2nd XI 187 / 9 (45)
Saturday XI 194 / 5 (45)
On a day typical of early season cricket the Bears travelled along the M4 to face up against Swindon 2’s, one of only a few sides that the Bears have historically struggled against away from home. After traveling through several downpours it was a pleasant surprise to find clear skies but jumpers were definitely the order of the day.
Loosing the toss unsurprisingly the Bears were asked to bat first on a green wicket and lush outfield with anything around 170 being the initial target.
De Souza (Bowled 15) Bence (LBW 5) and Mainwaring (Bowled 2) fell early with only Newman (Hamstrings made of cheese, Caught 34) initially finding any kind of consistent timing but even he struggled to reach the boundary with any kind of consistency with the ball repeatedly holding up in the longer grass meaning 2’s/3’s became vitally important.
Enter Gunning (35*) who was at his nurdleing best hitting gaps, running hard and looking at his best in his shiny new kit! He was joined by Vesey (Caught 57) who played an innings of great skill and character getting himself set, rotating the strike and kicking on to find the boundary almost at will by the end of his innings with shots all around the ground.
A brief cameo from Harris (15*) with a bat straight out of EA Sports cricket 2009 meant that the Bears finished on a very healthy 194-5.
Entering the field for the second half the Bears knew that it would not be easy but they had enough runs on the board to get the job done. Morris (1-43) and Warren (1-31) opened the bowling, the latter his usual metronomic self, picking up an early well-deserved wicket.
Reeves (0-30 followed and kept the pressure on but a determined knock from Millar was whittling away at the total. That was until De Souza (1-18) who’s mix of ‘off spin’ and enthusiastic fielding off his own bowling (not a green light in sight) got the important breakthrough removing Millar with one that turned past the outside edge and bowled him.
With wickets in hand the skipper called upon a combination of young and ‘experienced’ Harris (3-46) Bence 2-11, both picking up wickets in their first overs, the latter in true ‘golden arm’ fashion as a short ball was hit to a well placed fielder in the deep……..
Reeves returned to help build the pressure which meant the rate had climbed to around 10 an over for the last 8. It was then down to Harris and Morris to close out the innings with the pair bowling to the fields set and despite the occasional boundary did not let the rate drop.
The last over was bowled by Harris with 12(ish) required. Dot, two, four at this point Baker had moved to 67* and looked to be taking the home side to victory before Harris landed the perfect yorker to remove him and followed that up the very next ball with another to leave Swindon 187-9 off their 45 overs. The Bears had won by 7 runs!
A solid team performance and a great way to start the season! This Saturday the Bears welcome Swindon Nalgo to the Glasshouse for what is sure to be an entertaining game.