The 1st XI kicked off their league campaign in the B & D for the first time, away at Frenchay, who finished 3rd last season and will be hoping for promotion this year.
It was not an ideal start for one member of the team, Steve Jacobs. Having driven to within one mile of the ground, he received a phone call from his wife asking if he needed the cricket whites which were still on the washing line at home……those present in his car were duly fined for tardiness, although at least his whites were clean.
Having won the toss, Will Penny invited Frenchay to have a bat, with the dangerous Mike Donaldson opening up. The skipper himself claimed an early wicket, bowling accurate lines and extracting some early movement from the damp wicket, finishing with 1-18 from 6 overs. Simon Pratt shared the new ball, and was a little more expensive but claimed the prize wicket of Donaldson – “I always get him out” was the shout in the ensuing celebrations once his off stump was hit, a fine delivery.
Debutant Joe Colebrook, a recent recruit from the Cambridge area, came on first change and had an immediate impact. Bowling to a very accurate line on off stump, he had all the batsmen in trouble with niggling movement and finished with the fine figures of 4-15 from 5 overs. After 3 of these he had turned a similar shade to the maroon cap he was sporting, and through fear of killing our latest recruit Will gave him a deserved rest, soon after a superb caught and bowled.
Rupert Swetman at the other end again kept things very tidy and bowled 4 maidens in his first 5 overs, keeping the pressure on throughout. He finished with the fine figures of 8.2–4-9-1, and together with slow bowler Gareth Griffiths (9-4-13-1) ensured the scoring rate came to a near standstill.
It has to be said there was some very good fielding on show, with two good catches and two run outs, a very encouraging start to the season to dismiss Frenchay for 106.
In response, Rupert Swetman showed his normal flair in striking a pretty 29 and took the game to the opening bowlers, putting on 40 for the first wicket with overseas player Ricardo de Nobrega. Following Rupert’s dismissal, Ricardo steadied the innings and the other batters were allowed the freedom to bat around him. Once Alex Harris was dismissed, Steve Jacobs attacked from the start and hit an aggressive 22 to please nearly every captain in the fantasy league, who eyed him as a bargain at £5 million. Ricardo hung around for a chanceless 29 not out and guided the team to a 6 wicket victory with 16 overs remaining.
A very encouraging start to the league campaign, with a 20 point haul and certainly something to build on. Debutant Joe Colebrook looks a good new recruit and managed to steal the headlines in the local paper. Very good energy and enthusiasm in the field, although all bowlers were guilty once again of throwing the odd wide in, we must look to reduce the 28 extras provided next week. Positive start from the batsmen……we look forward to welcoming Bradley Stoke to Failand next week.