Cublington Cricket Club had the honour of welcoming touring Zimbabwe Cricket Academy to the Orchard Ground.
The Zimbabwe side took on a strong Cublington Junior XI as their first opponents of the 10 day tour of the UK. Even before the game, the quality of the Zimbabwe side stood out as they went through their paces in an intensive warm-up session.
On a beautiful afternoon, Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat on a slow pitch. A quality opening partnership of Kian Arnold and James Gau demonstrated a superb level of batting ability with both opening batsmen retiring on 50 and 51 not out respectively.
The run-rate of the Zimbabwe innings was contained, however, with some tight Cubs bowling by Ben Powell-Williams, Gus MacLeod, Charlie Birch and Calum Fairey in particular, as the Zimbabwe Academy innings eventually closed on 145-2 in their 30 overs.
Cublington set about chasing down the target in positive fashion, but once the opening partnership was broken, they fell behind the required rate.
Opener Ben Powell-Williams made a solid 31 before being bowled in the 13th over.
Coming in at number four, captain Matthew Sparke hit a rapid 25 including a glorious six over mid on into the pavilion to get the run-rate back on track.
However, Cublington Juniors fell short by four runs, scoring 141-8, after an excellent, high-quality game of cricket played in fantastic spirit.
Cubs: Matthew Sparke, Gus Macleod, Ben Powell-Williams, Ben Webb, Calum Fairey, Alexa Wilson, Tom Powell-Williams, Charlie Birch, Cameron Bullock, Ben Perkin, Callum Bailey.