California Cricket Academy
California Cricket Academy (CCA) U-12 (the only non-UK team who was invited) participated in the prestigious U12 Inter-County tournament at Oundle from Aug 4-7. Team was led by coach: Dashrath Sankhe, Manager: Biju and captained by Abhishek Kattuparambil.

California Cricket Academy under-12 team.

CCA’s tour was possible because of the tremendous support by their diamond sponsors Tech Mahindra.

The journey started with a private tour at the Mecca of cricket, Lords on the 3rd. Team reached Oundle around 5pm and were blown away by the ground and infrastructure at Oundle. The 40 over games were to be played (for 4 straight days) starting at 10:30 am (2:30 am PST) which was a challenge with the jet lag.

Game 1 was against Essex who elected to bowl. After CCA lost the top order quickly, they were steadied by a patient innings from Sakthi (26 of 74, 1*4) and a quick fire 37 off 36 (5*4) from Nikhil. CCA folded out for 114, the last 3 wickets fell to a hat-trick. Even though CCA got some quick wickets, Essex’s 4th wicket pair steadied the innings and threatened to run away with the game. This is when CCA’s spinners Pratham (4/24) and Sakthi (2/19) and quickie, Supravo (2/12) stepped up, supported by some sensational catching behind the stumps by Abhishek caused Essex’s boat to hit the rocks and sink. Essex lost the game by 7 runs; all out for 107.

In the second game CCA took Yorkshire as they elected to bat and their 2nd wicket of Chris 68 and Ben 36 took the game away from CCA. To add to the misery, Yorkshire’s middle order, Josh (31 of 17) and Ben (28 of 17) got Yorkshire to 222/8. Akhil Arunachalam was superb in the field taking a stunning wicket caught and bowled. CCA’s openers Abhishek and Ved got a good start but at the end, CCA could only muster 105/7. Abhishek played a valiant innings of 43 (65 balls, 7*4) he was supported by Ved (17 of 31, 2*4) and Sakthi (17 of 35, 2*4).
CCA’s score was eventually the highest score by any team against Yorkshire.

CCA took London in the third game as they elected to bat first. CCA struck early but London’s middle order Angus (38) guided London to 122 all out. Vatsal was sensational taking 5/19 supported by some sensational fielding and catching by Abhishek, Rohit and Akhil. CCA got to a rocking start, courtesy of their captain, Abhishek. But once he got out (33 of 43, 7*4), CCA lost momentum and started losing wickets at regular intervals. Nikhil (30 of 43, 6*4) tried to steady the ship but some mindless run-outs and batting ensured that CCA lost the game by 8 runs. CCA gave the game away and the team was heartbroken and sad.

Game 4 was for 5th-6th position against Glamorgan and Cardiff who came to the ground with their mascots. Glamorgan elected to field but they ran into the determined CCA openers, Abhishek (54 of 80, 10*4) and Ved (63 of 107, 9*4) who put on 102 for the opening wicket in 23.5 overs. Sakthi added 24 of 23 (2*4) and CCA’s innings ended at 184/9. Glamorgan’s 2nd wicket threatened to take the game away from CCA with the tournament batting leader Harry toying with the bowling. The 2nd wicket came through a superb leg cutter by Akhil. Glamorgan’s 3rd wicket steadied the ship; but was finally broken by a beauty from Pratham that froze Harry on the crease. CCA’s bowlers tightened the grip and the wickets started falling in a heap; supported by super charged fielding; including a super catch by Ved. Glamorgan were all-out for 154 and CCA won by 30 runs and grabbed the 5th position.

Team CCA won lot of praises and accolades with their performance and this was evident in the last game when Yorkshire, Essex and even London kids and parents came to support CCA. CCA has already received invitations from several English clubs who were impressed by the quality of CCA cricket.

CCA’s top performers were:
Captain Abhishek Kattuparambil:  144 runs @ 36 avg., he also took 6 catches behind the stumps.
Ved Patel: 84 @ 21 avg.
Nikhil Mullapudi: 75 @ 18.75 avg.

Vatsal Vaghela: 8 wickets
Pratham Kataria and Sakthi Karimanal: 6 wickets