After various washouts, including an entirely cricket-free tour, our season finally got underway with a fixture against Gloucestershire’s North Nibley. This was their second visit to Torbay, and it was great to see a few familiar faces again.
We won the toss and batted. Chalky was armed with one of our brand-new bats, which were sponsored by our friends over at MySpiceUK:
But could we grind the opposition into a fine powder?
Nibley’s bowlers were all very tidy and bowled very straight. I didn’t mind this too much as I could pull anything that was just off-line, but it proved to be a problem for some of the other guys. ‘You miss I hit’ was the order of the day, and it only took four overs for Chalky to miss a straight one and get bowled by Kinnear. Vice-skipper Meds was next and let me hit the runs while he got his eye in, but he led with his pads once too often and was given out lbw. Kev, batting up the order so he had time to cook the pasties after our innings, was rather cruelly stumped after wandering out of his crease thinking the ball was dead. Aaron and Bob only lasted a couple of balls each and all of a sudden we were 35-5.
Dave Barlow was in next and we set about repairing the innings. Dave took some time to bat himself in, playing very nicely and very straight, but just as it looked like it was going well I hit one boundary too many and was forced to retire after passing 30. Dion and Chris came out and played aggressively, but it wasn’t enough to post a good score and we were dismissed for 72 from 22 overs.
It was never going to be enough, but there were some creditable performances nonetheless. Chris was fearsome opening the bowling and at the end had only conceded seven runs. Si, opening the bowling in an astute tactical switch by the skipper, suffered in his first over but came back with three wickets (one caught, one stumped, one plumb lbw). The highlight from our point of view though was Chris’s catch off Dave’s bowling; he must have covered 50m before reaching out a hand and plucking the ball out of the air without breaking stride. To any other fielder it was a straight six.
Despite our efforts and early wickets, we were unable to do any better than five wickets and Nibley batted through comfortably to win the game. It was a great effort by the Cavaliers though and a thoroughly enjoyable game.