20 Feb 2020
Super Over Drama!

Tuesday was a rest day for the boys with trips to the souks along Dubai Creek and the Dubai mall on the itinerary. After a lazy morning which was well earned after the previous days heroics, the boys boarded the bus for a short journey down to Dubai Creek to have a look round the souk markets. Souk markets are traditional market stalls along the Dubai creek which sell a range of things including spices, perfumes, gold, textiles and even some novelty gifts such as cheap replica football shirts! The boys were given a challenge to see who could get the biggest discount on an item as historically the souks are the place to try and haggle a bargain! The standout winner was Ollie Van De Ploeg who managed to get a whopping 85% off some jewelry, however his story about one of the sellers likening him to Jack Sparrow was less convincing!

After returning to the hotel and being given some time to relax, the boys then headed to Dubai mall in the evening. The Dubai mall is one of the largest malls in the world with over 1,000 stores and the world famous Burj Khalifa lights show outside. Many of the boys used this chance to explore the huge range of shops and purchase a gift or two. They were also treated to a surprise when Mr. Corbett very kindly bought them a team football to use for the rest of the trip.

Wednesday started with a bus journey to the Dubai Sevens stadium, a world-class sporting facility which plays host to the World Rugby Sevens every year. Still in high spirits from Monday, and feeling refreshed after their rest day, the boys knew they’d be in for a tougher test against a touring Birkdale School team from Sheffield. On another superb surface, skipper Jacob Noakes won the toss and decided to bowl on a pitch which looked like it would offer something for both batsman and bowler. Stockport did well to restrict the Birkdale batsmen in the early overs with good bowling from Lewis Welsh, Josh Patel and Jay Hurst, however the two set batsmen slowly got going and started to push the score along. Despite Birkdale’s late push, the score was limited to 126 with Lewis Welsh, Josh Patel, Albert Bradshaw and Umar Chugtai all picking up a wicket. Again this was backed up by some brilliant fielding including 2 catches and a run out.

The run chase never really got going and despite glimpses of hope, a flurry of wickets in the middle overs put a halt to any chance Stockport had of chasing down the total. Jacob Noakes was the standout with a cameo of 35 as Stockport could only muster 109 all out to lose by 17 runs.

The second game once again saw a changed side take to the field against a younger Birkdale side. After losing the toss, Stockport were sent out into the field with Orly Bonar leading the side. Birkdale’s inning revolved around one batsman who made the most of the conditions and scored a classy 63 as they went on to post 136 off their 20 overs. Wickets were once again shared round as Ollie Van De Ploeg, Tom Loveday, Orly Bonar and Dom Hanson all picked up 1 wicket, with Umar Chugtai the stand out bowler picking up 2. Again it was a terrific fielding display in the heat with the highlight being a superb one handed caught and bowled by Orly Bonar.

The run chase started on a positive note with James Brace and Will Francis punishing anything wide with the score racing along to 67/1 off 10 overs. A mini collapse then left things in the balance with 1 over to go. Stockport required 8 to tie and 9 to win off the final over with Jack Tyley and Dom Hanson at the crease. The pair ran hard between the wickets and managed to score 8 which resulted in a tie and a super over! The standout batting performance was from Will Francis who scored 41, ably supported by Umar Chugtai with 25.

Birkdale batted first in the super over and were restricted to 8, Umar Chugtai showing some tremendous skill to bowl his leg spin during a pressurized situation. Albert and Umar headed out to the crease knowing 9 runs would win them the game. After a shaky start with 3 runs picked up in the first 4 balls, unfortunately it wasn’t to be with the Birkdale bowler keeping his nerve to restrict Stockport to 5 off the over. It was an incredible way to finish the day and both teams will have learnt a lot in both games.

Man of the match for the first game went to Jacob Noakes and man of the match in the second game went to Will Francis.