On a beautiful, bright bank holiday Saturday, the 3rd XI gathered at Fortress Failand for their opening game of the 2018 season against local rivals Bedminster. New captain Randal Leonard lost his first toss and was invited to field first.
Last year’s 4th team opening bowling partnership of Craig Strachan and Auden Barnes shared the new ball and though neither could make a breakthrough, Barnes should have had a wicket when Shorney, who went on to make 129, skied one to deep backward square. Unfortunately Strachan ran in too far too quickly, and ended up running underneath the ball instead of being in position to take the catch.
After an OK start, but sensing the danger that Shorney could take the game away from us, the skipper brought himself and Andy Bevan into the attack. The Bevo experiment lasted 2 overs, which went for 19 runs, before first Ravi Borra, and then Oli Ellis, were brought into the attack.
The skipper made the breakthrough, removing Davis for 12 and the return of Auden Barnes saw Jones removed for 11, but at 172-2 Bedminster looked well set for a big total. Strachan’s return for a second spell saw Shorney finally depart for his 129 and with Ellis and Borra bowling well at the other end without any luck, the runs didn’t flow quite as easily for 10 overs or so as a couple of further wickets fell.
The skipper picked up his second wicket with the final ball of the innings, also securing a 3rd bonus point, as Bedminster finished their innings on 241-6.
After an excellent tea, Nathan Williams opened the batting with the skipper, and at 97-0 in the 17th over things were ticking along nicely. Randal then missed a straight one, both Bevo and debutant Rob Simpson went quickly for single figures (though not before Rob hit the most beautiful cover drive seen in Division 10 for many years), and then Nathan also played all around a straight ball from the young spinner.
That brought Mark Bedson and Murray Bishop together, Bedson playing himself in and sticking around until the end (25 not out) whilst left handed Bishop played some nice shots before the keeper took an excellent catch off the inside edge.
Borra and Barnes fell quickly, before Strachan fell looking to play the pull shot to a short ball which stuck in the pitch and didn’t bounce, becoming Over’s 5th wicket. Ellis and Ritchie also couldn’t provide much resistance, with the team finishing on 185.
With 6 debutants in the side, it was an encouraging performance against a good Bedminster team. Man of the match goes to Nathan Williams for his 60 at the top of the order.
Next week – Keynesham away.