On Thursday 6th May Downside welcomed Marylebone Cricket Club to the Summer Leaze cricket square and Sheldon Pavilion for the inaugural 30 fixture between the two sides.

The MCC now have around 18,000 full and 5,000 associate members, and some 2,000 of them represent MCC on the field of play each year. MCC plays more matches than any other cricket club – around 480 per year against schools, universities and clubs in the UK, and between 20 and 30 fixtures annually as part of its overseas touring programme which aims to develop cricket abroad.

Having won the toss, Downside elected to field first and made early break throughs as Joe dismissed the MCC top three batsmen inside the first ten overs, leaving the MCC 70-3. Leg spinner Harry managed to restrict the away team from accelerating through their innings, clean bowling one of the middle order batsmen, and nearly claiming two other batsmen. But after a short fightback from MCC, Matthew and Robert took crucial wickets in the death overs, eventually restricting MCC to an impressive 217-6 from their 30 overs.

In reply, Nicolas started extremely brightly, scoring seven from the first over, and 14 from the following over. 1st XI captain, Louis, joined in with the attacking approach and clipped an enormous six off his pads in the fourth over. However, when Nicolas fell for 28, MCC began to take control of the game, taking four wickets in quick succession. Sebastian showed some excellent application and resistance with the bat, but fell for a well-measured 19, and Downside succumbed to a 131 run defeat.

After the match, Joe was presented with an MCC ‘Spirit of Cricket’ cap for his excellent spell of bowling. Despite the result, it was a fantastic experience for the Downside pupils to play against cricketers with such a wealth of talent, and we very much look forward to welcoming them back next year.

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