First Game Bum Squeaker
The 1st XI started their season at the lovely Pylewell Park. After winning the toss, Hardwicke elected to bat. The opening partnership of Hillier and Choudhury started positively but the wicket of Choudhury, with the ball keeping low, was an indication of the type of cricket that was to follow. The experienced Denham batted at three and the second wicket partnership steadied the innings for Travellers, taking the sting out of the Pylewell attack, wisely making cautious progress. After providing the innings required in the conditions, Denham departed, leaving the Travellers’ innings nicely set up for accelerated run scoring. Fortunately for the opposition, Travellers only progressed in fits and starts as all the batsmen struggled with the slow and low nature of the wicket. As the innings ended, so did Hillier’s rock-like batsmanship; but one worthy of note, having held the Travellers innings together. Travellers had set a modest but defendable total of 153.
Brown and the debutant Kumar opened the bowling and set the tone for Travellers to defend their total. Despite controlled bowling, the Pylewell opening pair batted with resolve and slowly progressed towards the target. Travellers remained patient, fielding solidly and made run-scoring difficult. The other debutant Khan had a lively spell but Stroud’s introduction was the turning point in the game. Stroud took ownership of the game with a magnificent uninterrupted bowling spell that gave Travellers the control required in the middle overs, conceding a measly sixteen runs. This provided the necessary pressure to create wickets. Both Kumar and Choudhury supported the bowling efforts magnificently. Travellers then called upon Brown to bowl at the death and he did so superbly; with great control and confidence. This brought the game into the final over with Pylewell needing eight to win; a feat that was beyond them, with Travellers winning by 3 runs.
Man of the Bat: Hillier
Man of the Ball: Stroud