Sunday 18th April was a big day. The first day of the new season for many, but the start of the NVKO for all. The sun was shining, the breeze was limited, and the outfield was rock hard (almost perfect). I would say 11 merry men assembled, but fortunately we had Hayden as our coach and Uncle Dave as the manager, so the backroom staff made it up to 13. 13 is an unlucky number to some, but it didn’t seem it today.
Captain Tim Morgan (Chesty) lost the toss and Cumnor elected to bat first. Karl Penhale and Dom Whatman bowled beautifully to open us up and took a pole or two apiece to leave Cumnor 36/3 after 11 overs. A good start. This is where the backroom staff took a little “break” and Hayden decided to stop watching the cricket and focus his attentions “elsewhere”. It was probably at this point when our squad number reduced to 12 that we really put our foot on the Cumnor throat, so to speak. Anton Eisner bowled a perfect nagging line and length and picked up match best figures of 3/19 from 7.
Cumnor did get some help from what can only be described as ‘not the greatest display of spin bowling ever seen on the hallowed turf’ but Adam Muttitt did burgle himself a couple of wickets towards the end, so it wasn’t all bad for the spinners. Also, special mention to Tristan Roussow who bagged himself a wicket on home debut, plenty more of those to come, I’m sure. After a little resistance from the Cumnor no.3 we bowled them out for 127 in 32.3 overs. In the immortal words of Uncle Dave, it was a “half decent first half”.
As table service started to pick up in the hospitality zone, the two specimens, Morgan and Sasha Barras strode confidently to the crease. They played some fantastic shots on a lively wicket, stroking them all round the ground. Barras brought up his 50 with a crunching bomb over extra cover straight into the pavilion and Morgan followed suit not long after with a glorious on drive down the ground. There was a point when Will Hammersley was getting slightly worried, he could be up for a TFC, but unfortunately Barras gave slip some catching practice and Hammersley was in. Playing in his usual flamboyant manor he powered one down the ground only to try and hit it even further next time and be stumped. Oli Shaw came in at 4 and finished the game off with Morgan quite comfortably. Cracking red inker for the skipper first game out. All round top-drawer performance from the lads – the seamers set the tone and the batters finished the job. Next stop is next Sunday 25th April at home to Kingston Bagpuize, would be lovely to see the hospitality zone full, even if you do have to turn away and ‘not watch the cricket’. Onwards and Upwards to Lords.
Whisky of the game: Famous Grouse (slowly drunk from Muttitt)
Back Row L – R:
Colin Muttitt (Umpire) Karl Penhale, Thad Cooper, Ben Porter, Will Hammersley, Dom Whatman, Adam Muttitt, Dave Ridgley.
Front Row L – R:
Tristan Rossouw, Oli Shaw, Tim Morgan, Sasha Barras, Anton Eisner.
Anton Eisner – 7 overs 3 for 19
Dom Whatman – 8 overs 2 for 14
Karl Penhale – 8 overs 2 for 29
Adam Muttitt – 7.3 overs 2 for 29
Tim Morgan – 55 not out
Sasha Barras – 53