Noah Thain shines for the Essex U18s


Essex’s Development side have continued to go from strength to strength this season with some high-quality prospects producing some special performances and incredible personal seasons.

The ECB runs two competitions at the Under 18 level: the One-Day Royal London Under 18 County Cup and the multiday LV= Insurance Under 18 County Championship.

One standout batter, Noah Thain, has enjoyed a memorable 2022 scoring over 850 runs at an average of 77. The 17-year-old is part of the Essex Academy and amassed a massive 293 runs in the most recent Essex U18s match against Kent at Garon Park. This was during a rich vein of form, which has seen him reach the century mark in his last four games for the county.

A prospect for the future, Noah Thain is an all-rounder, who opens both the batting and bowling for the current U18s side. He plays his club cricket for Sawston & Babraham Cricket Club in Cambridgeshire, who were crowned as the East Anglian Premier Cricket League Champions this year.

Highlights from Noah Thain’s 293 against Kent

The Essex U18s side sits 3rd in the LV= Insurance Under 18 County Championship – Group 3, where they haven’t found runs hard to come by – reaching 500 twice in their last three innings- but this doesn’t take anything away from the distinctive form of Noah and the context of the runs.

The first of these centuries came in the second innings of a draw against Sussex at the start of August. With Sussex winning the toss and electing to bat, Thain’s gutsy century was vital in keeping Essex in the game, as wickets fell at the other end in the fourth innings of the match.

Surrey were the victims of Noah’s second century of the week as he smashed 25 boundaries on his way to 140 (225). This saw him involved in a 173-run third-wicket partnership alongside captain and wicketkeeper Ronnie McKenna, who himself scored an unbeaten 142 (the only other century of the season).

Thain again protected the game against Middlesex, but this time with both bat and ball. His third century in as many games and third in four innings saw Noah Thain score 100* at Castle Park but also highlighted his skill with the ball as he took 2/73 off 19 overs as he opened the bowling. Noah also took 21 wickets across the season.

Unsurprisingly, the only win during this spell came during Noah’s marvellous knock of 293. This saw Thain reach more than Kent’s total on his own with Essex bowling out their rivals for just 292.

The only five-wicket haul of the season for the under-18s was performed by Aum Patel, who got the top 2 bowling figures across the year. He took 5/80 against Sussex and 4/30 against Middlesex.

Another double-centurion this season was Thain’s Academy teammate Nikhil Gorantla. Nikhil, who primarily played for the Second XI this season, blasted his way to a double ton against Yorkshire Second XI, in July, with a spectacular unbeaten innings that saw him smash 32 boundaries, including 4 sixes. This was on his way to scoring 431 runs at an average of 47.88.

Photo: Sawston & Babraham