The First XI began life in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance with a comprehensive win over Beccles Town Cricket Club 2nd XI.
With the Salle church ground looking resplendent as ever, skipper Raj Chaudhary won the toss and decided to bat first.
Beccles started the innings well, removing Raj early and keeping a lid on the scoring in the first 10-15 overs, with some close LBW calls and edges not going to hand.
The pitch definitely had something in it for the bowlers, but massive credit to Joe Hollis and all the ground staff after all the rain in the past week and in the lead-up to the season.
The runs started to flow post-drinks, with the arrival of Dani Long-Martinez to the crease and Will Hollis batting ever more fluently after toughing out a tricky opening spell. The two put on 129 together before Will departed for a well-made 90, craftily avoiding a jug, as every good student should do.
Dani carried on his onslaught to the end of the innings for an unbeaten 136, with 11 sixes entertaining the spectators enjoying the spring sunshine and the ball flying to all corners of the ground.
RSCC finished on 314-6, an imposing target for the visitors, who never looked like getting close after a miserly opening spell from new boy Liam Riseborough (9 overs, 7 maidens, 2-2) and wily veteran Raj (9 overs, 6 maidens, 1-8) going at less than a run per over each and not giving the Beccles batters a loose ball to capitalise on.
With the game all but over as a contest, Beccles battled through, but George Wright (2-15) Elliot Marks (3-7) and Jo Kerkham (1-13) cleaned up the rest of the opposition wickets to bowl the away side out for just 67.
There was even the rare sight of Joe Hollis charging into bowl, rolling back the years and looking as textbook as ever. Let’s hope he can walk today! A solid all-round performance, and a great start to life in the alliance, with Dani rightly taking the man-of-the-match award.
RSCC First XI after the clubs’ first game in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance. Back row (left to right): Will Allen, Will Hollis, Jo Kerkham, Dani Long-Martinez, Tom Brett (wicketkeeper), Toby Armiger, George Wright, Elliot Marks. Front row (left to right): Joe Hollis, Jim Everton (club president), Raj Chaudhary (captain), Liam Riseborough.
The Second XI travelled to North Elmham in a tough early-season fixture and the first of Gary Hinchliffe’s tenure as captain.
There was a mixture of youth and experience in the side, exemplified by veteran Des Curry (3-26) and debutant Elliot Auld (1-20), who opened the bowling well. Ali Cubitt was the pick of the bowlers with 5-36 as North Elmham made a competitive 187-9.
In the run chase, things didn’t go to plan with the top four managing just one run between them. With a total of seven ducks in the innings, it’s at least good to see the “most ducks” trophy is being hotly contested so early on in the season.
Eventually bowled out for 42, it was a batting innings to forget, but a week is a long time in cricket.
Both teams look forward to next Saturday’s fixtures. Huge credit to both skippers for getting 22 players on the field with so much early season unavailability.