Match report: Crusaders vs The Leys School

Thursday 14 April 2016

A cloudy, but thankfully dry day welcomed in the new season for the Crusaders, who put out a side with a mixture of new faces and experienced returning players. Tom Corner, Ollie Richer, Alex Mistlin, Fergus McNab and Darius Potten-Ravenshad all made their debuts for CUCC, who lost the toss and were asked to bat first.
The wicket was slow and low, but the first hour of the game was decisively in Cambridge’s favour, as Cambridge reached 58 without loss inside 12 overs. The openers, the captain Tom Day, and vice captain Henry Goodwin, both capitalised on some short bowling, and took the attack to the opening bowlers. However, when Goodwin departed for 21, a horrendous collapse began, and Harry Martin and Tom Corner both were dismissed without scoring, as Cambridge slipped to 63-3. Ollie Richer joined captain Day at the crease, and they set about rebuilding, before Day was bowled for 34 with the score on 77. Wickets fell at regular intervals following this, and whilst Richer (11) and Mistlin (21) both provided some resistance, Cambridge were bowled out for 124 with 3 balls remaining in the innings. Mistlin, batting at 8, was excellent and played some lovely shots batting with the tail. There was some good bowling on show from the Leys’ bowlers, and a couple of batsmen were particularly unlucky to see the ball keep low and cause their downfall.
The Leys’ opening batsmen were aggressive against Cambridge’s new ball pairing of Chris Webster and Jacob Pockney, scoring 58 from the first 10 overs, although Webster did remove the Leys’ dangerous opening batsmen in the 9th over. The introduction of spin saw a slight change in fortunes, as Ollie Richer’s off-spin kept the new batsman quiet, occasionally beating the bat as well. Richer ended up with 1-11 from his 5 overs, comfortably the best figures of any of the Cambridge bowlers. Richer picked up his wicket when he held on to a caught and bowled chance to remove the other opener. However, Cambridge were not to pick up any further wickets, and the Leys reached their target with 10 overs to spare. They were helped by some disappointing fielding by Cambridge, although this will hopefully improve as the season continues.
Overall, the performance was let down by the batting, but the Crusaders will aim for an improvement in their next game at the Perse.

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