Well, we wanted a contest and when we finally got one, we weren’t ready for it. Cricklade’s untroubled march to the top of GCCL Division 6 came to a crashing halt at Southam against Stroud 2nd XI in unexpected fashion.
The day started well enough with the skipper winning the toss and electing to bat on another good wicket on a clear day. Cricklade’s openers got off to a solid, if unspectacular start reaching 112 without loss against an experienced bowling attack befor Danny Lloyd (65) was out looking to accelerate the scoring rate and was immediately followed next ball by Greg Davies, given out LBW by Andy Cox. As you can imagine, Reggie was not best pleased by this decision but admirably kept his cool (although it did take him 10 minutes to get off the field).
Some rebuilding work was then required by Shaun Bradley (36) and Pagy (64), having one of those days when getting the ball off the square became increasingly difficult as his innings wore on. Wickets continued to fall steadily and the Cricklade innings eventually limped over the line at 201 for 8 off our allotted 45 overs, probably 30/40 runs short of what we hoped for after such a good start. Nonetheless, a decent total which we felt we could defend if we bowled well.
Sadly, we didn’t bowl well.
Despite an early wicket for Andy Cox, Cricklade failed to make the early inroads into the opposition that we’ve become used to and Stroud progressed towards their target scoring well ahead of the required rate. Crucial chances were missed, with Groundskeeper Willy having a day to forget behind the stumps, and none of the bowlers really being able to stem the flow of runs.
Stroud reached their target comfortably, finishing on 202 for 4 after only 38.2 overs.
We have now dropped to second place in the table ahead of our visit to the new leaders Kingsholm on Saturday. A great chance to pick ourselves up and show what we’re made of.
The Big Van World Man of the Match was Danny Lloyd for his captain’s knock of 65. Well played Skip.