Thursday 4 April
All of us who were fortunate enough to go on the St Martin’s Antigua cricket tour arrived at school full of energy and raring to go; despite it being 5am in the morning. We endured a long 8 hour flight before finally being able to step out into the heat and sunshine of Antigua. We were keen to change out of the warm clothing that we needed for Gatwick which was cold and wet. After arriving at our hotel we had a quick swim before eating dinner. It had been a long day and we needed to sleep to prepare for our first match the following day.
Friday 5 April
We left in the afternoon for our first match against Rising Sun Cricket Club. We bowled first. Well done to Krish S for getting the first wicket of the tour. At the end of the 25 overs, the opposition scored 122 runs. We chased it down with MoM Sohan leading the charge with 37 n.o. A great innings from him. After a deserved win, we talked about areas to improve; the two main targets being cutting down on extras and our level of fielding.
Once at the hotel we relaxed, all excited for the day ahead and a trip to look forward to.
Saturday 6 April
After a delicious breakfast we left for a jeep safari tour of the island; it was a perfect way to celebrate Mr Bell’s birthday. There were some spectacular views at both Nelson’s Dockyard and Shirley Heights. An extremely enjoyable day out. We all loved going off-road and jumping up on the many bumps in the road. After returning to the hotel we relaxed by the pool and had yet another tasty meal for dinner.
Sunday 7 April
This was the first of two games in two days played on the cricket pitch at our hotel. Unfortunately, heavy rain delayed proceedings. We fielded first. Krish S and Krish M both took two wickets and we bowled the opposition out for 122. The heavy rain made it a very challenging pitch to bat. We were 7-3 but a good partnership of 63 between MoM Niyan and Ruben brought us back in the game; Niyan scored 21. In the end we were all out for 106 falling 16 runs short. Once again, our fielding was our stumbling block with a couple of key catches dropped.
A steel band was playing beside the pitch through the match. That provided a lovely backdrop, together with the beach in the distance.
Monday 8 April
After a disappointing loss the previous day, we were full of determination to return to winning ways. We lost the toss and batted first. After being 4 wickets down within 8 overs, a good partnership between Krish S and myself (MoM) with 24 swung the game back into our favour. Our lower order batsmen then contributed with some vital runs to leave us with a score of 111 of 20 overs. With strong bowling performances from Ruben and Krish M we won comfortably. Our level of fielding also improved with a great catch from Yash on the boundary.
Tuesday 9 April
Today, we had a catamaran cruise to look forward to. We began by sailing round the island. All eager to sit in the front, we very quickly became drenched. Soon we reached the location of our snorkelling activity. We saw many different types of fish and some brightly coloured coral on the sea bed. After this, we returned to our hotel where we had a lot of fun playing beach volleyball.
Wednesday 10 April
This was our last full day on the island.and our final match but we didn’t know where we would be playing. Imagine our surprise when we stopped outside the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. At first, we could not believe we would be playing there (apart from Sohan who was asleep at the time!)
It is difficult to describe how it felt to be using the changing room that the England team had used just a month before us, and to walk out on to the pitch of a Test stadium. For this fixture we were playing our toughest opposition yet. We won the toss and chose to bowl first. After a blistering start from their openers, they had 50 runs from 4 overs. Niyan, however, bowled exceptionally well and took two instrumental wickets. Once their best batsmen had been dismissed, a strong performance both bowling and in the field meant the opposition scored 126 of the 20 overs. We then batted. Sohan and I did not give our wicket away and made a 100 partnership to allow us the driving seat in the game. With two overs left I was stumped. Ethan came in next to bat with Sohan and scored the winning runs with only two balls to spare. It was a strong performance in all aspects. Well done to the Men of the Match (Sohan with 39 not out and myself with 48). It had been a great tour for the team, winning 3 matches out of 4, and we celebrated by giving Mr Tidmarsh an ice shower!
Thursday 11 April
Today it was ‘happy birthday’ to Madhav but it was also ‘goodbye Antigua’. We spent the morning relaxing in the hotel and enjoyed a great game of beach cricket, often having to go in the sea to find the ball. Madhav’s treat was an unfortunate golden duck! We enjoyed the sunshine for the last time knowing that we would be greeted by typical English weather back home. We were glad to have made the most of the beautiful Antiguan sunshine.
Across all 4 games Raahim bowled very well taking four wickets to win the bowler’s award, beating Krish M by having a better economy. Sohan deservedly won the batter’s award with 79 runs. I won the most valuable tourist award for all round contributions throughout the tour. However we were all winners, in different ways, on this amazing tour.
Thank you to Mr Bell and Mr and Mrs Tidmarsh for accompanying us, but especially Mr Miller for all the preparation and organisation of the trip. It was truly amazing and we have all returned with wonderful memories, as well as some lovely photographs and videos to keep.