A good mix of youth and experience brought about a first win of the season for the 4th XI, in a competitive game on a soft pitch.
Debutant skipper Andy McNiven won the toss and decided to take the field in a bid for maximum points. Ryan Jackson (6.5-1-23-2) opened the bowling with Adam Hughes (5-1-15-0), and ensured some early control, with ‘Jacko’ snaffling an early breakthrough. After EG brought up their 50, Toby Wardrobe (6-1-16-2) managed to ‘open the doors’ at both ends during a terrific spell. Joe Hartley (6-0-25-1) sandwiched a wicket in between, and EG were stumbling at 66-4. Vishva Munasinghe (4-0-19-1) also got in the act, before a fantastic spell from ‘new boy’ Ukesh Mittal (6-0-9-4) broke the batting team’s resistance. The celebrations as each wicket tumbled increasingly more vocal and excitable – a ‘five-for’ would probably have seen him high-fiving the crowd on the boundary ropes!
So 140 was posted with over 55 overs to chase it down. Eminently gettable!
The reply was inauspicious with Joe Hartley leaving immediately, and Hamza Malik a little bit slow to react to his skipper’s calls for a quick single. McNiven (9) himself only lasted a few more overs succumbing to the impressive young in-swing bowler, who would go on to take five. Peter ‘Binsey’ Billinghay (54) had come in during this early wobble and after a few close calls, started to get into his stride. His innings became the cornerstone of the chase, and after a number of good partnerships, he was only unluckily undone by a double-bouncer just 2 short of his career best! By the time Jacko (19) picked up the mantle later on and Toby Fisher (9) reeled in some late runs, we were nearly home and hosed. When fittingly ‘Keshi’ striped a drive down the ground, he rounded off a fine personal display, and we had deservedly won the game. 30 useful points in what will be a tough season.