A hot day was made hotter for Southampton Travellers, when they lost the toss and were put in the field with only ten players.
The young opening bowling partnership of Fitzpatrick and Brown bowled tidily and with maturity during the opening 18 overs, which saw Burley struggle for runs. Brown picked up the only wicket during these early overs, thanks to some quick work by Kingsnorth, who returned to the side for his first game of the season. Burley continued to find scoring hard, thanks to disciplined bowling and committed fielding. Throughout their innings Burley lost wickets at regular intervals due to some marvellous bowling by Salaskar, who achieved 4 for 34; a feat of note having not played for over a year. In partnership with Salaskar, Choudhury mopped up the lower order, with 5 for 42, again highlighting his allrounder credentials. However, the key factor in Burley’s ultimately successful innings and the thorn in Travellers side, was the batting of their number three, who carried their innings and was finally out in the 45th over having cleverly and carefully scored 95, taking Burley to a competitive score of 188.
Travellers started their innings with confidence thanks to the fluid batting of George. But, wickets started to fall too frequently as two of the top four fell to needless run-outs. With slowing tennis ball batting conditions, a number of the Travellers batsmen were caught in front of square. However, the bowling partnership of Salaskar and Choudhury started to turn the game back in favour of Travellers. When Choudhury fell the momentum did not, with Brown once again showing his credentials with the bat. But the earlier weaknesses in the Travellers innings ultimately put pay to a win, with Travellers falling 29 runs short of victory after the fall of Brown and Stroud soon after. This left Salaskar 52 not out; a man of the match performance despite Travellers’ defeat.
Despite the disappointment and obvious improvements needed with the batting at the top of the order, it is difficult to recall a batsman getting out to a genuinely good ball. Travellers also dropped too many chances in the field. However, it is important to highlight the positives, particularly the ease with which Fitzpatrick performed with the ball and the discipline all bowlers showed, as well as the spirit of the fight throughout the day, despite the numerical disadvantage.