In the year of Covid-19, a patient wait for cricket to resume was finally rewarded when the first match of our 2020 season took place on a perfect day to play cricket. The original match at home v Stafford Strikers could not take place as we could not get a pitch but fortunately Audlem were looking for a game and we grasped the opportunity with both hands ( unlike some of our attempted catches). Ian Terry making his delayed debut as Nomad's captain lost the toss and Audlem elected to bat. A new look Nomads took to the field with 5 players making their debut. Two of the newcomers, Ahmed and Mahmood, opened the bowling and, like everyone else were a little bit rusty. No wickets fell and the captain, wanting to give all his bowlers a go, gave another newcomer Sam Briars and also the old-timer Hoddy a spell. It was not entirely unexpected that the first wicket went to Hoddy luring the batsman down the wicket to allow Rolfe a stumping. Wickets began to fall and Audlem were reduced to 51 for 5 after 18 overs. However, not unexpectedly, Audlem had held some batting back and Kenwyn came in and soon started to strike the ball to all corners. None of the bowlers worked out how to bowl to him and supported by Harding he took the total to 110 after 30 overs and 202 after 40 overs scoring an unbeaten 109.
Although more than anticipated the total did not look unassailable with a fast outfield giving good value to well-hit shots.
The regular openers Gardner and Terry took advantage of a not too hostile attack, including a 13 year old schoolgirl who did bowl well, to keep well up with the required run-rate, amassing 40 without loss after 7 overs. Gardner then seemed to offer catching practice to the slip to end up 21 runs closer to a career total of 20,000. This proved the first of a total of 8 catches, a couple of which were particularly spectacular. The opening bowlers gave way to a more troubling pair of young quick bowlers and the runs dried up. However, at 73-1 after 16 overs the target was still well within reach but Swift had a 3 wicket burst, all caught behind, to reduce Nomads to 74-4. Inevitably a period of consolidation took place and the run-rate dropped considerably. Nomads eventually capitulated at 123 all out off 30 overs. A disappointing end but our side was missing a number of regulars and the opportunity was taken to view one or two new players who will be assets to the team. As a final mention, Ian Hughes did claim the scalp of the 13 year old girl but she got her revenge by taking his wicket with the last ball of the match. IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK
[Disclaimer: Any offence caused by this article is unintentional, any praise is well deserved]
Date: 12th July 2020
Start time: 2:00pm
Competition: 40 overs Friendly
Scores: Audlem 202 for 6, Lichfield Nomads 123 all out
Result: Audlem beat Lichfield Nomads by 79 runs
Toss: Audlem won the toss and elected to bat.
Scorer: J. Hoddy
Report: J. Hoddy
Weather: Sunny, warm