The 1sts and 4ths got underway last Saturday against Melton and Croydon respectively.
Our skipper Luke Walker (107* off 225 balls 9-4’s) was the star as he guided the 1st XI to a competitive 4/222 off our 80 overs. He batted for all bar five overs and his new fitness regime (honed via an off-season of field umpiring in the Southern Footy League under Marshy’s tutelage) has reaped rewards already. After a run of half-centuries last season, it was Luke’s first ton for the club and there will be plenty more. Taking 30 balls to get off the mark, as a strong Melton attack put the heat on him, as the key wicket, Luke soaked up the pressure and his years of District cricket experience came to the fore as things got a bit more straightforward later in the day. Well done skip!
Luke was ably supported by Randy Pathirana (44 off 114) who curbed his natural attacking instinct to dig in after the loss of two early ones. Our new recruit Glen Parker (18 off 45) looked really good until he chased a wide one but at 4/97 off 50 overs the innings could have petered out. Enter debutante Jeff Davies (47* off 86 4-4’s), who put on an undefeated 125 for the fifth wicket with Luke. Jeff was excellent, displaying plenty of shots, running hard and giving Luke as much strike as possible. After a strong 2nd XI finals performance last year and a full pre-season this year, Jeff appears to be fulfilling his promise as a very handy cricketer at senior level.
The wicket and outfield were slow and it is a big ground so we are in the game. If we bowl line and length it is hard to get away, so our task is a simple one.
The 4ths put in a good shift at Croydon. Scuba lost the toss and we bowled. A 75 run opening partnership wasn’t ideal and a 126 run fifth partnership even less so and we were well under the pump at 4/213. From there we picked up four wickets without the addition of a run and with Croydon batting nine the innings finished at 213! Youngster Ben Stolz (6 overs, 4 maidens, 3 wickets for 4 runs) picked up three wickets in an over on debut. He was well supported by another youngster Luke Marsden (2/29 off 11) and Pratik Sheth (2/42 off 11). A great comeback by the lads and gives us a sniff next week.
The 2nds and 3rds get away next weekend in a one-dayer at Malvern and TH King respectively.
In other news:
Until next weekend.