sports gazette

Mixed start for St. Mary's Cricket Club

St. Mary's Cricket Club in training for the indoor tournament - © Grant Yardley
Published: 2 Dec 2013

SIMMS Cricket Club win and lose on their first outing of the season.

The opening fixtures of the BUCS Indoor Cricket League saw St. Mary's earn victory and suffer defeat at Fleming Park, Eastleigh.

In the first of two matches, captain Sonny Cooper lost the toss and Royal Holloway opted to bat. SIMMS' Ralph Day and Ciaran Dunne bowled with wonderful control early on as the Surrey university struggled to impose themselves.

Exemplary fielding and tidy wicketkeeping from Jack Culpin enabled St. Mary's to keep the boundary count down, and Royal Holloway could only set a modest total of 78.

In reply, Greg Thew batted through as SIMMS chased down their target with ease. Cooper retired unbeaten on 25, before Day hit the winning runs to complete a convincing victory for the loss of just one wicket.

Full of confidence in his bowling attack, Cooper inserted Portsmouth University after winning the toss in the second of the day's games.

This was justified after more tight bowling from Day and Cooper himself restricted Portsmouth to 30-3 after five overs. However, the shackles were eventually broken and a late surge of runs saw them reach a defendable 109.

In contrast to the earlier fixture, Cooper and Thew fell early and the momentum was never regained. Poor shots and below-par running between the wickets caused the entire middle-order to be dismissed cheaply, as St. Mary's could muster only 30 runs and they fell to a heavy defeat.

After the matches, captain Cooper defended his new team.

"This result doesn't reflect the strength of the team. It is just a case of getting used to indoor cricket and we feel we can win the rest of our games," he said.

St. Mary's play three more matches in Crawley this Sunday against the universities of Surrey, Chichester and Sussex, and Cooper is optimistic about his side's chances.

"Three wins against tough opposition will see us take a big step towards making the play-offs."

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