It was a landmark milestone for cricket in Malta this week as the Malta Cricket Academy played their first ever representative matches against the David Byas Cricket Academy from Yorkshire, UK. Byas is a former captain and coach of Yorkshire County Cricket Club while the local juniors themselves were guided by Darren Scott (ex-Kent county professional cricketer, Level 3 coach and PE teacher).
The series saw the local side victorious in both games. Malta Cricket is now hopeful to build on this success by promoting international junior tournaments in Malta and competing abroad.
Proceedings began with Tuesday’s cap presentation to the local juniors, involving Malta Cricket Chairman Paul Bradley, national team player and team physiotherapist Sam Aquilina, William Cauchi and Malta Cricket Development coaches Subhas Roy and Garrett Kampff.
In Tuesday’s opener, DBCA batted first and reached to 95 runs from their allotted 30 overs, restricted by some excellent bowling and fielding by the Malta team. For DBCA, Josh Matthews top scored with 25 runs, while the major wicket-taker for the Malta side was Waleed Ahmed (2 for 8). Luke Bradley, Hugh Scott and Suhrid Roy also captured a wicket apiece.
In reply, The Malta Academy made light work of the run chase, reaching their target in only the 21st over. Wicket-keeper Scott Ewan (51 runs) and Suhrid Roy (19 runs) steered their side home to a convincing victory.
The Malta Academy batted first in Wednesday’s match and reached the commanding total of 173 runs from their 30 overs. The innings was dominated by Patrick Brooke (51) and Scott Ewan (44). Waleed Ahmed scored 13 while Ethan Xuereb hit one towering six and a four to end the innings on 16 not out. Zac Cauchi provided Xuereb with excellent support towards the end of the Malta Academy innings.
Chasing 174 for victory, DBCA’s Noel Calau, Sam Noble and Rob Boddy all scored 25 runs however a cluster of wickets in the middle stages left the visitors short of the required rate, finishing on 160 for 8. Again, it was an excellent team effort by the Malta Junior Academy. Opening bowler Ali Hamza bowled a tidy spell, conceding only 5 runs from 3 overs, while Hugh Scott took the bowling honours with 3 wickets for 23. Devon Brooke, Suhrid Roy, Ben Hooper and Imogen Scott all took a wicket each for the Malta Academy.
The Malta Academy’s 13 run victory brought to an end an exciting 2 day festival of junior cricket at the Marsa Sports Club.
This Saturday sees an Easter Friendly match at noon at the Marsa Sports Club.
The MCA Junior Academy sessions continue from 9am.
Tue 11 April – 30 overs:
Malta Cricket Academy 96 for 1 (S.Ewan 51*) defeated DBCA 95 for 5 (J.Matthews 25; W.Ahmed 2-8). Player of the Match: Scott Ewan (Malta)
Wed 12 April – 30 overs:
Malta Cricket Academy 173 for 8 (D.Brooke 51*; H.Jackson 2-12) defeated DBCA 160 for 8 (N.Calau 25, S.Noble 25, R.Boddy 25; H.Scott 3-23). Player of the Match: Devon Brooke (Malta).
Umpires: Les White, Paul Bradley.
Scorers: Eric Balakrishnan & Paula Calleja
Photography: John Rusher.