First game of the 2011 season and after a bit of a selection headache for the panel, with 16 players making themselves available, the chosen 11 arrived at the home of cricket for a friendly against Sunningwell, in some very atypical April weather, the sun beating down on a rock hard pitch that wouldn’t have been out of place at the WACA!

Colin won the toss, well at least didn’t lose the toss, and elected to bat, in the hope of giving both batting and bowling departments a good pre-season workout. The batting side of things however did not go according to plan as Ben, Timmy Lane, Colin, Nicky B (NiP) and Mongo went for a combined total of 19. NiB started strongly with a decent 26 before the clatter of wickets left us in a familiar position of being 76-6 with Barry and Dave Summerset at the crease. An excellent rebuilding effort and partnership of 96 took us to 172-7 when Dave was out in the penultimate over. Dave’s good weekend having continued with a well made 31. A late flurry from Barry, including a huge six into Roger’s garden left us at on 183-7 with Barry unbeaten on an innings changing 77.

After a very enjoyable tea (cheers Nick W and Kerry), including an immense display of Cornetto eating from Mongo, we took to the field perhaps a few runs short but definitely in a decent position to defend, giving our bowling attack and fielding prowess. Sunningwell at first progressed serenely, despite good spells from both opening bowlers, particularly Duncan, and at 70-0 were looking hot favourites for an upset of sorts! Finally the breakthrough was made as top wicket taker for last year, Barry, struck for our first scalp of the season. Their skipper fell soon afterwards as Duncan finally got a well-deserved wicket in his eleventh over of twelve on the trot. Definitely a good workout for the big man!

Still at 104-2 we were still on the back foot but a couple of wickets for Ben, combined with a run out, left them struggling slightly on 140-5. An inspired bowling change by the captain, Will Harvey on for Barry (who also bowled his twelve overs straight through, after a cracking knock, what a man!) brought almost instant success as Will got a breakthrough with his 8th ball for the club, caught by Colin (surprisingly!). In Will’s next over he struck again, getting their dangerous number three out as Timmy Lane awoke from his slumber to take an early contender for catch of the season at short cover. Grant’s return brought further success as he struck twice in his first over back, well earnt after an unlucky first spell. Another disastrous run out found them all out for 165. A very well deserved win, followed by an equally well deserved and highly anticipated first shower of the year as ‘Shower Captains’, Mongo and Duncan led the side to all sorts of high jinks and excitement in their high point of any cricket match.

Mo M – Barry, for his match saving 77*, steady 12-1-29-1 and important catch

Champagne moment – Timmy Lane’s stunning catch

Pig’s Ear – Colin, for almost losing his voice box in the first over that we fielded