Match Report Birmingham Unicorns

Have to start by thanking Milford (@milfordhallcc) for hosting the game, Birmingham Unicorns (@bhamunicorns) for providing such enthusiastic and good spirited opposition, Jack Rule (@JackRuleLD) and Thomas Roche (@tillyshomas) for scoring and Mark Harris for a tremendous job umpiring and of course my team mates for making the day so enjoyable.

We are really lucky to have Milford as an Affiliated Ground and they did an amazing job getting the ground ready for their opening league fixture on Saturday as well as our game and it is fair to say that everyone was impressed with the quality of the ground and the setting, and we will no doubt see Birmingham Unicorns return later in the year.

Jack and Thomas joined our ambassador James Butler on his podcast earlier in the year to talk about scoring so it was a delight to meet them both in person and see them in action, and the post match discussion on the future of cricket was enjoyable and informative. Something tells me that Milford may be seeing a bit more of Jack in the future.

We were fortunate to have Mark Harris umpire for us. Mark and his daughter Abby are over from Australia for the summer to coach, umpire and play at Milford and he impressed all with his easy manner and sense of humour. Abi kindly stepped in to replace Bob who needed to look after a troublesome hip – or so he says! Getting a young pair of legs to replace you on a cold (ish) day was actually pretty smart, and Abby performed very well with both bat and ball.

Don’t think I am doing anyone a disservice when I say the teams were more than a little mis matched. NBCC comprised 5 Over 60s County Men Players, 3 Under 18 County Girls Players, and 3 second team players, so if nothing else we had a lot of games under our incredibly well designed shirts!!!

The Unicorns are a new club, with a mix of experienced players, players returning to the game and new players and the game was set up to give them match practice as well as more game awareness. Hopefully they picked up a bit of both.

We agreed in advance that the Unicorns would bat first and regardless of wickets they would complete their 40 over, and batting second regardless of runs and wickets we would bat 40 overs as well. As it happened the weather caused a short interruption so the Unicorns completed their innings after 34 overs and after 24 hours those on the NBCC side that wanted to bat had done so so we shook hands on what had been a very enjoyable game.

From a personal perspective having spent some time over the winter with the Unicorns it was great to play them and see some of them seeing their hard work over the winter pay off. They are a great bunch of people and their company does tend to lift the old spirits and highlights exactly what cricket can achieve ….. whakapapa, can you believe it took 8 paragraphs for me to mention it!? Having spent pretty much every week over the winter with Sarmad and Tim in the nets at Edgbaston we all loved actually getting onto the pitch together, and having played cricket at Penkridge with Katie several years ago it was lovely to play in the same side as her, and we even got to bat together just like the old days!!! And off course it is always great to play alongside John, Bob and Kevin from the Over 60s, and …. the youngsters from Milford are and credit to all the hard work that club puts into developing both the club and the players.

Hopefully we will keep involved with the Unicorns, possibly through our Club Partnership Programme and we plan on playing them again at the end of the season when it will be good to see how they have developed.

So, a great day. Some much needed overs for all of us and we move into our regular seasons now.

No Boundaries XI
No Boundaries and Birmingham Unicorns and Mark Harris (Umpire)
Birmingham Unicorns Innings
No Boundaries Innings

Play Cricket Score Card – although NBCC batted second it was easier to say we batted first, and the Unknown is Abi, which I will amend as soon as I get her added on Play Cricket.