Shrewsbury School

Cricket Tour December 2010: Dubai and Perth

Wednesday 5 January 2011

The 2010 Cricket Tour to Dubai and then Perth started with a very early departure of thirty two boys from School on Thursday 9th December. The tour report and full match reports are below, and the boys were updating their facebook page with further photos and videos throughout their time away: 


On December 9th, 32 boys and 4 staff from Shrewsbury School set off on a 16 day, two centre, tour to Dubai and Australia. It was the sixth school tour in the past 12 years, since the first tour to Barbados in 1998. The squad had a great number of local Shropshire players (19) including no fewer than 12 Shrewsbury Cricket Club players: Stephen Leach, Stephen Barnard, Mark Prescott, Matthew Gregson, Jack Hudson-Williams, Charlie Farquhar, Alex Styles (Senior Squad) and Marcus Bedson, Henry Blofield, James Hulton-Harrup, James Warburg, Henry Gittins in the Juniors.

The tour was lead by Andy Barnard  (Master i/c Cricket and Chairman Shrewsbury CC) and supported by the very experienced and well qualified staff including Paul Pridgeon (1st XI Coach and Shropshire U15 Coach), Paul Greetham (Director of Sport and U15 Manager) and Edward Foster (Captain of Shropshire CCC, Shrewsbury CC and U15 Coach).

Photo by Kidz in Sport (Shropshire Ltd)  email for copies

The senior squad had a very successful tour and won all seven matches (see match reports below) against a variety of schools, districts and academies, while the U15 squad (which included three promising U14’s) didn’t do quite so well, but nevertheless certainly developed well and and improved their skills during the sixteen days of exciting and arduous travel and cricket.

The trip fulfilled all our expectations and provided all the boys with the opportunity to develop their skills in preparation for another challenging school season from April to July. Clearly we were delighted that the seniors remained unbeaten (a first for a school tour) throughout the whole tour and that we won the three very tight matches that all went to the last over. The senior squad were all excellent, and a number of the younger players in the squad did very well together with the three ‘new boys’ (6th Form Entrants). The only disappointment came at the end of the tour when unseasonal rain in Perth forced the cancellation of our last fixture against the very strong SW Emerging Warriors, that would have included six state players.

Traditionally our junior teams have struggled to adapt to the alien conditions and new surroundings (even teams containing the likes of James Taylor), and this trip was very much like past ones; undoubtedly the lessons the boys have learnt and what we have learnt about the boys will make for better performances and results in the coming years. The challenge for this group of boys will be to see if they can make the trip as seniors in 2012.

As well as providing a great cricketing experience the boys broadened their horizons, saw new sights and tasted cultural differences that will only serve them well in the future lives.  In Dubai and Abu Dhabi they witnessed the massive construction programmes in the desert, learnt about the growth of a technological society in under 70 years from simple nomadic origins, visited the second biggest mosque in Asia outside of Mecca, were instructed about the Muslim religion and beliefs, ate at a Lebanese restaurant, and found out about the complex state of commerce in the United Arab Emirates.

In Brunei we all experienced the equatorial climate, took a river trip into a mangrove swamp, learnt about the very recent evolvement of land development, saw river settlements jutting out of the waters, and saw Proboscis monkeys in the wild instructed by a local guide known as ‘Jungle Dave’!

In Perth we stayed in the wonderful grounds of Christ Church Grammar School (CCGS) perched on the shore of the Swan river, spent a day at the Ashes Test amongst the throng of Barmy Army faithful, (singing and clapping for all we were worth), were escorted (by OS Tim Ward (Ingrams) up the tallest building in the CBD, shopped in the old port of Freemantle and the sparkling malls of Perth, rode the coastal light railway, spent time at the wonderful Cottesloe beach and finally ate kangaroo at the end of tour dinner.

The tour also highlighted the strong links between Shrewsbury School, Shrewsbury CC, and cricket around the globe. In Dubai, Jason Brown (SCC 1999-2001), called in to see us. Jason played for the club in the early years of the BDPL and taught at Prestfelde.  He now teaches in Dubai and is contemplating a move to Perth.

During the tour in Perth we came across no fewer than six present and former players who have played for Shrewsbury CC and/or had a strong association with the school. Dan Rees, known well at Shrewsbury CC and Shelton CC, played for the club for two years and spent a year as a gap student at Shrewsbury School, popped in to see us at Claremont-Nedlands; Campbell Robertson played at the club in 2003-3 and came to the end of tour dinner; Wes Robinson, presently scoring heavily for Western Australia, played in 2009 and presented the senior awards at the end of tour dinner; Paul Donaldson enjoyed a BBQ with us at Christ Church Grammar School; Alex Blofield, last year’s SS 1st XI Captain presently working at CCGS; James Taylor,SCC 2007/8, joined us for an afternoon in between his England Lions commitments.

The end of tour dinner, staged in the dining hall of our host school Christ Church Grammar School, provided the tour group with the opportunity to thank a great number of people who made the trip so exciting and memorable and say goodbye to a number of new friends.  Andy Barnard thanked:  CCGS representatives including Christy Dangerfield and (Chef) Colin Firth and and in particular Jon Turner for facilitating the tour in Perth; Chris Brabazon, local Cricket Development Officer for helping with fixtures and venues; Ross Stephen, for his tireless work throughout the year and during December in Perth for overseeing the tour itinerary and troubleshooting.

AB also thanked the Old Salopian Community that had supported the tour throughout from the communications of Tony Walters back at HQ to the kind donations from the Saracans and the Foundation and for the support on the ground from a number of Old Salopians in Dubai and Australia.

  • In Dubai: James Craig, Rupert Connor and Robbie Williams
  • In Australia: Martyn Thompson, Tim Ward (Carol, Zoe and Harriet), James Taylor, Alex Blofield and Ben Jones

And finally to the parents and grandparents that had travelled with and supported the team. Richard and Caroline Prescott, Penny and Tom Bailey, and Geoff, Hilda and Debbie Leach.

The tour ended with a number of cricketing and non-cricketing awards, and four special cricket awards were made for outstanding batting and bowling on tour:
Stephen Leach (Senior) (101 n.o. v Southern Cricket Academy @ Willetton CC) and Freddie Earlham(Junior) ( 135 v Christ Church Grammar School @ Mt Clarement Playing Fields) both received awards for scoring hundreds on tour. Alex Styles (Senior) (5 for 16 v Dubai College @ IRB Sevens Ground) and Henry Lewis (Senior) (5 for 16 v Christ Church Grammar School @ Mt Claremont) received awards for outstanding bowling.


Dubai Australia Match Analysis

 v  Zayed Academy  @ Zayed Cricket Stadium  10th December 2010 (35 over match)
Shrewsbury School   154 for 9 ( 35 overs) J. Bailey 34, J. Board 24, M. Prescott 25,A.Pollock 24 n.o
Zayed Academy 148 all out (35 overs) C. Farquhar 2 for 12, R. Smith 4 for 26, J. Hudson-Williams 1 for 1
MOM AWARD   R. Smith
V British School Abu Dhabi @ Emirates Palace 13th December 2010 (20 over match)
BSAD  80 all out  J. Hudson-Williams 2 for 3
Shrewsbury School  81 for 0 M. Gregson 33 n.o., W. Mason 34 n.o.
MOM AWARD   W. Mason

V Dubai College @ IRB Sevens Ground 14th December 2010  (40 over match)
Shrewsbury School  192 for 7 (40 overs) R. Smith 78, S. Barnard 22, J. Hudson-Williams 32 n.o.
Dubai College 109 all out A. Styles 5 for 16
MOM AWARD  A. Styles  and R. Smith

V Christ Church Grammar School @ Mt Claremont Playing Fields 13th December 2010  (50 over match)
CCGS 102 all out H. Lewis 5 for 16, M. Prescott 2 for 17
Shrewsbury School 106 for 9 A. Styles 32 n.o., M. Prescott 17
MOM AWARD    M. Prescott

V John Forrest High School @ JFHS (50 over match)
JFHS 85 all out M. Prescott 3 for 3, A. Pollock 2 for 18, W. Mason 2 for 1
Shrewsbury School 86 for 1 S. Leach 38 n.o., H. Lewis 42 n.o.

V Southern Cricket Academy @ Willetton CC  (50 over match)
Shrewsbury School 269 for 7  S. Leach 101 n.o., J. Bailey 43, H. Lewis 39
SCA 174 all out A. Styles 2 for 29 , G. Hanmer 2 for 24 A. Pollock 2 for 35

V Claremont Nedlands @ Claremont-Nedlands CC (20 over match)
Claremont 123 for 5  C. Farquhar 2 for 20 , S. Barnard 1 for 22
Shrewsbury School 124 for 6  J. H-Williams 57, S. Barnard 26
MOM AWARD J. Hudson-Williams and S. Barnard


2010 - 2011
Sunday19 December 2010

Cricket Tour: Match reports Days 2 to 7


13 Dec: Match Day 2 – Shrewsbury School 1st XI vs British School Abu Dhabi

After a narrow win against the Zayed Academy under lights on the previous night, we now faced the challenge of the British School Abu Dhabi played at the Emirates Palace, quite possibly the most picturesque and spectacular ground in Abu Dhabi (see ‘Facebook’ pictures). The toss was made and controversially our opponents decided to bat first.  We planned to bat first as this was an ideal opportunity to use as many batsmen as possible in this 20-20 format.

Nevertheless we stayed professional and it was vital that we limited the amount of runs scored by the opposition and took as many wickets as possible. We did exactly this and by the end of the first innings we had the upper hand. The British School Abu Dhabi were bowled out for just 80.

Aston, Mason, Styles, Hanmer and Prescott all bowled well to collect a wicket a piece and Jack Hudson-Williams took two wickets including a sublime reaction catch with his first ball. A very good spell from George Hanmer followed, he took one wicket and bowled very economically.

Our innings then commenced with Matthew Gregson and William Mason opening the batting. They took full advantage of the small boundary and ill directed bowling, knocking off the runs in the space of only 5.4 overs including hitting two sixes and fifteen fours.

Matthew Gregson finished on 33 no and Mason 34 no, both carrying their bats, two very well played innings, to seal a very comfortable win.The team then had a victory swim in the serene waters of the vastly impressive Emirates Palace to top off the day.

Mark Prescott

13 Dec: Match Day 3 - Shrewsbury School 1st XI v Dubai College

With two wins already under our belt, we woke bright and early in search of a third victory to complete the set. The coach journey back to Dubai went a lot smoother than on the way 3 days previously, as this time the coach driver didn’t get lost and require a taxi to follow!

The journey to the Dubai 7’s complex took one and a half hours, however we were amazed by the outstanding variety of sky scrapers in Dubai including the world famous 7* ‘Burj Al Arab’ hotel.

On reaching the ground, most of us pretty shattered already, we won the toss and elected to bat. Steve Leach and Charlie Farquhar set out to commence the innings, our 3rd different opening partnership this tour, which shows the depth and talent of our batting line up. After Steve was bowled early on Charlie and Ruaidhri Smith set about laying a solid platform on a difficult surface.

After Charlie departed in the 17th over Freddie Cox came to the crease and with Ruaidhri started to increase the run rate until Freddie was unluckily run out, just as he was starting to look solid. Ruaidhri finally departed for a well made 78, then after a couple more quick wickets Steve Barnard and Jack Hudson-Williams resurrected the innings with some hard running and powerful shots. We finished the innings on 192-8.

We were confident that this would be a competitive score, however the opposition got off to a flying start due to some wayward bowling and good batting from the Dubai openers.

Steve Barnard bowled consistently well and picked up a well deserved wicket in his 4th over. With the game still in the balance on came the spinners whom immediately reduced the run rate.

Henry Lewis picked up 2 wickets, but more crucially Alex Styles took 5 wickets including a hat trick! With his first wicket he dismissed the opposition’s best batsmen who looked well set with a tactical long hop hit straight down Matt Gregson’s throat at deep-square who took a quality catch on the second attempt. Charlie picked up 1 wicket and a good piece of fielding by Will Mason resulting in a run out finished the innings.

Shrewsbury came out winners by 85 runs. This brought to an end an exciting first leg of the tour and puts us in a great position for Australia.

Dubai conquered!

Ali Pollock

13 Dec: Match Day 3 - Shrewsbury School U15 vs Repton International School 1st XI

We travelled back to Dubai from Abu Dhabi for our third game of the tour versus Repton. Another good ground and the wicket wasn’t bad either. We lost the toss and were put into bat. An early wicket wasn’t what we wanted but with a decent run rate we were giving ourselves a good chance to post a good total. Wickets began to fall though and after 10 overs we were 47 for 4. A solid partnership from Blofield (23) and Crawford (10) sent us up to 87 but again wickets fell. We plummeted to 117 for 9 after 23 overs but Flowers (40) and Lewis took us up to 164 with a very good 10th wicket partnership.

We battled hard in the field with a sharp run out in the first over but we were punished by an excellent opening batsman who went on to score 86. Poor line and length allowed him and the other batsmen to knock off the runs after just 20 overs. Blofield took two wickets, a good stumping from Humes off the bowling of Bibby, and a run out were the only wickets taken in a disappointing bowling and fielding display that also featured some dropped catches. Hopefully in Perth we can win most of our games and show improvements to take into the season in England.

Charles Kidson

16 Dec: Match Day 4 - Shrewsbury School U15 vs Christ Church Grammar School U15

We won the toss and elected to bat on a hard, flat wicket. Humes and Warburg opened the batting, however we were quickly one down after four overs. Crawford came in at three and hit a good 20 (all in fours).  Earlam came in seven overs before drinks and smashed his way to 50. At drinks, we found ourselves with a healthy run-rate, but losing too many wickets (75 for 4). Flowers and Earlam made a solid partnership of about 90 with Flowers playing a mature innings of 30.  Earlam made Christ Church pay by dropping him first ball to go on to hit a magnificent 123 off roughly 90 balls.  White came in at number seven and hit 20, but we lost wickets too quickly in the latter stages of the innings.  We were bowled out for 236 with five overs remaining. Considering the good wicket and the fast outfield we thought this might be slightly under par.

Flowers and Bedson opened the bowling and both got the ball to swing away nicely from the right hander. In the fourth over, Bedson bowled a teasing ball outside off stump and the batsman played a slip drive straight to Blofield at first slip. At the first drinks break they were 63-2.  Hayward came on to bowl and kept it tight, taking two wickets in the process. Flowers took a magnificent catch on the boundary off the bowling of Green, which gave the whole team a lift. We took the last drinks break and got some advice from Old Salopian and England ‘A’ cricketer Jimmy Taylor - ‘get a tan like me’!  They needed 66 off the last ten overs with four wickets in hand. Bibby came on in the 43rd over and he was rewarded for his good lines and lengths with three wickets in an over. Their run-rate slowed up and we then looked like definite winners. We ended up bowling them out for 199 and winners by 37 runs. This performance should give us confidence heading into the next match.

Henry Blofield

17 Dec: Match Day 5 - Shrewsbury School 1st XI v John Forrest Senior High School Cricket Academy

After our tight win versus Christ Church, we faced the John Forrest senior high school which is a part cricket academy. It was an exciting pitch which provided a good contest between bat and ball.

As the heat was increasing, John Forrest won the toss and elected to bat. Soon Steve Barnard and James Aston were steaming in but it proved to be the change of bowler to Jack Hudson-Williams, which brought the first breakthrough in the 9th over.

Thereafter it was Shrewsbury dominance with Pollock and Mason, while the other seamers also bowled well. The spinners also bowled tightly with Henry Lewis bowling very economically and the infamous DJ Sparky ending with figures of 3 for 3 off 3.

With the opposition bowled out for the modest total of 85, things would seem relatively straightforward. However the heat just continued to soar, with rumours circling that it touched 34 degrees, thus the run chase would not be easy.

This point was hammered home when DJ Sparky received a short ball which just skidded low across the deck, trapping him plum in front. With our man of the moment gone, hard graft would be the doctor’s orders, and that was exactly what we got. Steve Leach and Henry Lewis were calm and collected and slowly started to knock off the total, playing the spinners with particular ease and by the 18th over we had knocked off their total with Henry and Steve ending on scores of 42 and 38 respectively. Another victory, 5 wins from 5, dare we dream of an unbeaten tour.................?

Freddie Cox

17 Dec: Match Day 6 - Shrewsbury School U15 XI vs Willetton Cricket Club U15's

After captain Blofield won the toss and elected to bat, it was clear that the pitch would be very flat and great to bat on. Lewis and White (on his birthday) opened the batting hoping to score runs, but unfortunately good bowling from the Willeton opening bowlers saw the opening partnership broken and another quickly followed. When White departed after 15 overs Humes came in at number five and top scored with 19. Flowers and Waterworth both made 14, but we finished on a score, which we felt would be hard to defend, of 84 all out.

Knowing that the only way to win the game would be taking wickets an attacking field was set. This chance paid off when Blofield and Bedson both bowled good opening spells with Blofield getting the two openers out very cheaply before the lunch break; he finished with figures of 10 overs, 2 maidens, 2 wickets for 32 runs. Wickets also for Hayward, after a brilliant leg side stumping from keeper Humes, and Lewis who also picked up a wicket at the end of the Willeton innings, but their number three stuck out the overs and batted well, eventually finishing on 48*.

A disappointing result, but a game that we hope to learn from.

James Warburg

17 Dec: Match Day 6 - Shrewsbury School 1st XI v Southern Cricket Academy

After winning five matches out of five, the first team embarked on the challenge of facing the Southern Cricket Academy at Willerton Cricket Club which possessed a beautiful deck, the best we have played on so far, and the first pitch that was not in the bowlers favour.

After winning the first toss of the tour, skipper Henry Lewis inevitably decided to bat first, sending Will Mason and Freddie Cox in to open the batting, who demonstrated what a good batting deck this was, getting off to a good start but losing the wicket of Coxy in the seventh over, top edging one to mid on.

Mason carried on well with Ruaidhri Smith until Mase was run out after a confusion between the two of them for 16. Ruaidhri batted well and ended up on 15 off just 11 balls after being run out with yet another confusion between the batsmen, this time with Jack Bailey.

This gave entrance to the inform Steve Leach who batted well with Jack Bailey until Bails got clean ripped for 43. Leachy batted magnificently and carried his bat to end up on an awesome 101 not out. Stylo came in after JB and thought he was still in the last match, trying to clear the boundary rope of cow corner, to unfortunately miss the ball and listen to the crunching sound of his castle being knocked over.

This gave entrance to the also inform Henry Lewis, who batted confidently with Leachy and he ended up on 39, after being caught near the end going for a big shot with aim to quicken the run rate. Alasdair Pollock and Jamie Board supplied support for Leachy towards the end and we ended up on 269 off 48 overs.

This was a par score for the pitch produced and possessed a challenge for our bowlers, especially seamers. A quality opening partnership of James Aston and Alasdair Pollock saw the opposition only scoring 34 of the first 12 overs.

Charlie Farqhar and Alex Styles then bowled in a good partnership, both coming on first change and keeping the run rate to a bare minimum. Henry Lewis and George Hanmer continued this theme and pinned their batsmen down to a low run rate. Will Mason also had a bowl who has a knack of cleaning up the tail which he successfully did. Wickets were shared round, with Pollock, Styles and Hanmer all picking up 2 each.

The fielding on a whole was tidy, including a great catch from Ruaidhri in the deep. On the whole, a good win which we all hope that the habit shall continue!

Jack Hudson-Williams

19 Dec: Match Day 7 - Shrewsbury School 1st XI v Claremont-Nedlands Under 17s

We had an early start for the 20/20 match against Claremont-Nedlands. After a sluggish warm-up, we started well in the field with our opening bowlers, Jack Hudson-Williams and Henry Lewis, being very economic, restricting the opposition to less than 5 an over during the powerplay.

Claremont then came back slightly during the middle overs and towards the end, but our bowlers continued to bowl well and we managed to restrict the opposition to 123.

Opening the batting, Will Mason and Matt Gregson, started well but then after a few quick wickets, Jack Hudson-Williams (57) and Steve Barnard (24) steadied the ship, batting with aggression and calm heads, took us to within 20 runs of victory.

After these two fell in quick succession, it was then down to George Hanmer and Mark Prescott to take us home. After a few shaky overs, we finaly sneaked home with 4 balls to spare.

This was a good fielding performance, but should have been finished off sooner and much easier than it finally was.


Sunday12 December 2010

Cricket Tour match reports day two: U15 vs Zayed Cricket Academy


Once again this was played on an amazing pitch on the grounds of the Emirates Palace where we were all left startled at the beauty of the surroundings.  We won the toss and elected to bat. Crawford and Bedson started well, hitting frequent boundaries with one of Marcus’ reaching the nearby beach! When we lost our first wicket in the 7th over they started to tumble. This dented our confidence slightly and as a result our run rate slowed down. Our top scorer made 30 runs (Bedson) and we ended up with a total of 131 which was a moderate score considering the size of the pitch and run rate to start with. Decent innings from Gittins and Bibby meant that the run rate was built up to 8 an over after a slow run rate in the middle part of the innings.

This was a much improved performance from the previous day as we were better in all the aspects of the game. Highlights in the field included Sam Green’s three wickets and a neat stumping from keeper Will Waterworth. The British School closed their innings on 102 and Shrewsbury had won by 29 runs. We look forward to the challenge of Repton International School and hopefully building on this win.

Harry Flowers & Charlie White

Saturday11 December 2010

Cricket Tour match reports day one: 1st XI and U15 v Zayed Cricket Academy


1st XI v Zayed Academy

The 1st XI kicked off the tour with a win against the Zayed academy. Having won the toss and elected to bat the start was far from ideal, with the loss of 4 wickets for less than 20 runs.

Arguably we were not helped by some of the early umpiring decisions, but it was mainly due to some lose batting that led to us finding ourselves in this position. However we then regrouped through a good partnership between Jack Bailey and Jamie Board, but it was disappointing when they both fell in the space of an over straight after the drinks break.

More wickets began to tumble and we found ourselves 7 down for 100 runs off 25 overs. We once again regrouped, this time through Mark Prescott and Alasdair Pollock, both playing very effective roles. We ended up on 154 for 9 wickets in our allotted 35 overs.

With a slightly under par score on the board we felt like it was early wickets that were going to be the key, but after an initial success, through Steve Barnard, we were unable to capitalise due to bowlers struggling to maintain a consistent line, this unfortunately allowed them to gain the upper hand reaching 50-1 off just 7 overs.
The spinners then came into the attack and managed to contain and apply consistent pressure on the batters, picking up wickets on regular occasions. However the opposition did manage to get a couple of dangerous looking players in. It was vital that Ruaidhri Smith, this year’s Cassidy scholar, bowled a really effective spell which made up the six final overs from one end. Ruaidhri finished with 4 wickets to his name.

As the game closed in the intensity of the fielding drastically increased with some outstanding catches and stops being made. This was to prove decisive as the game went down to the final over, which was bowled by Jack Hudson-Williams, and they ended up 148 all out, meaning a win for Shrewsbury by 6 runs.

Henry Lewis

U15 vs Zayed Cricket Academy

Playing at a ground named the Zayed Cricket Stadium where only very recently Pakistan played South Africa in ODI’s and a Test Match, was definitely a good enough reason to be up for a game vs their academy. After a long journey from the Airport to the hotel resulting in a late night and then an early start, tiredness proved to be a major factor towards the end of their innings. There were a couple of positives which we could take from the game such as not losing our first wicket till the ninth over and some good fielding displays from everyone helped in keeping them under 200 runs. We could tell that it was going to be a tough match when their two openers took full advantage of the poor bowling lengths for a pitch of that quality. We started off our batting at a healthy run rate, but unfortunately this seemed to slow down and wickets started to fall due to the pressure of their bowling. Towards the end off the innings Kidson started to put up a fight but this couldn’t win us the game. He made 27 in only a few overs. We ended up losing the match by 88 runs. This proved to us that we needed to up the levels of energy and concentration or we would go back to a cold England losing the majority of the games.

Harry Flowers & Charlie White

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