1st XI vs Winton
It was finally the start of the new league season and the 1st XI had the job of travelling away first game.
Our first stop was an away day in Bournemouth against a newly promoted team.
Skipper Phil Thomas was in the reigns again for the 2019 season for his sins as no one had come forward to take his position in the winter
Whilst we had trained hard in the winter, the squad were feeling in good form ahead of saturdays curtain raiser in the depths of Dorset.
The team this season was boosted by the arrival of Adam 'Achie' Scher who arrived in Blighty on Wednesday and settled in nicely.
Becky Hartnett was passed fit this season so was included in the side as an extra bowling option.
Sadly Thomas Wiltshire was ruled out this weekend after dislocating his shoulder playing ladies rugby.
Picnic club was absent for our first game with chairwoman Sarah Walker stating that the weather wasn’t warm enough for an appearance.
So with the team selected, the squad met at the local cafe for their usual morning ritual. The biggest shock of the day being that Rob Frome had started up his spaceship early and was the first to arrive!!!
Rob Walsh-Smith was also present after his other half had granted him a green card or decided to get some peace and quiet, we’re not sure?!
The team set off to the south coast with Liam Schooling drawing the short straw, having to car share with Rob Frome. Liam looked nervous as he belted up with the new driver. Fromey decided to be that driver who sits in the middle lane at 68mph all the way down!
The skipper was carrying the prize asset of the team but nearly went to the wrong place as Becky had entered the postcode wrong into the sat Nav , directing us to the Winton CC’s chairman’s house some 15 miles further away!!!
On arrival, the wicket looked good until we decided to test the bounce (please see video). It was agreed that we would like to have a bowl first, so at the toss the skipper had made his mind up.....unfortunately that usually requires winning the toss....so we had a bat first.
A new opening partnership was in place for 2019 which saw youngster Zach LeRoux partnering up with Liam as a replacement for Jontie who had sadly departed to Rowledge on a promise of better cricket(in the same division)
The pair got us off to a decent start on what was always going to be a difficult wicket. Liam’s height made it easier for him to play straight with the low bounce and Zach settled in nicely, with them putting on 46 for the first wicket before Liam received a ball which rolled straight along the floor. Kyran Munt entered at no3 and played a brief cameo...4,6 and out.
This paved the way for us to have a first look at the overseas player who made light work of things and dug deep with Zach in the middle stages. The youngster then departed for a valiant 40, receiving another pee roller....(this is a common theme to this report)
Odiham looked set to post 200 plus and with the experience in the middle due to come in. Unfortunately the experience of Aidy, Walshy and Scott McGaughrin didn’t work this week, all departed for 0’S with some fine spin bowling from the opposition.
The skipper made his way to the crease at 112-6 knowing that the team had to battle to add a more competitive total. Both him and the tourist knuckles down.
Thomas took nicely to the spin bowling, hitting some early boundaries to get us closer to some valuable batting points. Adam went for 32 when he was plum lbw with yes, a pee roller and the Odiham tail really needed to wag. Peter Hodgson joined the captain and the task was simple, bat the overs and don’t lose control.
Both did this, seeing the pair put on 37 with the skipper playing on for 44. Becky came in at 10 and played a crucial part, batting sensibly with Pete, adding yet another 37 to take us to 197, Pete made 10 and Becky was bowled in the penultimate over for a valuable 13 seeing us post what could be a competitive total. The opposition also gifted us 41 extras!
Teas were not what we were used to at Odiham, Fromey was that disappointed that he threw his sandwiches and his French fancies all over the floor!
After the brief interval, we set about making the task difficult for the newcomers. Scott was the man with the new ball and he definitely made it hard work. The look in his eyes, he was keen to prove his worth, and it only took 2 balls before he beautifully cleaned up the opener, but he wasn’t done there, the very next ball he did got the ball to swing in and smash into the pads of the no3, making him walk off behind the first batsmen!
So, 0-2 and the perfect start for the Hampshire side and we knew we still had to work harder, and Pete took the reigns, taking another scalp to see the hosts drop to 10-3. Both openers had paved a superb opening with their figures making good reading 3/42 from their 17 overs between them.
Scott bowled his allocation and the skipper looked to Kyran and Achie to keep the ball rolling in the middle stage. Achie found it difficult to find a rhythm but eventually snared his first wicket for Odiham. Kyran started well and was unlucky early on. Winton got settled at 80-4 but then the most interesting over of the day put Odiham back in the driving seat! Kyran then dispatched two batsmen in consecutive balls, his hat trick ball unfortunately wasn’t what we expected, making the ball go whistling passed the skippers nose at short leg! But.....kyran used this as a plan....taking another two wickets in two balls, making it four wickets in an over!!!
Fielding was difficult on the cow field, with most fielders being battered all afternoon, dodging bare patches and random drain covers dotted over the place.
8 down and Odiham were nearly home and dry. Kyran wasn’t finished there as he took his 5th completing his spell on 5-25. Fromey was given a chance with the ball with some of the players wondering what kind of bowler we were going to get this week, thankfully it was one who could bowl straight, taking just one ball to complete the game, dismissing Winton for 102 and seeing the king Street side victorious with 22 points and sits us nicely in joint fifth in the table.
A big thank you to Tom Wiltshire for umpiring and Cara Terese for scoring.
Next week sees us at home to East Woodhay, with news coming through from HQ that Tom Wiltshire is looking likely to pass his fitness test.
By Phil Thomas