplied the information well on the WarwickSchoolCricket Twitter account. Wickets then began to fall for Lodhi with the Westrope, Braine, Joshi, Bolam, picking them up all over the shop resulting in them being officially all out for 80. This wouldn’t be good enough for the lads and Francis ordered the boys to storm on and asked Lodhi to bring on round 2. They carried on batting and another wicket came for Hurley with his deadly off spin, a prime Moeen Ali with the ball in hand. They unofficially finished on a total of 136 and the chase was on.

Charlie Beard, known as “the Bruiser” by many, and Turan “TUZ” Eshan made their way to the crease. This was a partnership that everyone wanted to see as the stage was set for the lads to get to work. After a slow start from both they quickly picked up the scoring and the boundaries began to flow, as the two sliced through the pink ball like a hot knife through butter. After many 4s from both, Eshan went HUGE and smacked the ball over the bowlers head and out of the gaff for the first 6 on tour, it’s just what he does. They both continued to bat well and rack up the runs quickly and retired not out, Beard 29 off 29 and Eshan 34 off 32, which later won him best batsmen of the match, a mega shift from both. Clarke and Bolam replaced them, runs were expected from both, especially Skipps after the 65 in the first game which showed his class early on in the tour. Yet again they started well and picked up the runs including a second 6 of the tour, this time from Bolam who battered the poor bowler over his head and left him spinning in circles. They both also retired, Bolam 27 off 23 and Clarke 16 off 15. A collapse then followed with Braine, Jennings, Henchley and Payton all going for no more than 2 runs. This put the game in the hands of Hurley and Watson to secure the first win on tour. Francis, Hurst and O’Brain were clearly on the edge of there seats as the game came down to the wire, Hurley was not messing around however and didn’t need long before he was in full flow and the runs just kept coming. Watson came in later and got an important single off his only ball to bring the game down to the last over. Hurley, the irishman himself, stayed composed and hit the ball well for 4 to seal the victory.
An amazing effort from the boys to get the win after a tough few days and a great way to bounce back after the unfortunate losses early on.

After a good coach journey back with the banter in full flow from the victory earlier on a pool “recovery” session awaited before the highly anticipated IPL match between Delhi and Gujarat. We set off and had hopes of a swift journey which were crushed by the traffic in the centre of New Delhi. We parked up and made our way to the stadium by foot through the massive crowds of people all there to watch this epic game. After making our way through security we took our seats right behind the bowler's arm. The match was a great experience for all and it was amazing fun to see a game like it in real life. Sadly it was cut short because of some illness within the group but that does not take away the fun and cricket the lads got to experience. We made our way back to the hotel, a lot quicker this time before packing up to head to Agra early the next day.

written by Benjie