From Captain Radar…
The Empress returned for the new season with a settled squad. Fielding at least 10 players who played in the BDNO at the end of last season. It seems a settled squad helped the team as they were able to beat the powerful Royston Hotel who, despite missing one fairly handy cricketer, are still one of the more formidable teams in the league.
Still a great way to start the season, as they’re also one of the most enjoyable teams to play, with a great bunch of people, and matches always played in great spirit.
The Empress batted first and got off to a really good start, with everyone pushing the scoring rate and running hard, all while playing their natural game.
I was rapt with how we kept the game moving, and even though we lost a couple of wickets through the middle overs, I didn’t think we ever got bogged down.
Dutchy and myself retired, with notable contributions from J-Rod who hit the ball as far as I’ve seen him hit it, before getting out bowled leaving a ball around his legs (very J-Rod) just before he would have retired and Ed who played a very typical-Ed-lower-middle-order-rear-guard, before the family partnership of The Animal and myself played out just about to the end.
I thought the real positive from the day was the incredibly solid bowling and fielding performance from everyone in the team.
We’d set a decent total of 206 which gave us some wriggle room to be a tad defensive with field placements, but we stopped every boundary that should have been stopped and took a few important catches. Every fielder was incredibly disciplined and holding their positions and giving their all. Bowling was tight and full outside off all day. No batters were given an easy ride to boundaries with a few bowling some impressive spells to take timely wickets.
Notable performances with the ball were Big Dave with 3 wickets (along with being the fielding MVP again), J-Rod with 2 wickets and Jordan whose bowling never fails to impress with 1 wicket but really not giving the batters anything to hit. Really though everyone bowled amazingly well, so it’s hard to single anyone out.
The Royston got to 177 which bloated quite a bit due to my second over of trash mediums that were absolutely spanked by their number 11.
Great game all round.
Onto the next game.