HOLYROOD Academy’s Under-15 boys indoor cricket team travelled to Stanchester Academy for their first fixture of 2018.

Put in to bat first, the boys had an unlucky start when opener Seb Horne was caught off the roof and Manny Shahzad was run out after a couple of overs, but still the boys were scoring quickly.

Alfred Busby came to the crease and settled the team by batting sensibly before retiring on 20 not out.

Some last-minute boundaries from Yousiah Shahzad, and sensible work from Lewis Griffiths and Ollie Saxby, saw the boys finish on 77 off their five overs.

The boys knew if they bowled to their potential they should easily be able to defend their total, and their captain and opening bowler James Salaman had two wickets in two balls to get them off to a flier.

Barnaby Willis performed superbly behind the stumps, preventing the opposition from gaining runs from the back wall.

The rest of the wickets were then shared between Alfred Busby, Manny Shahzad, Horne and Griffiths, who all bowled exceptionally as Stanchester were bowled out for 24 runs.

Holyrood then faced the winners of the other group – a strong side from Sexeys.

Salaman won the toss and elected to bowl first, which put Sexeys under pressure from the off.

Busby claimed a hat-trick with three wickets in three balls, before two run-outs from Salaman.

Horne took an excellent one-handed catch to take a crucial wicket, before Sexeys were bowled out for 46.

Holyrood openers Salaman and Horne created a steady partnership, before Busby and Manny Shahzad had the task of scoring 10 off the final over to win.

Shahzad smashed the first ball for a huge six, and he then stayed calm to hit the second ball for four.

The boys were ecstatic to win by six wickets and get through to the next round, which is in February.

Miss Sims, head of cricket, said: “I’ve not seen them bowl or field that well as a team before.”