Round 1 v Burwood
A warm Saturday morning beckoned for those playing in Epping signalling the return of a day we'd been waiting for since the first pre-season fitness session with the president. The banter and laughs were all present including stories that will be share for years including the Uber organised delivery of Anujraj a few overs into the game.
With the skipper not having any luck at the toss we were sent into bat which was what we wanted to do anyway. Howes puzzled looks beckoned as he was told this said it all but following our warmup Dylan Shaw & Bhargav Khamsali went out to open our innings. After a a slight stutter we were at 2/18 looking in danger of things not quite going to plan but Billy McCarthy & Shaw stepped up and settled us to the fall of the next wicket. Dylan was caught at cover for 63 which allowed Nick Ford to come to the crease.
Being the first round it's always interesting to see how the game pans out. I'm not sure that any of us picked this happening but we witnessed a show of strokes blasted over and between the field from Nick while Billy turned the strike over at the other end. With the opposition not sure of what was happening the run kept creeping up and up. Within 2 over of each other Ford passed 100 (the scorers may have been a few runs behind when it actually happened!) and Billy passed 50. With the overs left shrinking Fordy went for one but may have had his eyes a little off the ball and was bowled. This was the partnership that setup the game and allowed Billy and Anujraj to add another 50 runs after a quick cameo of 12 from the president. All said and done at the end of 50 overs we finished up with 366 which was looking to be a solid total to defend. Justin Bradley & Hayden Doria opened the bowling attack with Doria striking twice in his first over (1 LBW, 1 caught S Henry) to put Burwood in trouble early. A sharp run out from Peter Kew 2 overs later had them looking a little more worried at 3 for 7. Following this was some good shots from Burwood to make the most of the field including a number of edges through 3rd or 4th slip. In case we'd forgotten from any of our time at Epping, the outfield runs quick once its through. Our Uber delivered Anujraj then removed the Burwood skipper with a ripping yorker. Didn't meet Wirthy's criteria of having stumps flying but it left the batsman with no chance of keeping it out.
The remaining opener for Burwood, Terry Aili, rung up a ton but was soon after trapped LBW by the president in a 10 over spell that included another 2 wickets (another LBW & a caught behind). With only a few wickets left to get Billy stepped up to grab 2 wickets near the end (1 bowled & 1 LBW) with JB picking up the last wicket to close out the innings for 227. A good start for third grade but a reminder that we need to work on our fielding early in the season when the grounds are about as smooth as Fordy's chat.