This weekend saw the return of competitive league cricket for three of our sides. Great to be back playing and here’s to a successful season!
Our 1st XI made the short trip to Bawtry Road to play Sheffield & Phoenix United CC. In a decision that may be regretted United won the toss and chose to bowl first. Our openers, Dan Priestley and Aussie overseas Tom Rowley strode out with runs on the brain. What followed was runs, runs and even more runs! In an opening partnership of 234 (yes really!) Dan scored 64, while Tom making it clear to everyone that we’ve signed a good’un made his way to his first Collegiate hundred. Some very classy batting and some big hits meant we were rattling along with plenty of big hitters still to come. Eliot Callis joined Tom for another quick scoring partnership before he was caught. Billy Root strode out at 4 with the intention of helping Tom score a double hundred! Tom duly delivered scoring his second 100 runs in just 45 balls and finishing on 216 from 141!! What followed was quite simply a race between Billy and Mike Simpson, with some brutal hitting they score 100 runs from the last 6 overs! Billy finished on 40 from 17 balls and Mike 59 from 21 balls! Team total of 417-3 from our 50overs. Hopefully a sign of things to come!
In reply our bowlers made light work of a clearly stunned United side by bowling them out for 100 in 37 overs. Wickets shared between all 6 bowlers with 2 a piece for Josh Varley, Billy Root and Dan Priestley, 1 for Luke Shutt, Henry Eldred and Matt Dixon. A highlight was a stunning catch by Tom Rowley to cap a quite extraordinary day for our Aussie. A great performance to start the season and a sign of the depth we possess as Simon Guy and Azeem Rafiq weren’t even playing!
In the first home game of the season our 2nd XI hosted Whiston Parish Church CC on bottom pitch. Looking to move on from last season and start strongly skipper Andy Simpson won the toss and chose to bowl. With several players missing through availability and injury the team had a different look to it, sporting 4 players from last years VP XI looking to step up a level. Rob Shaw and Matt Tyas opened the bowling and got an early breakthrough when Rob bowled Gareth Davis. What followed was a big partnership by two of the leagues best batters but the 2s stuck at their task and kept the run rate down for the most part of the partnership. A great spell by young Michael Flathers was rewarded when he broke the partnership by getting Danny Kemp caught with the score at 107-2. Another couple of partnerships formed by Whiston never got away due to very economical bowling effort by Matt Tyas. Rob Shaw returned at the end to try and finish strong and help the team keep the score to around 200. He did just that picking up a couple of wickets nailing his yorkers not letting the batters get some big hits in. Josh White also showed his talent by bowling the last 3 overs from one end collecting 2 wickets. Whiston restricted well to 202-9.
In reply it looked like it may be same old same old as we slumped to 14-3, but a great fightback lead by Josh White meant our middle order stepped up and kept us in the game. Crucially we put several partnerships together with Adrian Meadows and Jonny Udall chipping in with important 20s. But it was Josh White and skipper Andy Simpson who took us close to victory with Josh finishing on 47 and Andy on 52. Unfortunately both fell with runs still needed, but the depth of batting showed with Matt Tyas walking in at 8 who along with Rob Shaw took the game to the last couple of overs. A good over at the death meant we needed 11 from the last over. Rob hit the first ball for four easing the pressure somewhat. Another two followed and with the score on 200 Matt Tyas was run out trying for a second run. Alex Masterson came in with 3 off 2 runs needed to win. A scrambled 1 meant we needed 2 from the last to win. Rob Shaw held his nerve and hit the ball for four much to the crowds delight as both the 1s and 5s had returned to watch the tense finish! A great fightback from the team and with plenty still to work on its a great start to the season.
Our 5th XI started their season with a League Cup match away at Sheffield Civil Service CC. As usual it was a very young looking line up led by Mick Rowntree. And as usual our juniors showed their class and talents by putting up a very good performance. Batting first we scored 183-4 in 40 overs. Openers Sam Meadows and Ali Ahmed made a great start before Sam fell for 23. Mick Rowntree made 51 and along with some help from the extras helped us towards our score. The star though was Ali who made an unbeaten 61* carrying his bat through the innings showing his desire to bat for long periods!
In reply our young attack set about the task brilliantly with opening bowler Harry Thomas taking 3-37 from his 8. Another very talented player in Satyam Verma took 4-21 from his 8 overs and helped us get into a very good position. Unfortunately a captains knock of 79 and an unbeaten effort of 33* from their 5 and 6 meant Sheffield Civil Service reached their target with an over to spare. Another strong showing from our juniors and Mick carrying on from last year. Plenty of great things to come from this team!