SEASON STARTS WITH SUNSHINE AND SILLY WALKS BUT BIG FINISH FALLS FLAT
WCC: 152 for 4 (42 overs)
Husaini 5, Shimoga 52, D. Marshall 40, Brockis 2, P. Marshall 0, Laurie 23 n.o., Twigg 24 n.o.
DNB: Dunne, Orwell, Douglas, Lyons
Austin 3-42, O. Kavanagh 1-36, Denton 1-31
Stonor: 132 for 5 (36 overs)
Orwell 8-0-24-0, Douglas 6-1-25-0, Dunne 10-2-19-2, D.Marshall 5-0-27-0, Shimoga 7-1-27-2
B.Kavanagh 32, J.Farr 48
Catches: d’Inverno & Shimoga
Runouts: Orwell (direct)
Another freakishly warm season opener, although this game ended up more barmy than balmy. There was virtually no knitwear in sight, as Skipper lost the toss and WCC was put into bat.
The pitch was heavier this year, producing no terrifying snorters. The going was slow, with a treacle-thick outfield. It wasn’t until the 6th over that Husain clouted a wide-one through point for the first boundary. After his departure, Shimoga and Marshall accelerated, putting on 72 for the 2nd wicket. Dan Marshall unveiled all the shots, and Shimoga circumvented the lush carpet with three crisply-hit sixes.
There was a wobble as Brockis was undone by a cleverly positioned short cover and Pat Marshall chopped on - but Laurie and Twigg entered the fray and, Twigg especially, drove the score past a potentially dodgy total to reach 152 by tea. Tea was delicious with the inclusion of jam doughnuts, and the uncovered mini sausage rolls were already severely depleted by the start of the interval.
Like 2017, all quirky bounce had vanished by the second dig of the game, and Stonor’s openers looked comfortable against the seamers. The match ball had been hurled into the pitch by the Stonor bowlers and now resembled a wartime relic retrieved from a Crossrail excavation, with a seam encased in sticky clay.
Stonor raced to 77 without loss from the first 18 overs until Dunne, the doyenne of the damp pitch, struck in his second over. There was a whiff of the circus big top as limping fielders pulled off direct-hit runouts and snaffled artillery shells to keep all three results on the table. Ringmaster-in-chief Shimoga’s skiddy darts reduced Stonor to 118 for 4, leaving 7 overs for 35 to be scored for victory. Sadly, Stonor battened down the hatches, demonstrating a clear distaste for possible defeat at this stage of the season.
Despite the conclusion’s evident lack of drama, we assembled for a ‘Bullingdon club’ style team photo (as haughty arrogance seems to be all the rage these days), and shared a pint with the lovely oppo at Pishill’s ‘The Crown’ before disappearing with the last of the sunshine.
Man of the Match: NJ Shimoga
Pre-match in Pishill
'Enders Secretary is the clear favourite with the supporter's club
'OWZAT: Lucky-lad Mark d'Inverno is bowled over as local celebrity Dom Laurie becomes
club's inaugural ball sponsor