Brentham 1st XI v Uxbridge
Brentham: 299-5, 45 overs
Uxbridge: 201 all out, 41.4 overs
Saturday 7th May saw the start of the cricket season with Brentham 1st XI hosting Uxbridge at Meadvale Road. As both teams had been relegated from Division 2 the previous year it would be a good chance to get a feel for how each side would shape up for the season ahead.
Tom Brandreth, in his first game as Brentham skipper and his 100th 1st XI appearance, won the toss and elected to bat. After losing both openers (TB himself and newbie James MacDonald), Jaz Rehal and Luke Budden set about rebuilding the innings. Some crunching boundaries from Jazzy and singles from Luke kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely, with Jaz bringing up a well-earned 50. After Luke departed for 34, Matt Lowen, Ashwin Kapoor (30) and debutant Pravin Jadhav (16*) all maintained a steady scoring rate. However, the star of the show was undoubtedly Jaz who not only cruised serenely past 100 but also brought up his 150 from the final delivery of the innings. This resulted in the Trees finishing on 299-5 from our 45 over allocation.
Matt and Jaisreet Bajwa opened the bowling and initially kept the run-rate in check and forced a couple of chances that we couldn’t cling on to. With Yogi Prabhu and Luke replacing the openers, the batters continued to pick up 4/5 runs an over, which only increased the required rate. Despite being 120-0 at drinks, it meant Uxbridge needed 180 from their final 20 overs. Enter Prav. Uxbridge clearly had a plan to target Brentham’s leggie and it back-fired spectacularly as he picked up a debut 5-fer, all but ending their chance of victory. In the end it was left to Matt and Jai to return and pick up the final wickets. Uxbridge finished on 201 all out.
It was an impressive first performance of the season in nearly all areas. Batters batted sensibly around Jaz who was simply majestic. Bowlers bowled straight which was key on a surface that offered no assistance to them. Fielders (two dropped catches apart) demonstrated intensity in the ring and took some high catches in the deep, including a scarcely believable diving, one-handed pluck from Matt to finish the game in style.
Onwards and upwards!