After what seemed like weeks of glorious cricket weather, players awoke on (last) Saturday – the first day of the season – to steady rain. Thankfully, the weather cleared up in time for HHCC’s 3rd XI to take on Kingstonians 4th XI at Carlisle Park.
Kingstonians won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch still damp from the morning’s rain. Ryan McCartney and James Harding took a deserved wicket apiece, having beaten the bat consistently throughout their opening spells. Kingstonianskipper, Arsalam, eventually discovered his timing, scoring 38, but Mozzam, batting at three, was the only other batsman to reach double figures.
Hill’s change bowlers, Gareth Powell (2-3) and Jerry Fallows (3-13), ripped through the middle order with wicketkeeper James Burns taking three catches on debut. Kevin Rice then chipped in with a wicket, forcing Zohaib to trample all over his stumps. James Harding returned to finish the innings off. Showing great skill and control, James swung the ball both ways and was too good for the Kingstonian tail.
With a target of just 93, Steve Fidler and Nally Fernando made a cautious start, both struggling to come to terms with a slow pitch and some even slower bowling. Fernando was the first to break the shackles and played some fine shots, reaching 38 before retiring with the total on 69. Fidler (19) was bowled by leg-spinner Saj Ali in the next over, leaving Owen Griffiths (12 not out) and Ollie Hampton (9 not out) to complete an emphatic victory.