The morning started in the worst possible way: Giovanni Giacobbe was knocked off his bike and spent some of the day in hospital rather than enjoying a game of village cricket (although thankfully he's okay now). In cricketing terms this meant that we headed down to Cherry Hinton with just ten men and, given that Cherry Hinton was currently top of the league table, our chances didn't look great.
That all seemed to change with the second ball of the game, Andy Owen bowling one of Cherry Hinton's openers. That was his only wicket in his opening spell, but at the other end Rog Shelley (3/27) caused severe trouble and removed the rest of the opposition's top order in short order. Neal Baker (2/36), in his first match for us this season, was hit for three fours off his first three balls, but this seemed to fire him up, and his next 57 balls netted him a tidy 2/24 (to go along with two great catches fielding at square leg). By this stage the Cherry Hinton tail was exposed, and Andy Owen (4/25 in the end) exploited the spinning wicket to take 3/6 towards the end of the innings, although Paul Henderson finished things off with 1/3 off just the five balls.
Especially given that one of our common failings is getting wickets, the team went to tea (reportedly 8/10) pretty happy, although I suspect that our other common failing (chasing gettable targets) was also in the backs of people's minds.
As it happened such fears were misplaced -- at least today -- the required runs being obtained with great speed and little bother. Tony Desimone was ajudged LBW (there being some debate as to the legitimacy of this decision) for 26, but this was the only wicket we lost, Phil Marshall (23*), Neal Baker (15*) and extras (33!) taking us to victory at about a run a ball.
One victory does not a successful season make (as Yoda might have said were he a cricket commentator), but having a win under our belt (and a comprehensive one at that) is a good feeling -- we just have to keep playing as we did today. And maybe we have to be a bit more careful about team selections -- not only was today our first win for the season, but also the first with one Alfie Wilmshurst in the eleven. Maybe that's the secret to further success . . .