Nottinghamshire Academy talents Sam King and Fateh Singh starred for the Midlands over the first two days of the ECB's Super 4s 50-Over competition in Loughborough.
With graduates of the competition including Green and Gold all-rounder Joey Evison, Super 4s is a testing ground for U18 talent, sitting between the Bunbury Festival and the England U19s setup on the Performance Pathway.
In their first fixture against South & West, Notts Academy captain King struck an unbeaten 92 as Midlands triumphed by five wickets at Haslegrave Ground, Loughborough, after left-arm spinner Singh shone with the ball.
Singh, who has been an instrumental part of the Academy and has represented the Second XI in 2021, took two for 22 from his allotted ten overs as the Midlands restricted the visitors to 234 from their 50 overs.
King, who captained the Midlands side, later hauled his side back into the contest from 48 for three, striking 12 fours and one six during his match-winning innings.
Slow left-armer Singh set about his miserly effort with immediate effect, conceding three runs from three overs with the new ball, but it was Ben Parker who opened the account in the sixth over for Midlands, and South & West were reduced to 64 for three within 15 overs.
A steady spell of wickets shared around the Midlands bowling contingent stunted the South & West progress throughout their innings and Notts’ Singh had his first wicket when introduced back into the attack in the 36th over, bowling Ben Kellaway with the away side just shy of the 200 mark and eight wickets lost.
Four overs later, Singh had his second, trapping Max Horton in front of the stumps, before Parker wrapped up the innings in the 47th over, 234 the total posted.
Two wickets in three balls either side of the 14th over reduced Midlands to 52 for four, and Rehaan Edevalath’s five over stay at the crease was ended with the score on 85, but King was joined by wicketkeeper batsman Vikai Kelley, and the pair added 135 to triumph with 2.1 overs to spare.
You can view the full scorecard from the first game here...
Singh starred again for Midlands in their battle against North on Monday, but his side fell 77 runs short in a lower scoring affair.
The 17-year-old ripped through the North’s middle order with three wickets in five balls, reducing his opponents from 171 for four to 175 for seven, but in the end the target of 212 proved too many for Midlands, Reeve Evitts and King top scoring with 24 and 20 respectively.
Trusted by King to open again, Singh went wicketless in his opening three over spell, and Midlands had to wait until the 18th over for their breakthrough, Evitts the man to strike with the score on 100.
His fortunes changed, though, when he was reintroduced with 14 overs left, Kai Smith taking a smart catch behind the stumps off a back foot cut for the left-armer’s first, before Cian Dickson was trapped lbw second ball.
An over later, a fantastic bit of glovework from Smith had Yash Vagadia stumped down the leg side, Singh finishing with figures of three for 30 from nine.
Midlands were reduced to 54 for five in reply before King entered the fray, but three quick boundaries, including a sizable straight six, began to shift the momentum.
Continued wickets, including that of Singh, prevented real progress, though, and when King became North’s eighth victim with the score on 94, they were only able to add 41 more before the game was wrapped up with 17 overs unused.
You can view the scorecard from the second game here...