The Ramblers finally clinched their first victory of the season in a rain affected match at the Eastcliff on Sunday. In what was Ramblers’ first home game of the season they won by 9 wickets in a shortened 30 over contest.
Ramblers were able to field a strong side, welcoming back trusty “scorer” Allan Ferguson to the fold after a spell out of action, with Matt Moseley, Marc Taylor and Kieron Smith all making their first starts of the season.
Ramblers took to the field first after Skipper Owen Nash won the toss, with both sides agreeing to a shortened match of 30 overs after an early downpour and more showers looking likely. Adam Daniels and Imran Sheikh opened the bowling, both looked dangerous with edges flying at both ends. It was the 5th over when Daniels made the breakthrough, when Richard Polley attempted a pull shot, only to send the ball into orbit with the ever reliable Simon Stewart racing in to collect a catch in swirling conditions.
Ramblers continued to look dangerous but were guilty of letting chances slip by. Notably in the 11th over when Alex Ball looked to have clung onto a routine catch on the boundary only for it to slip through his hands for 6. It was a costly mistake for Ramblers as Stephen Nunn, then on 16, went onto make 53 before being removed by Kieron Smith.
It was Smith on his return to the side that clinched the second wicket, with Stewart again clinging onto a steepling catch. It was a crucial wicket and spell of bowling from Smith. This saw Eight Ash Green go from 65-1 to 108-7 with Sheikh pitching in with a wicket. Eight Ash Green recovered well though and posted a very respectable 170-8. In truth it should have been a much smaller target as Ramblers were guilty of missing several catches throughout the innings. Ball who cut a forlorn figure by the end of the innings dropped another, making 4 in two matches for the normally reliable fielder.
This was arguably Ramblers strongest batting line up of the season and they certainly didn’t fall short on that billing. With Ramblers needing close to 6 per over from the start, Nash sent Sheikh and Daniels to the crease looking to get off to a positive start. The skipper was not disappointed as Ramblers raced to 62 before Sheikh was caught superbly by Stephen Nunn.
No further wickets fell however as Daniels carried his bat making an unbeaten 63 and Taylor making a powerful unbeaten 50 in his first bat of the season bringing Ramblers home with 13 balls to spare.
Ramblers will be hoping they can take the momentum from their first win of the season into next week’s match against Little Bardfield at Home. 1pm start.
The Ramblers “Special Award” went to Alex Ball for trying his best.