Old Wellingtonians 194 ( J Caldwell 2-26) Pilgrims 195-6 ( H Cheal 79, F E Taylor 37). Won by 4 wickets.

Blessed by some beautiful weather and decent cricket it was an all round thoroughly enjoyable victory for the Sherborne Pilgrims over the Old Wellingtonians in their first game of the 2017 season. In traditional fashion, skipper F Taylor, a notoriously poor tosser, lost the toss and, on what looked like a very good batting deck and quick outfield, the Old Wellingtonians elected to bat. We started off well enough with ball in hand, courtesy of some tight bowling from openers Rob Rydon (1 for 47 off 9) and James Caldwell (2-21 off 8), keeping the run rate down but without an early wicket. The breakthrough came in the ninth over with a fine delivery from James Caldwell and superb take from keeper Will Smibert. As had been suspected, the wicket was very flat and any balls that even slightly missed their mark were struck to the boundary. However, though the flow of runs could not be meaningfully abated, as a result of some probing bowling and supportive fielding the Pilgrims continued to take wickets eventually bowling the Old Wellingtonians out for 194. This was obviously a very ‘gettable’ total but, especially given it being our first match and the Pilgrims propensity for early season collapses, it was by no means game over. Our chase got off to a mixed start losing two early wickets. Fergus Taylor, opening the batting, hit a quick-fire 37 from 18 before being dismissed in the fifth over. At 65 for the loss of 4 wickets the chase was in the balance. Fortunately, however, the ship was steadied by a decent partnership from Henry Cheal and Archie Isles, the former’s 79 runs anchoring the innings and ultimately guiding the Pilgrims home to the required total for the loss of 6 wickets. A great game of cricket enjoyed by all. We look forward to returning to the Upper for the annual 50 over match against The School on the 13th May.