On 20th June, in a remarkable day of cricket, the Oundle 1st XI Cricket team produced one of their finest performances in recent years to beat Loughborough Grammar School with an opening partnership of 311 runs.
On a day that seemed certain to succumb to the rain, Oundle won the toss and elected to bat. Only 10 overs play was possible until the players were hauled off due to the weather. After a lengthy delay, the match was reduced to 40 overs.
What happened next will live long in the history of Oundle cricket. Tristan Tusa (17) and Simon Fernandes (15) produced an unbelievable display of attacking aggressive batting to propel Oundle to an insurmountable total of 344 off just 40 overs. Tristan Tusa’s 203, compiled in just 136 balls, featuring an astounding 17 sixes, was the highest score by an individual player for Oundle in over 100 years. Simon’s 102, which contributed to an unprecedented opening stand of 311, will likely be overshadowed; however, this should not diminish its quality.
The rain once again intervened, however, it only seemed right that such a batting display would result in an Oundle win. Loughborough were set a revised target of 256 off 30 overs, and never looked like surmounting what would be an improbable run chase. Oundle’s Tom Lambton (17) and Freddie Johnsrud (17) were the pick of the bowlers as Loughborough eventually closed on 154-9.
Head of Cricket, John Wake commented, “This was a fabulous win that only furthers the rise of 1st XI cricket at Oundle. The 300 runs were added after the resumption in only 30 overs (10 runs an over). Tusa's double century was the first against schools since records began in 1876.”
Tristan commented, “At 21 not out I felt rather average. The format was changed to a 40 overs a side game and once I got to 50, everything came out of the middle of the bat and I enjoyed my time at the crease. The other opener, Simon Fernandes scored a century too (a lot more elegant than mine!) which gave us an opening partnership of 311.”
Back in May, the School celebrated the official opening of the much anticipated J M Mills Pavilion at an event officiated by the Headmaster, Mr Charles Bush, alongside special guest Mr Tom Harrison, a former pupil (Old Oundelian) himself and the current CEO of the England and Wales Cricket Board. In his speech, Tom Harrison spoke of the fantastic addition the Pavilion will make to future stars of cricket and hinted at the possibility of the new facility becoming home to a future Oundelian star in international cricket.
The J M Mills Pavilion is named after Mike Mills who enjoyed an 80 year history with Oundle cricket and the School as a pupil, teacher, Housemaster and Master of Cricket. Naming the building in his honour was a fitting way in which to remember him, after he sadly passed away last year before its completion.