Team GB’s junior cricket squad warmed up for the competition with a 34 run victory over Harpsden CC in Henley on Thames.
Team GB won the toss and elected to bat on a wonderfully hot summer’s day with temperatures not far off those they will face in Israel.
Openers Jack Winton and Mikey Ettlinger got them off to a good start, putting on 50 for the first wicket at better than a run a ball, before Winton edged Bradley to slip for 24. Jordan Urban joined Ettlinger and again a solid partnership was built, with Urban particularly fluent, striking nine boundaries in his 49. Adam Birkett had Urban caught and bowled in his first over to end the stand.
Again a pair of Team GB batsmen rebuilt after the loss of a wicket with Grant Reingold and Mikey Ettlinger busy between the wickets. Skipper Reingold manipulated the field and hit the gaps superbly and was offered excellent support by Ettlinger who was playing against his own aggressive tendencies and anchored the innings superbly before he was unluckily run out on 48.
Adam Mayer played a terrific cameo of 17, full of scoops and good footwork, and Reingold went on to his half century with a succession of cuts, drives and sweeps, picking out the gaps in clinical fashion. He went on to 79, with eight 4s, before trying one piece of improvisation too many and being bowled by Rod Birkett.
A score of 280 plus had looked on the cards but Harpsden bowled well at the death and picked up a few cheap wickets. Even so, Team GB’s total of 265-8 from their 40 overs looked imposing.
After tea, Max Sugarman and Barnaby Graff opened the bowling, and were both a little wayward in their opening overs, with too many wides and no balls, and a few too many loose balls against batsmen that were looking to be aggressive right from the off. Adam Birkett and Sweet attacked the bowling, and the score ticked along very nicely, 51 coming from the first eight overs.
Seamers Joe Nyman and Josh Frey came on to bowl, with the score continuing to mount, before Nyman picked up the first wicket, Sweet top edging a cut to Jack Winton at point for 42. Bradley joined Birkett and despite cracking a boundary, found Reingold’s big spinning googly a bit too tough to handle and was bowled behind his legs.
Birkett was still going well and found willing partners in Heath and Paice, who helped him add 51 and 48 for the third and fourth wickets. The introduction of Josh Oehley brought a wicket, with Heath skying one that the bowler took himself. The returning Graff picked up the wicket of Paice, for 21, caught behind smartly be Ettlinger. Oehley bowled straight and sharply, and picked up two further wickets, both clean bowled. Max Sugarman returned for a second spell and had much better rhythm, and bagged himself a wicket, with Sim Cohen taking a smart catch diving forward at mid on. Birkett was still batting well, but running out of time to reach his century, a feat he eventually reached off the penultimate ball of the final over. Harpsden finished on 231/7 from their 40 overs.