The Middlesex Development League (MDL), Middlesex Youth Cup and Vitality U19 T20 Blast (U19 T20) competitions provide an exciting transition from age group cricket into the open age senior game. The 2021 finals were played at the end of August and start of September, with a lot of silverware up for grabs.
Middlesex Cricket would like to thank each club that has taken part in our Transition Competitions this season, and congratulations on being part of another excellent year. If any clubs are interested in entering for the 2022 season, please contact Raj Nath.
What are the Transition Competitions?
The MDL aims to inspire more young people to play the game more often, competitively, and in the Spirit of Cricket. Primarily engaging 16-21 year-olds, the competition bridges the gap between age group and Saturday league cricket by providing a platform for young players to perform in a format longer than T20. Entry is open to any organisation affiliated to Middlesex Cricket and all 40 over matches take place on Sundays, once school, college and university exams have finished in mid-June. The six-week Group Stage is arranged geographically and a minimum of seven players must be aged Under 21 or below. All players wear coloured clothing and games are played with the pink ball.
The national U19 T20 competition was developed through player insight to combat a significant trend within clubs – young players dropping out of the game after Under 15s. The format allows young players to develop their own skills by taking responsibility for their team, where they can continue playing with their friends in a lively atmosphere where other friends can watch. Entry is open to any organisation affiliated to Middlesex Cricket and all T20s take place on Thursday or Friday nights, once school, college and university exams have finished in mid-June. The Group Stage is arranged geographically, and teams are typically made up of players from the Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 age groups. All players wear coloured clothing and games are played with the pink ball.
The newest of Middlesex Cricket’s ‘player transition’ competitions, the Middlesex Youth Cup is aimed at 14-17 year olds, and offers an exciting first introduction to T20 Blast-style cricket. Like The MDL and Under 19 T20, there are parallel Trophy and Shield competitions available, allowing new and returning teams alike to find the right competitive level for their young players to participate in. Entry is open to any organisation affiliated to Middlesex Cricket and all T20s take place on Thursday or Friday nights. The Group Stage is arranged geographically with teams typically made up of players from the Under 14, Under 15 and Under 17 age groups. All players wear coloured clothing and games are played with the pink ball.
The MDL Rakesh Sethi Trophy and Shield Finals both took place on Sunday 5th September, played at Middlesex Cricket out ground Old Deer Park, the home of Richmond CC, and Crouch End CC.
The Trophy final was played between Wycombe House and North Middlesex. Wycombe House won the toss and elected to bat in the glorious September sunshine just south of the river. The North Middlesex bowling attack was sharp and restricted their opponents to a modest start. The score went from 29/0 to 29/3 as the Wycombe House top order were unable to keep out some accurate bowling. Francis (4 for 13) and Calcuttawala (3 for 18) were the pick of the bowlers for North Middlesex as they managed to bowl Wycombe House out for 78 in the 24th over.
The run chase required sensible batting from North Middlesex, and they did just that. Wycombe House rotated the bowling in an attempt to take wickets and created a small opportunity with the breakthrough at 19/1. Despite a run-out late in the day, North Middlesex were able to complete their 8-wicket victory in the eleventh over to be crowned the MDL Rakesh Sethi Trophy winners.
Over at Crouch End, their MDL side were hosting Indian Gymkhana in the Shield final. Having lost the toss and being put into bat, the Crouch End openers ensured their team started quickly and brought up their fifty partnership before the seventh over. All the top order got off to impressive starts, yet were dismissed before they were able to settle in and score big. Bala (49) and Chauhan (42) were the top scorers in the Crouch End innings. Wickets were shared around the Indian Gymkhana bowlers as they stuck worked hard in the heat. A late cameo from captain Desai (27 not out from 16 balls) pushed his team up to a total of 218/7 from their 40 overs.
It was a similar story in reply for the Indian Gymkhana batters, with their opening partnership reaching fifty in the tenth over. The score comparisons were matched until the Indian Gymkhana middle order wobbled just before the 100 mark, Crouch End taking quick wickets to get themselves in front. A valiant 49 from R Hussain kept his side in the game, but Hashu (4 for 34) bowled Crouch End into a strong position restricting their opponents to 185/9 with four overs to go. Despite 18 runs from the next two overs, the Indian Gymkhana innings was wrapped up with a score of 204 all out, resulting in a 14-run defeat. Congratulations to Crouch End on winning the MDL Shield.
U19 T20 Blast
The U19 T20 Finals Day took place on Sunday 29th August at North Middlesex CC (hosting the Trophy Finals) and Eastcote CC (Shield Finals).
North Middlesex played in the first semi-final of the day as they faced Finchley. The visitors bowled consistently and picked up the North Middlesex wickets at regular intervals, whilst reducing them to 119 all out – taking the final wicket in the twentieth over. Three early wickets increased the pressure on the Finchley reply, but a seventh wicket partnership of 52 between Taylor-Yeates and Sheopuri saw them over the line with an over to spare in a 4-wicket victory.
The second semi-final saw Ealing up against Winchmore Hill. Batting first, Ealing got off to an electric start with Rajasansir and Fourie both retiring when they reached their 50. The middle order then contributed a few more runs to get Ealing up to a score of 181/4. This was always going to be a difficult chase for Winchmore Hill, and once the Ealing bowling attack broke the first wicket partnership as the score was approaching 50, they found their rhythm. The Winchmore Hill batters were then unable to settle and were bowled out for 65, with Ealing winning by 116 runs.
Ealing batted first in the final and continued from where they left off, with a quick-fire 44 from Gupte before Rajasansir reached another half-century before retiring. Wickets were shared around the Finchley attack, meaning Ealing finished on a competitive 157/4. Finchley’s reply started in similar fashion, with an opening partnership of 57 setting up a solid base. When McGowan was dismissed for 37 with three overs to go, a grandstand finish was in store with Finchley needing 19 runs from 16 balls. It was Ahmed who had the final say, as he struck a six to win the game by 5 wickets with one ball to spare. Congratulations to Finchley on being crowned the U19 T20 Trophy champions.
In the first Shield semi-final at Eastcote, Hayes were batting first against Stanmore. Despite losing a wicket in the first over Hayes got off to a quick start, with 64 runs coming from the opening six overs. Stanmore were able to take wickets at regular intervals, although the runs were still flowing at the same time. Mughal top-scored with an unbeaten 39, supporting Manlow’s earlier 36, which propelled Hayes to a total of 158/6. Stanmore’s run chase started well with captain Patel leading from the front with an unbeaten 51, but the Hayes bowling attack proved too strong. Stanmore finished their innings on 120 all out, meaning Hayes won the first semi-final by 38 runs.
The second match saw Wembley face North London. Wembley batted first and were looking at a good score with the openers settling in before some impressive North London bowling restricted the flow of runs and frustrated the batsmen. Wickets were shared around the North London attack as they blew away the tail, bowling their opponents out for 95 in the twentieth over. The target looked like it was going to be difficult to defend on a good Eastcote wicket, and when Riley was out for 35 from just 18 balls the chase was going at a canter. Any thoughts of a walk in the park victory were firmly shut out by the Wembley middle over bowlers, who chipped away at the batting line-up with regular wickets without conceding many runs. Opener Burridge (37 not out) was unmoved and saw his side over the line with three overs to spare to complete a 5-wicket victory.
The final between North London and Hayes was an exciting finish to the day. North London batted first and posted a score of 147/7, a total which had the potential for a grandstand finish. Despite the Hayes team battling bravely, they did not quite have enough as the North London bowlers restricted them to 142 in their 20 overs. Congratulations to North London on winning the U19 T20 Shield.
Middlesex Youth Cup
The Youth Cup Trophy and Shield Finals took place on Friday 27th August at Harrow CC and Finchley CC respectively.
The Trophy Final saw Harrow take on local rivals Eastcote. Having won the toss and choosing to field, Harrow took an early wicket in the second over. Eastcote were able to rebuild through Sawant and Shah, with the latter producing a brilliant unbeaten 53 from 45 balls. The visitors then lost frequent wickets at the back end of their innings, with Rajkumar and Wijesinghe both finishing with 3 wickets each. The Eastcote innings ended after one ball in the twentieth over, all out for 115.
A score of 115 was always going to be tough to defend, and the Harrow top order looked composed as they went about chasing it. Bhattacharya got the innings off to a quick start before departing for 26, but that did not hinder the Harrow side. Wicketkeeper Rawal (30*) was left to hit the winning runs in the nineteenth over, with the score ending on 116/3. Congratulations to Harrow CC on lifting the Youth Cup Trophy.
Meanwhile, Finchley CC were hosting Osterley in an eventful MYC Shield Final. Osterley won the toss and chose to bat first. Captain Noori and opening partner Moughal went about their business with great intent, and both went on to retire at 50. With the middle order contributing some further runs between them Osterley finished their 20 overs on a respectable 148/4.
After a couple of early wickets, the Finchley fourth wicket partnership of McGowan and Taylor-Yeates got their run chase motoring as they both retired on 50, the latter left with the team requiring another 15 runs to win. After a small collapse, Finchley were left with eleven to win from the last over of the game. They scrambled two runs from each of the next five deliveries meaning that they were able to win on the last ball, completing the single despite a direct hit and ending on 149/6. Congratulations to Finchley CC on doing the double and winning the Youth Cup Shield!
You can see the FAQs for the 2022 season below. If your club is interested in entering either of the competitions next season, please email Raj Nath for more information.