Written by Mike Fulham
You couldn’t have asked for a nicer day to start the season at Failand where Jack Harvey won the toss and inserted Bristol Pakistanis. Against last year’s Second Division champions the 2nd XI got off to a decent start, Pingu and Oli did well to keep the scoring down for the first few overs, with Adnan Cheema getting a stroke of luck to not be given caught behind in the 5th over.
Naturally, Cheema made the most of this, and a later drop off of Fulham’s bowling, to make his way to 75 before Beachy took an excellent catch off debutant Jesal Patel to end his run of good luck.
Pingu bowled out from the off with a very good spell of 1-38, which could, and perhaps should have been more due to some questionable calls from the umpires.
Patel, and Jack Harvey bowled in tandem for 18 overs through the middle of the innings, both chipping in with key wickets and Jack going 16 balls without a run being scored from his bowling in an excellent spell from both spinners being backed up with some excellent ground fielding from the entire team.
The last few overs saw the run rate increase with a pair of boundaries through the empty slip cordon off the returning Fulham from Malik Haroon on his way to 50. Tom Beach joined the attack and was unlucky not to take at least one wicket with aerial shots dropping short of fielders, before Fulham claimed two in an over, bowling Haroon, before trapping Nadeem Ahmed LBW despite being the only fielder to appeal, with Ben Harris claiming it was “going miles down leg”.
At the halfway stage, we enjoyed our tea fairly pleased with our performance, keeping the opposition to under a run a ball.
Our batting performance was slow to get going with runs hard to come by for Jon and JT in the first few overs, this quickly turned into a batting collapse, with some poor shots from the top order, as well as JT and Beachy getting out to balls that kept very low, with JT in particular having very little they could have done.
Adam Stenlake improved on last seasons top score in his first innings of 2018 with a sprightly 14 before missing a straight one. Harvey resisted for a drawn out eight, before Oli and Tom applied some degree of respectability to the score taking us from 50-8 to 102-8 with the aid of some wayward bowling.
There’s no hiding from a poor batting performance chasing an achievable total, but with both Fulham and Patel making good debuts with the ball, as well as excellent start to 2018 from Pingu and Harvey, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about next week’s match up with Bedminster away.