This post will follow a more TV-style format, covering the one day of Year 10 inter-house cricket in 2013.
Start by playing this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRNaKp0hUg8.
Welcome to our coverage of Year 10's house cricket, a hotly-contested series every year. Four teams, but just one goal.
The teams, as ever, are looking to put one over on their rivals, but everything is possible. Of course, many players are untested, as it was abandoned after one match two years ago and abandoned without a ball being bowled last year.
On the weather front this year, it looks to be touch and go. A band of rain is coming in from Norway and Sweden (sadly, though, not carrying Eurovision with it), and looks as though a light but steady shower will hit the ground on Thursday afternoon. The teams will have to play quickly, and make sure that they can finish off before the rain sets in.
The ground has a small Lord's-style slope on it, which slopes down to the right if you're bowling from the Harrow End. It usually favours the fast bowlers, as they can 'do a McGrath' and come and attack the vulnerable batsmen. The other end, the Alperton End, is usually where the matches start. The Pavillion is at cow corner if bowling from the Alperton End or at backward point if bowling from the Harrow End.
The teams, then - these are PURELY HYPOTHETICAL AND BY NO MEANS CONFIRMED OR BEAR ANY RESEMBLANCE TO THE ACTUAL SQUADS ANNOUNCED - this is what we think they will be:
Now, Butler will probably choose Devani, Peerez, Mann, and Varsani, as it is a blindingly obvious choice, but from therein, who do they pick? Mann and Varsani aren't brilliant batsman and could be bamboozled by a huge Rhys Benjamin leg-break (one of which was so big once that it beat Year 9 keeper James Francis as well as the batsman), leaving Butler in dire straights. Apart from those four, they have no recognised cricket players (apart from Himmat Bains, who can't bat at all and will be unlikely to bowl) since James Mortimer changed schools.
Moore, though, seem to be suffering the same fate, apart from the fact that they have more recognised cricket players. It is known for certain that A Patel, Bell, T Patel, and Khawaja will play, but no other names have been released. We think that Shanil Doshi will play in the series, but Armaan Chohan is on a run of poor form and may miss out.
Norwood seem to be in the pound seats at the moment, with four 'A-team' players and six 'B-team' players, but the fight between Harji and McFarlane for a place in the side could be very close indeed. Add to that the complication that Year 10's best (and worst) leg-spinner Benjamin may not be fit to play due to a thumb injury sustained just seven days before the match, and Norwood will have to find another player.
Vaughan have the strongest team on paper, with one 1st XI player and four 'A-team' players in our prediction. We do think that many 'B-team' players could miss out, though, such as Shivang Jadeja, who has had a poor run of form. Tohidi is still recovering from a knee operation, and Ghelani's first two matches for the 1st XI have warranted him scores of just 4 and 8, the latter off a worrying 39 balls. He's in, as he is captain, but if he gets out cheaply, Vaughan could be in trouble.
BUTLER V NORWOOD
If Butler were to bat first, Maru would respond by opening with fast bowlers Mohammed and Mathias. Devani can be impatient against fast bowlers and get out, so if Mohammed and Mathias can keep it in the corridor and give Devani something to worry about, then he will get out cheaply, at which point wickets will start to collapse. Peerez might just be the glue in Butler's innings, though, and if he gets out, then Butler are in trouble.
Norwood, though, have had trouble with the consistency of Benjamin. He can be a very good bowler and he can spin the ball right round (like a record, baby, right round, round, round), but if the pitch resembles a swamp then he will flop, as he bowls balls which keep low. If the pitch has an erratic bounce in it, the fast bowlers can bounce everyone to surprise but Benjamin will have to keep his balls low, and Devani and Peerez are masters of the drive. He should still prevail against Devani's impatience and cause a Butler slide, though.
MATCH PREDICTION: NORWOOD WIN BY 20-30 RUNS / 7-8 WICKETS.
MOORE V VAUGHAN
Moore's top order would have to be super-glue against the Vaughan attack, as if they get out then Vaughan will clean up and say 'ta!'. Against Vaughan, that should happen, no matter which way round they bat.
MATCH PREDICTION: VAUGHAN WIN BY 40-50 RUNS / 9-10 WICKETS.
BUTLER V MOORE
Two teams, of which the vast majority will not be able to define the term 'reverse swing', will have to fight it out. Devani and Peerez should prevail against Moore, though, but if they get out (and they could against A Patel and T Patel), then it's anyone's guess.
MATCH PREDICTION: BUTLER WIN BY 30-40 RUNS / 9-10 WICKETS.
NORWOOD V VAUGHAN
Ghelani is an unproven captain, which may put him under fire in a close game such as this one. Maru could capitalise, but he too is unproven. If Ghelani can see off Mohammed, Mathias, and Benjamin, then Vaughan should get it. If Tighe, Maru, and Andrews can see off Ghelani, then Norwood should get it. There's only one way to call this.
MATCH PREDICTION: MATCH TIED
BUTLER V VAUGHAN
Vaughan's sheer numbers should see them through.
MATCH PREDICTION: VAUGHAN WIN BY 15-25 RUNS / 5-6 WICKETS.
NORWOOD V MOORE
No explanation necessary.
MATCH PREDICTION: NORWOOD WIN BY 80-90 RUNS / 10 WICKETS.
This churns out a result of:
See you soon for another show from
Channel 4 Cricket Benjamin's Blog Cricket!
Play this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRNaKp0hUg8.