|OEA Sporting Club - Cricket|
Both Matt Stokes and Charlie Birch scored centuries in a losing defeat to Canaccord Griffins at the College field on Saturday afternoon. After losing the toss our third consecutive toss the OEA were inserted into bat on what looked to be slightly friendly bowling conditions. Matt Stokes and Charlie Birch once again found their feet relatively early both rotating strike and punishing any bad balls. When the first drinks break was called the OE's were in control at 100 for no loss with Stokes on 48 and Birch on 45.
The impressive batting continued throughout the first innings with Stokes reaching his 50 off 44 balls shortly after drinks in the 18th over and Birch followed suit reaching his half century off 67 balls 1 over later. The 150 partnership followed on what can only be described as a belting wicket at the College Field. Both Batters were batting freely until the 38th over when Griffins bowlers managed to find some tight areas not allowing Stokes and Birch to score freely in what turned out to be a crucial stage of the game. Stokes managed to reach his second OEA century in the 39th over cover driving Luke Bichard for a single, Stokes well made hundred coming off 107 balls. Birch had to wait until the 42nd over to bring his up turning a ball off Adam Martel into the leg side for 1 bringing his maiden OEA hundred off 140 balls.
It wasn't until the 45th over until the OE's lost their first wicket. Stokes caught for a well made 121 off 122 balls including 16 fours with the score on 254. It was at the back end of the innings where the OE's lost their way losing the final 4 wickets for 29 runs with only Ferbrache to reach double figures out caught on the final ball of the innings for 15 runs.
After another hearty College Field lunch supplied by John Fleming (Elizabeth College Head Chef) Griffins started their run chase. The openers started off tentatively closing out the powerplay with 38 for no loss after some tight bowling from both Ben Johnson and Matt Stokes. The OE's fought hard through a difficult middle overs section with both Griffins openers well set. Luke Le Tissier continued his fine form to add another century to his collection reaching his century off 89 balls in a typically aggressive and destructive manner with shots all around the ground.
Ex Elizabeth College cricket captain and now Griffins opener Nathan Le Tissier followed suit reaching his three figures in the off 126 balls in the 38th over with just 6 runs needed to win. Le Tissier was in impressive form once again as he was in his final year as a student at the College Field last season. With only 1 run needed Stokes set a trap to try and dismiss Luke Le Tissier and deprive him of reaching 150 runs. Le Tissier succumbed to a Stokes delivery holing out to long off where Peter Birch took a solid catch.
This in turn brought out another ex Elizabeth College student in Matt Philp who watched from the non striker's end as Nathan Le Tissier hit the winning runs to complete an impressive 9 wicket win against the OE's. The game was a fantastic showing of local cricket and once again was played in the right spirit.
Up next for the OE's is Norman Piette Cobo up at the College Field on Saturday the 12th June, 1100hrs start.