2XI vs Donnington 1XI

Following on from a good away win, the 2nds returned home to face Donnington 1sts, a team who like us had had two differing performances. On the selection front, Dan’s return home meant he was welcomed with open arms into the 2s, as was Keiron Walkden for his debut. There was a sway of Hall’s as Matt returned for Oli, and a trio of Pocock’s completed the changes.

 

With the sun out, the skipper stood on a pretty white and hard strip, flipped the coin high into the air and once again lost the toss. Now 0/2 on the season, the visitors chose to don the pads, and much to the delight of Hursty, Odiham got the new ball. A delayed start due to a technology malfunction meant that Henry’s arrival at 1:02pm was just about ok, and eventually we were underway.

The opening pair of Matt Hall and Mark Hurst looked dangerous, with both getting decent swing from the start, and soon the pair combined as Matt took a comfortable catch at slip off of Mark to open up 10-1. The very next ball, the dangerous No.3 slapped it to point, but the ball bounced out of the hands, and he survived. Matt’s terrific opening spell went unrewarded, and soon both made way for Dan Walker and Billy Pocock. Dan carried on where Matt left off, and soon brought a wicket of the No.3, and Billy soon followed with his own of the opposition captain. At 68-3, it was clear much of the hopes for the batting side now lay on the shouldered of the remaining opener, who was already in fine form this season. However as Billy and Dan toiled away, the partnership grew, and they reached drinks unscathed.

The debut for Keiron began after drinks with 2nbs, but he quickly settled into some tidy bowling, with many dart-based puns coming from behind the stumps. Yet it was Jamie Le Roux who got the wicket, his away-swing eventually causing a top edge, well taken by James Hampson at extra cover. However the No.2 ploughed on pretty much alone, and it took the reintroduction of Matt to dismiss him with a brilliant Yorker for 94, his second 90 of the season. Two more followed quickly from Dan and Matt again, leaving the oppo 192-7, but a late rally from the No.9 posted 228-9 as the final score.

After a team-provided tea - a good effort all round, even if we do say so ourselves - a pair of Pocock’s marched out to chase what we thought was a gettable target. After John’s initial threading of the slip cordon, both father and son looked good against the slow but skilful opening bowlers, highlighted by a couple of crunching drives. But then disaster struck, as first Jack then John fell in in quick succession, both caught behind to the same bowler. So at 26-2, Hampson and Read looked for a repeat of the previous weekends recovery. However a plum lbw meant James was out for 10, and the slow recovery from the skipper and Henry against tight bowling and a defensive field meant reaching drinks at 80-3.

Knowing 7 an over would give us a good shot, a change of bowling yielded 8 straight away, but it didn’t last. More tight bowling and lack of opportunities led to the skipper frustratedly lashing and top edging, out for 42. Well down on the rate by now, Dan tried to counter-attack but he departed quickly, as did Matt Hall. Suddenly 121-6, the situation was pretty bleak. Henry eventually departed too, gone for 44. Mark provided an excellent single to get us to 150, and great knock from Billy of 27* showed he can bowl and bat too. But a run out to end it meant 172 all out, 56 runs short.

A very disappointing a frustrating performance, but shoutout to Matt (8-2/26) and Dan (8-2/19) for some outstanding bowling figures. The week it’s away to Bentworth 1XI, a game we really want (need) to win as we sit at 1-2 on the season.

By Jamie Read