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Highgate School Under-19s host England Blind XI in cricket match

PUBLISHED: 15:09 15 July 2014 | UPDATED: 15:09 15 July 2014

Highgate School's Under-19s mingle with the England Blind XI. Pic: Sanjay Patel

Highgate School's Under-19s mingle with the England Blind XI. Pic: Sanjay Patel

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Highgate School’s Under-19 cricket team hosted the England Blind XI in a thrilling match - which was played with the visitors’ rules.

Players are dismissed in the same ways but the ball is white, plastic and filled with ball bearings so it can be located by sound – and it must bounce twice or be rolled by the bowlers.

Highgate’s Ben Reed said: “In preparation for the match we had a training session and quickly discovered how very different the game was, both in terms of batting and bowling.

“More akin to hockey shots, the batting proved a challenge and we swiftly realised the importance of the sweep shot. Bowling too was difficult and we all found it tricky to strike the balance between a well- rolled ball and a quick one.

“When it came to game day the England teams warm up struck fear into us. Using constant chatter as almost a form of echolocation the England team could easily carry out a drill many poor teams would struggle to do even sighted.”

The England team posted 126 off 20 overs and, despite some nervy middle overs, Highgate reached the target with just three balls to spare.

Reed added: “It was amazing to witness how even the players with no vision at all could still cleanly strike the ball.

“It was an incredible experience for all of us and we hope to be able to play the game next year.

“We wish the England squad all the best in their World Cup campaign in Cape Town later in the year.”

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