Pilgrims 158 ( A.Pusinelli 55). MCC 160-8(F.Taylor 3-50). Lost by 2 wickets.

As has now become tradition, we spent the Monday night of the Week up at Sherborne Town CC. In accordance with the previous night, the festivities were long and heavy and, thus, it was, at least at this point, a relief to us that Fergus Taylor won the toss and elected to bat. This relief, however, was somewhat short-lived: despite reaching his highest score of the week so far, Elliot Whiting, opening the batting again, departed for 6 and his opening partner, Charlie Esson, was bowled for 0. Harry Fisher, in at 3, provided some resistance with a watchful 21, but with numbers four, five, six, seven and eight all falling for a total of 27, the Pilgrims found themselves in the dire position of 75-8 after twenty-six overs. It could only get better from this point, and better it did thanks to a fine partnership of 53 between Alastair Pusinelli and Andrew Nurton. Will Smibert, despite batting with a fractured hand, played his part by supporting Pusinelli well and enabling us to reach the somewhat respectable total of 158.

We knew that 158 would be a tough total to defend and, with 60 overs left of play, in order to win we knew we would have to take early wickets and bowl the opposition out. We were encouraged by the fact that the wicket, a different one to the previous day’s run-fest, was certainly not the easiest surface to bat on with some uneven bounce and, most saliently, upon which the bowl did not come on. We, therefore, took to the field knowing that, providing we bowled well and took our chances, this was still a game we could win. Pleasingly, right from the off, the standard of our bowling and feeling stood in stark opposition to the abject display of the previous day. Tom Minchin (1-43, ten overs) and Andrew Nurton (2-28, 13 overs) opened the bowling with much skill and control and, thus, after ten overs, we were very much in the game with the MCC 33-3. Fergus Taylor (3-50, 12 overs) came on after the openers and started well, picking up the MCC’s only first class player in his third over. Although we managed to maintain our effort levels we had no luck and the situation seemed quite dire after 38 overs with the MCC 145-4. However, two wickets in two overs from Alaistair Pusinelli (2-25, 7.3 overs) and two wickets in one over from Taylor left the MCC requiring 7 more runs for victory with two wickets in hand and a genuine possibility of an unlikely victory . Sadly, it wasn’t to be, and we narrowly missed out by two wickets. The fight the team showed was extremely commendable and made for an incredibly exciting and enjoyable match.