Saturday April 9th 2022 Menorca v Touring Cavalliers
It was a pleasure to be back in Biniparrell for the first round of fixtures as cricket melted winters heart.
A whole host of changes to the club set up and infrastructure taking place with long standing Chairman Andrew Manners finally put out to pasture and replaced by the effervescent Dan Osterbery.
Manners can be found promenading in Punta Prima these days alongside other members of the old guard.
The sun shone intermittently and there was a to be expected early season nip in the air, it was most definitely a gilets on gilets off affair and there were a number on display predominantly the heavier tog variety.
As I mentioned earlier there have been wholesale changes throughout the club with Joe Brayne understandably stepping aside to support wife Nathalie as she battles breast cancer. The club 100% behind them both in their fight.
It was relative newcomer to the Island Dan Sullivan who stepped up to the plate to take over the reins from Brayne. Dan has been involved with the club alongside brother Matthew for many years before finally taking up residency in the last year or so.
He must have wondered what all the fuss was about as a glut of overseas members declared themselves available for the first games creating something of a selection dilemma. A headache alien to his predecessors.
The coin went up and landed favourably for the hosts, beginners luck perhaps! Not a great start when a communication issue occurred between openers Hagger and Lavin leaving the former stranded in the 4th without troubling Nash – Golding in the recently refurbished scorebox.
Despite a shabby start a superb partnership then ensued, Lavin and Catterall found some fluidity and the Touring Cavalliers must´ve regretted trusting the guesting Sturgeon with the gloves as Lavin was spilled whilst still in single figures. Together they amassed 169 runs before the majestic Lavin was dismissed for 104 from 85 balls. Catterall also reached three figures despite a clunky start falling on 101 from 94 faced. A run feast on day one certainly wasn´t expected but thrilled the ample crowd of spectators. Useful contributions from Cockroft 23 and young Sullivan 14* giving the hosts a sound platform of 262-5. Saj Shawl bowled his 8 overs for 21 and Piers Vacher picked up 3-51 for the visitors.
In reply the opposition started cautiously Wilson and Hayden keeping things tight with the Duke. Former Durham opener Bill Johnson has a languid elegance about his batting and he accumulated steadily. It was a bit more gung – ho at the other end as fellow North East exile Paul Marshall smashed 101 from only 74 balls to put the TC´s in the ascendency. Chet Malhotra 50* Mackem marauder Byron Longstaff 23 and a quick fire 26* from Saj Shawl made the hosts what we thought unassailable total with relative ease in the 36th over
A disappointing start for the young skipper but some encouraging performances on display throughout the team.
Sunday 10th April 2022 v Touring Cavalliers (TC´S)
The TC´S batted first on Sunday following a gentleman´s agreement, new member Richard Grant and 14 year old youngster Luke Burns trusted with the new ball for Menorca. They contained the openers well conceding only 28 runs between them in the first 7 overs. Burns picked up a couple of wickets too in his impressive opening spell.
What followed was a show of brutal, belligerent batting as Saj Shawl plundered 111 from only 49 balls. Malhotra 60 backed him up well with a boundary laden 60 and there were 20 plus contributions from King and Vacher. TC´S posting a whopping 296-8
Burns picked up another wicket in his second spell to finish with a most impressive and way beyond his tender years 3-36. Matt Sullivan was expensive but picked up 2-48.
The daunting run chase got off to a stinker as Burns senior was skittled in the first over. Dow 30 showed good technique and Matt Sullivan 47 played some good shots around the wicket. It was an after the Lord Mayors show or once every Preston guild moment for Catterall unfortunately on Sunday as he was castled first ball, proving what a great leveller our beloved sport is. Wilson scored quickly for his 45 which was rather astonishing following a disagreement with a bottle of Sambucca, the MCC car park gravel and his home driveway after birthday celebrations. John Chipperfield top scored with an agonisingly 1 short 49 and Tim Hayden chipped in with 34.
A great combined effort from the Sunday side but falling well short on 233-8
We have no visiting teams over the Easter Weekend. However, we have a fun Easter egg hunt and T20 game organised on Saturday 16thfun begins at 10.30am with cricket due to start at 11.30am.
JEFFREY BARKER – MENORCA CRICKET CLUB