So here it is! The start of the 2019 season. Bracknell started their campaign this weekend with a 4 run victory over West Reading. A competitive first outing for both sides on a cold day with the outfield and pitch still feeling the effects of a long winter.
West Reading won the toss and elected to bowl first, setting themselves the unenviable task of fielding in the lingering winter weather. Kite (70) and Jayamanne (51) put on a patient opening 90 run stand. Dominating the West Reading first change bowlers, racing to his half century and battling with a slow pitch; the opener opted for clearing the ropes to find full value for his shots. Jayamanne was eventually bowled with a flurry of wickets following. Daudi (29) steadied the ship with a controlled and confident knock to keep the scoreboard ticking along. Badana (11) rotated the strike well to get BCC to a solid score of 203 from their 40 overs. A modest total in high summer but a different kind of challenge in 9 degrees the week before Easter.
Jayamane (2-18) and Ali (3-25) started the Bracknell defence with solid spells of line bowling in challenging conditions. Ali made the first breakthrough, and then the second; putting WRCC under some great pressure with his opening partner. Debutant wicketkeeper Brierley kept things tight behind the stumps, an exciting new addition to the club joining from Hazlemere CC over the winter. Hall (1-51) and White (1-21) continued to pile on the pressure as WRCC captain Davidson (117) started to make sense of the pitch. Leg spinner, Thorne (1-50) started his season by hitting some great areas with the conditions firmly set against him. Jayamane returned to take 2 crucial wickets after his heroics with the bat to conclude a match winning performance. WRCC required 9 off of the last over, and then 4 off the last 4 with Bracknell snatching the victory from the jaws of defeat with a run out from the long off boundary to take the last wicket.
A great start to the season and a huge thank you from the entire club to Paul Marlow for working tirelessly on the ground over the winter. The pitch, outfield and grounds are looking incredible. A huge season ahead. On to a big Easter weekend of Cricket as our Pre-Season fixtures continue against Theale & Tilehurst CC (Sat) and Kempton CC (Sun). Up the Stags.