|Match Report: 2nd May, 6:00PM, Manland, Rothampstead Park|
High scoring match ends in tie
Result: Match tied
Cricket was certainly the winner in the opening fixture of the year as Crabtree and Manland played out a well-fought tie.
On a sluggish slow pitch it was some feat for the two teams to share 322 runs between them, neither team deserved to lose so the tie was a fair result after the 40 overs had been played out.
Crabtree batted first but got off to a bad start losing Al Rawlinson early for just 1. This brought Rob Cole (19) and Ben Newton (29*) together who steadied the ship with a sizeable partnership and some lusty hitting. Once Newton retired and Cole was caught attempting one big hit too many, Nic Hale (27*) and skipper Phil Waters (27*) combined, boosting the Crabtree total with swift and yet sensible batting, including an early contender from Nic for biggest six of the season.
With a strong base set Martin Goodwin (16), Tim Hale (11) and Gary Bowman (5*) were able to play with gay abandon in getting the total up to a strong looking 161 for 4.
Skipper Waters turned to debutant Ian Bryson to open the bowling in his first ever game of cricket, going for a respectable 11 off his first over in any cricket. Gary Bowman bowled his three on the reel but was on the end of some aggressive Manland hitting going for 0-36 off his three. Tim Hale bowled swiftly and though looking dangerous, was unlucky to go wicketless, conceding only 15 off his three. Rob Cole (1 for 27) and Ben Newton (2 for 11) then combined in the middle overs to peg Manland back before Martin Goodwin (1 for 23) and Nic Hale (1 for 24) bowled well but were unable to quite finish Manland off.
It was left to skipper Waters to bowl the final over, needing to restrist Manland to less than 7 for victory. The Manland batsmen managed to scramble their way to 7 off the over meaning both teams moved on from their first game of the season with their unbeaten mantle still intact!
Both teams retired to The Engineer to enjoy some Ham, Egg and Chips and ruminate over who was luckier not to lose.
Match Reporter: Ben Newton
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