On Friday 1st May two teams of young adults from Leicester traveled to Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham to compete in a Chance to Shine Street Young Adults National Competition. The two teams (SS and Master Blasters) had earned the right to travel by finishing as winners and runners up in the Young Adults League held at Cossington Street Sports Centre. Players were drawn from the Belgrave/Latimer and Spinney Hills wards of Leicester.
Before the competition started, staff from Warwickshire County Cricket Club kindly allowed the Leicester players on to the outfield to view the fantastic playing facilities they have at Edgbaston (as seen above).
There were 8 teams involved; coming from Birmingham, Coventry, Luton, Dewsbury, Salford and Manchester. Leicester 1 (SS) lined up in a strong group against Dewsbury, Manchester and Birmingham with Leicester 2 (Master Blasters) taking on Coventry, Luton and Salford.
Leicester 1 started strongly with a 4 wicket victory over Dewsbury following some tight bowling by Dinkal and Rahul limiting the first innings total to 27. Steady batting from the opening pair ensured Leicester 1 picked up 3 points from their opening fixture. Meanwhile, Leicester 2 faced off against Coventry, finishing with a convincing innings victory following an excellent partnership of 56 from Vijal and Hiren.
Leicester 1 then went on to defeat Manchester in their second fixture and Leicester 2 matched the feat with a victory over Luton. Birmingham had also picked up two wins, meaning the match with Leicester 1 would decide who finished top of the group. The Birmingham side were well organised and provided a tough test for Leicester, with some wayward bowling under pressure allowing Birmingham a respectable first innings score. However, some calm batting from Vishal saw Leicester 1 over the line and earn a place in the semi-finals. Leicester 2 also finished top of their group following a win over Salford, meaning that they faced Birmingham in the semi-final.
Leicester 1 faced Luton in their semi-final and were helped to victory by a strong captains innings from Mahir. On the other court, Leicester 2 were involved in a tight match with Birmingham, but incredible hitting from Vijal saw them chase down 52 from 20 balls. This meant that the two Leicester teams would face off in the final for a place in the Champions League at Lords!
After two tense innings the teams finished level pegging, forcing a super over! Tight bowling from Leicester 2’s Milan meant that the Leicester 1 captain required 6 from the final ball. He was only able to find the side netting meaning that Leicester 2 finished as winners and will travel to Lords on Monday 1st June to compete against the best of the best from around the country.
It was a great day and a fantastic experience for a group of young lads all living in Leicester city centre who will now have a brilliant opportunity to showcase their skills at the home of cricket.
You can find an additional write up on the day by Chance to Shine here: www.chancetoshine.org/news/leicester-young-adults-are-streets-ahead
A selection of images from the day are available on our Facebook page.
Chance to Shine Street Young Adults sessions are held at the following venues:
– Cossington Street Sports Centre: Tuesdays 5.00-7.00pm
– Spence Street Sports Centre: Fridays 6.00-8.00pm
For more information on Chance to Shine Street in Leicester please click here.