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12 Jul

Beeston Mini World Cup 2019

Inspired by the Cricket World Cup coming to Headingley and as part of our diverse communities work, across June and July, the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation hosted the Beeston Mini World Cup.

Teams were made up of children that attend weekly Urban Cricket Street sessions in Beeston and we built a partnership with the local mosque too, who also played. Children were then split up into equal ability teams to represent the six playing nations.

The eagerly anticipated 3-Day Beeston Mini Cricket World Cup was launched on Saturday 15th June at the Community Hub on Dewsbury Road by MP Hilary Benn to a large audience who were happy to see no rain for the first time in 2 weeks.

The Group A games kicked off with England taking on Bangladesh. Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat first, posting a very competitive 87 for 4 in their 6 overs. In reply, England got off to a flying start however after losing 3 quick wickets lost momentum and ended up 23 runs short. Game 2 saw Bangladesh play India, and again it was an entertaining contest. Bangladesh won the toss again albeit deciding to bowl first this time round. India were put under pressure with some tight bowling from the Bangladesh players nevertheless a quick cameo from batters 4 and 5 saw them to a total of 66 from their allotted overs. The tigers started their innings cautiously and kept wickets in hand. Their tactics paying off as they cruised home in the penultimate over to make it 2 wins out of 2.

Last game of the day was the pressure match between England and India with the winner taking all. England won the toss and decided to bat and it showed to be the right choice with the batters flaying the ball to all parts – setting India a target of 88 to win. India looked to be on course to pull of an unlikely win but the total was too much in the end with the Indian innings folding for 71. Bangladesh and England make it through to the finals day on Sunday 7th July.

However, it wasn’t just the cricket that kept people interacted, the local community were kept entertained and busy with community market stalls which included face painting, balloon making, arts and crafts, food stalls to name a few. Also present were the popular inflatables which included our very own throw show. To really liven up the day, the DJ created a great atmosphere along with some live performances on stage.

Two weeks later, on Sunday 30th June, Day 2 of the Beeston Mini World Cup was kicked off in style at the Hamara Centre, Tempest Road with the Dhol Drummers from Punjabi Root really giving the local community a beat to dance to. The cricket for the day was played at Cross Flatts Park and with the sun beaming it was a lovely day for it.

Wow! Day 2 saw nail-biting finishes to all the day’s games from Group B with last-over thrillers! Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl first against West Indies in Game 1 and how they must have regretted that decision. West Indies posted a daunted total of 97 for 3 from their 6 overs and then started strongly with the ball taking 2 wickets in the first two overs. However, Pakistan’s number 3 and 4 batsmen had other ideas, both retiring on 25 and taking the score to 68 after 4 overs. With 18 runs required of the last over, Pakistan fell agonisingly short, losing by 5 runs.

Game 2 saw another hair-raiser and West Indies in action again but this time against Afghanistan. West Indies lost the toss and were asked to bowl first. Afghanistan found it tough going and were restricted to a modest score of 63 from the allocated overs. Although the Caribbean outfit made a decent start, they were pegged back by some disciplined bowling by the Afghanistan seamers. 12 runs were required of the final over – first 2 balls were dot balls and you could sense a wicket, but the West Indies batsmen had other ideas, next 3 balls…4,4,4 and what a win it was to send WI through to finals day. Another winner takes all contest for game 3, this time between Pakistan and Afghanistan and another edge of the seat finish. Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat. They started of well, going at 15 an over but were pegged back buy some good death bowling from Pakistan and ended up on 74 from their 6 overs. Could they defend the total? Pakistan openers looked scratchy to start with however some very average bowling allowed Pakistan back into the game. The extras had creeped up and were now joint top scorer. However, there was another twist – Afghanistan captain saved himself for the vital last over with 13 required and what an over it was! Only 5 runs were scored and 2 wickets fell leaving Pakistan 8 runs short and sending the Afghanistan players wild and into the finals.

Alongside all the enthralling cricket, the Hamara Centre had drawn in large numbers of the local community to really celebrate the Cricket World Cup. There were lots of activities available with stalls, stage, music, food, sumo wrestling, magic shows, All Stars Cricket, Bhangra, animals and more keeping everyone excited and hyped around the World Cup.

The sun was shining for the final day of the Beeston Mini World Cup, held on Sunday 7th July at the Kashmir Muslim Welfare Association (KMWA) Centre. In the first semi-final Afghanistan took on the unbeaten Bangladesh and found it tough going. They bowled first and leaked too many extras to help the tigers score 76 from their 6 overs. Afghanistan needed a strong start to their innings to enable them to reach their target but losing 2 early wickets set them back and they ended up 22 runs short in the end. Game 2 of the day was the second semi-final between England and West Indies. The West Indies side looked very switched on, turning up early and getting some valuable warm up and practice in before the game started. It definitely showed in their performance as they won the toss and put the days highest total of 89 on the board with some clean striking of the ball.

They then took the same momentum into the field and sent England crashing to defeat as they only scraped to 53 before losing their final wicket. As the final was to commence, the crowd started to gather and created a great atmosphere for the two unbeaten teams of the tournament. And boy it didn’t disappoint! West Indies batted first and got off to their worst start of the tournament losing 3 wickets in the first 2 overs. From then on, they tried to rebuild and managed to post a below average score of 51. Credit to Bangladesh who bowled tight areas and only conceded 3 boundaries in the 6 overs they bowled. Could Bangladesh chase the score down? Or would scoreboard pressure help West Indies? Bangladesh made a cautious start to their innings scoring only 12 runs from the first two overs before accelerating in the next few overs and looking comfortable in chasing the score down. However, after losing 3 wickets for not many runs the game was left in the balance. From the last over 5 runs were required with only one wicket in hand. A wide followed by a crunching four over the bowlers’ head ensured that Bangladesh were crowned champions of the 2019 Beeston Mini Cricket World Cup. It was brilliant to see all the players shaking hands at the end and showing great sportsmanship throughout the tournament.

After the Final, we took a short walk to the KMWA Centre to finish off the 3-day event with some light entertainment, presentation and food. The comedian had the young people and parents in stitches and the poet kept the audience interacted. Not long after, we had the trophy presentation and every child who took part in the World Cup event received a Medal and a Beeston World Cup T-shirt in the colour of their team. The winning Bangladesh team were presented with their individual trophies and there were also 2 special awards for player of the tournament and spirit of cricket award who both received a white YCCC playing shirt. To round up the event we had some delicious food and some fresh cream cake to celebrate a successful 3-day event.

Overall the Beeston Mini World Cup was a great success bringing the Beeston Community together at 3 different venues with lots going on for all to get involved in and really excited the local community about the on-going International Cricket World Cup.

A big Thank you to Leeds City Council’s Community Hub, The Hamara Centre and The KMWA Centre for supporting throughout the tournament.

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