Sunday XI
Sun 06 May 2018
Newport Inn
Merlin Cricket Club
Sunday XI
Sun out. Newport Inn.

Sun out. Newport Inn.

Jake Hastie9 May 2018 - 18:29
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Enjoyable 2018 season opener ends in narrow defeat.

Merlin arrived at their first fixture of the 2018 season in good spirits. Newport Inn’s home ground in Braishfield was generally regarded as a classic Sunday cricket venue. The home side were hard at work preparing the pitch and outfield and the playing surface looked in remarkably good nick considering the recent weather.
The newly appointed skipper lost the toss, naturally, but was invited to bat which wasn’t particularly upsetting in a timed game. Edwards and Hastie opened the innings whilst the skipper organised the rest of his batting line up. The Newport openers could be described as “dobbley” at best but they were naggingly accurate and were using the early-season, slow, low conditions to good effect.
Edwards perished in the only the 2nd over to a good catch in the covers off the bowling of Wilde. He made his way back to the pavilion with the score on 9 to go and vault some barbed-wire fences, much to the amusement of the onlooking Merlin family & friends.
Hastie was joined by previous skipper Bristow at the crease. Both were struggling with the warm conditions and the slow outfield meant that running was more important than usual. Hastie found himself rolling around on his back scrambling for his ground after missing a flighted delivery from Wilde at one point. One of many full tosses that were not capitalised on.
Bristow steadied the ship and was feeling for the middle of his new wand. Newport rang the changes in the bowling department and introduced “Flighty” Forty who trapped Hastie LBW for 19. Parsons entered the fray and set about the bowling in his usual disdainful manner, clipping Light for an effortless maximum over cow corner before being runout in slightly quirky event that involved the ball striking his bat on its way to the stumps. Only Seal, Adams and Barlow offered any meaningful resistance, especially against Travers who tore the heart out of the Merlin innings with 3-6. Merlin managing to amass only 1 partnership in double figures for last 6 wickets, closed on 118 ao, which never felt like enough from their 41 overs.
Tea was taken and enjoyed, BLT was a pleasant surprise, but not as enticing as the skipper’s offer to buy the whole team a round for a clean sheet of wides and no balls in any bowling innings this season(yes! Got it in writing!).
The skipper then immediately took out the insurance of asking Wood & Colthart to open the bowling, the teams chances disappearing in the 1st over from Wood who struggled to find his rhythm. Colthart struck in his first over, removing Manser for a duck with one of 7 deliveries to hit the stumps during the innings. With Wood continuing to toil from the top end finishing with figures of 4-1-0-16, Colthart struck again but grew increasingly expensive in removing bats 2 & 3. Meanwhile, K White was anchoring the Newport Innings superbly.
Adams brought himself on at the top end with Barlow taking on duties from the other, immediately Merlin applied the squeeze. Wickets 3, 4, 5 & 6 fell with the score on 60, 66, 66 & 67 respectively. Adams claiming 3 of them for just 16 in his first spell of 5 overs, ably assisted by Barlow who was unlucky not to improve on his figures of 9-2-2-25 without a break.
Merlin found it difficult to remove the tormentor from the first innings, Travers, whose partnership of 25 for the 7th wicket left the away side with it all to do. Bristow managed to breach his defence but Merlin still couldn’t capture the prize wicket of K White who ended the match on 28no seeing Newport home with the last man after a change of ends from Adams for the 32nd over.
Handshakes all round and a short trip to The Wheatsheaf Inn where the teams were treated to a platter of roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings and gravy (mmm...gravy!). On to Longparish, the scene of a nail-biting victory for Merlin last season by a nose, literally! Get your availability sorted for the skipper ASAP and let’s get our 1st win.


Match details

Match date

Sun 06 May 2018


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