Match Report: Mermaids vs Unicorns, 8th July 2021
The first of two mythical creature derbies this season ended in a victory for the aquatic side. Debutants Jack Edmunds and Evie Harrison opened the batting together as Unicorns looked to set a competitive total on a humid day at the West House Sports Ground in Harborne. Edmunds began this Twenty-20 match, and his Unicorns career in fine fettle, hooking the second ball of the innings through mid-wicket for four. Ably supported by Harrison, who was dropped in the 5th over, Edmunds made an early assault on the Mermaids’ attack. He found sixes over the hedge at deep cover, the pavilion at midwicket in consecutive overs and hit back-to-back straight sixes as he brought up his 50 off just 32 balls.
Harrison continued to support the opener, rotating the strike and bringing up three boundaries of her own before Edmunds, with the score on 98, was superbly caught at long off by a one handed diving catch for a 41 ball 81.
Harrison, joined by Stephen Hallam, took on the aggressor’s role, repeatedly finding the rope towards the end of her innings including a huge six into the leg side before finally being caught for 34 in the 16th over as Unicorns reached a respectable 127/2. A clatter of wickets meant that the visitors struggled to make best use of the final four overs with debutant Grayson Milnes and captain Lachlan Smith both failing to trouble the scorers. Jake Williamson (1) and Simon Satchwell Giles, undefeated with his first Unicorns run; assisted Hallam (13*) in bringing the score to a reputable, if not explosive, 139/5.
Despite a fast outfield and short boundaries, Unicorns restricted their hosts well in the opening overs. Lachlan Smith, swinging the ball well and Jake Williamson bowling a pacy spell with variable bounce, confined Mermaids to just 25 runs from the opening 6 overs. A change to slower bowling saw Milnes brought into the attack to bowl his first over for Unicorns.
An impressive start to his Unicorns bowling career saw the former Lincolnshire youth player concede just one run and miss out on a difficult caught & bowled chance in front of his parents who had travelled all the way from The Yellowbelly County. They will probably remember the over for Milnes comical first ball. With wicketkeeper Darrell Butler not yet ready and adjusting his protective helmet; Milnes fired in the first ball of the over which was thankfully collected by an alert Jay Timmins at short third man for just a single bye.
At the other end, to start the tenth, Dan Lewis was also making his first bowling appearance for Unicorns. The nervous leg spinner treated the side to some of the magical deliveries he produced in the recent net sessions. Despite a brace of looseners, he can be proud of his first ever over from which just 4 were scored off the bat and a difficult chance was put down at mid wicket.
At 62/0 at the midway point of the innings, Mermaids were still behind the rate, but with all ten wickets in hand they had begun to find the rope more regularly. Stephen Hallam checked their progress. In his first over, he had Pez Kooner caught in the covers with Jake Williamson completing the dismissal. Two more wickets fell in Hallam’s next over, both clean bowled but opener Edward Genochio had started to power and Mermaids were rattling along at 108/4 after Evie Harrison’s opening over for the side.
Genochio had found the tiny boundary fifteen times by the time Lachlan Smith returned to bowl the 17th over with just seven required to win. A single, and a huge straight six completed the match for the hosts who took the honours by seven wickets.
Unicorns will be looking for revenge in a forty over tie on home turf in August but next up is a match against the Midlands based Cricket Association for the Deaf on 18th July at Weoley Hill Oval.