Another Edwards half-century sees Scotland through
Another unbeaten half-century by Scottish opener Will Edwards was the foundation of his side's four-wicket victory over Guernsey in their replayed match in Deventer on Thursday, keeping the Scots on course for their third successive European Under-15 title.
As he had in the abandoned game between the sides on Wednesday, Edwards batted throughout the innings, this time leading the run chase and bringing his aggregate of the long-suffering Guernsey attack to 150. Scotland were chasing a target of 162, and largely thanks to Edwards they got them with six overs to spare.
Guernsey had won the toss and elected to bat, and Edwards demonstrated his all-round skills by claiming two of the first three wickets to fall as the Guernseymen subsided to 37 for three. They were rescued by a splendid innings from Matt Stokes, who batted with great composure for 67, made from 107 deliveries with seven fours, before he was eighth out.
He and wicketkeeper Jason Martin (20) doubled the score, adding 56 for the fifth wicket, but thereafter the runs mainly came from Stokes, only James Wilkes-Green of the lower-order batsmen reaching double figures.
It was, inevitably, Edwards who eventually had Stokes caught in the covers as he tried to force the pace, and he finished with three for 14. Haris Chaudhry came back to run through the tail, and end with four for 38.
The Guernsey total of 161 seemed unlikely to be enough to stretch the strong Scottish batting line-up, but they fought hard all the way, despite the threat posed by Edwards. The opener and Andrew Umeed put on 48 for the second wicket, Umeed making 32 of them from 33 deliveries before he was bowled by Wilkes-Green.
Guernsey may have seen a glimmer of hope when at one stage they had to Scots on 126 for five, but then Lyle Hill helped Edwards bring them to within nine runs of victory before he was smartly stumped by Martin off the bowling of Joshua Kirk.
Kirk bowled a steady eight-over spell for figures of two for 18, while at the other end Luke Le Tissier claimed one for 28. By the end Edwards had made 70 not out from 115 balls, with six fours, a considerable feat of concentration which may well have ensured that his side retain their Division 1 championship.