The 5s were on the road this week, away at the beautiful Horton Kirby ground. Horton Kirby 2s were yet to field a side this season but with their 1st XI having no game they were able to do so this week, and so we were expecting a tough game. I will make no further mention of this situation as I am sure the game will already be under investigation. There is no scorecard currently up so apologies if I am a bit vague.
We lost the toss and were invited to bat on a wicket that proved to be as good as we will play on this season, and a lightning fast outfield despite Friday’s monsoon. Lucas Hart took one and got us off to a positive start hitting a number of boundaries before being caught at slip for 20 odd. Shanksy and Coursey soon followed, before Sam and Dave began the rebuild. Dave departed soon after drinks for 17, but Joe Harris joined Sam and they batted very well during the middle overs, and at the second drinks break on 30 overs we were 140-4 with 200 in our minds. Some bowling changes were made despite the bowlers being ‘unsure if they were allowed to bowl’ and Horton Kirby did well to restrict us to 172-8 from our 40 overs as we lost regular wickets towards the end. Sam Hart and Joe Harris top scoring with 46 and 37 respectively. This was all too much for Sam who had to spend our time fielding at slip having pulled a muscle, where he wore one or two on the shins bravely.
After a remarkable tea we took to the field knowing that we would need to bowl well to defend this total given the outfield. Bowl well we did, against some very, very good batsmen. Liam Farmer and Conor Daly shared the new ball and kept things tight, with Liam going close with a slower ball and an LBW shout. Conor was replaced by Joe Harris who produced a spell that was nothing short of outstanding, claiming one opener and going close with numerous other yorkers. Ben Bleksley replaced Liam and immediately claimed a wicket with a caught and bowled first ball. Ben also removed another good player clean bowled. The HK batting line up did try and get at Ben, but he was constantly causing problems. Player of the month (congrats Dicko!) and chief wicket taker Mike Dixon replaced Joe and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket with 2 catches dropped by Course and Harris. Our opponents reached their target 3 down with 3 overs to spare.
Whilst the scorecard will look like we were soundly beaten, I do not feel this was the case. The bowling unit was nothing short of outstanding all day, constantly posing problems for a batting line up that did not belong at this level and we set another good game up with a competitive total that was an issue at times last season. We left with our heads high.