Radley 219 – 9 dec. Pilgrims 160 ( H. Cheal 61). Lost by 59 runs.

The Pilgrims travelled to Radley for their annual Cricketer Cup warm-up fixture on Sunday 28th. Having lost the toss, the old boys took to the field heartened by the crowd that appeared to be developing for the fixture. These early delusions of grandeur were quickly dispersed by the damming reality that people across the country had travelled to Oxfordshire for a MG owners meet (niche), rather than the fiery encounter that was unfolding on the cricket field. The Dorset side were impressive for 80% of the first innings, taking wickets regularly and generally fielding well. James Francis was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-60. However, after reducing Radley to 171-7, dropped catches and missed chances allowed the opposition to climb to 219-9 (declared). In response, Sherborne looked rusty, with batsmen getting themselves out, rather than being undone by good bowling. The notable exception to this was Henry Cheal’s 61, which demonstrated the application required to build an innings batting second. In the end, the Grims fell short, ending on 160 all out having decided to go for the win rather than block out for the draw.

Ultimately, this fixture offered both cause for optimism and frustration. Timed games are never useful when preparing for a limited-overs competition, and this was a strong Sherborne side which did many things well. However, if progress is to be made in the Cricketer Cup, the Pilgrims must hold onto their catches, rotate the strike more successfully, and be more clinical at the death with the ball.