1st XI Kick Off With a Win
Due to a number of clashes with grounds a last minute switch meant that the picturesque Tidworth Garrison Ground was the setting for the first game of the season against local rivals South Wilts, even though it was classed as a preseason friendly both sides were keen to impress as they will face each other two more times before the end of the season in the bubbles league.
Mitchell won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked to be a decent track. Harrison Clarke returning to the club after a few years playing in Southampton and Chris Brewer opened for the Shrews it wasn’t the return Clarke was looking for when he drove to cover in the 2nd over off the bowling of Blackwood. This brought Mark Gurd to the crease to join Brewer and the two began to build a platform. They took the score passed 100 before Gurd (53) was eventually dismissed for by Tom Lewis with the score at 134. Debutant Adam Battisson was in at 4 and didn’t start his Shrews career off the way he would have liked edging Blackwood through to the keeper for just 3. Brewer (65) was removed shortly after by the spin of Tom Lewis. Lewis then took control of the game with a fantastic performance taking 8-25 and removing the rest of the Shrews line up. Only Will Sleeman (11) and number 9 Mitch Springer (10*) making double figures. The innings eventually closed at 192.
The Shrews armed with sanitiser in their pockets headed out to field knowing that regular wickets and a disciplined performance would be needed to win the game. The two Mitch’s, Springer and Mitchell shared the new ball. Both bowled with control and kept the scoreboard tight but neither could make the break through. Sam Gillott (2-27) then replaced Mitchell and struck twice in his first 3 overs removing ex Shrew Tim Anderson-Emm and number 3 Henry Smith. Pownal (1-22) joined the attack and bowled his 8 overs straight bring control to the game and helping push the run rate up. Young Ollie Bate took over from Gillott and also bowled with control and skill and picked up a well-deserved wicket in the final over of his spell. Springer (2-19) returned to throw a rare delivery down the leg side only for Rich Barnett to whip the bails off and stump Opener Kantolina (50) leaving South Wilts struggling needing 100 off the final 10 overs with 5 wickets remaining and no set batsmen. Mitchell (2-31) replaced Bate and picked up 2 wickets in his first over and Springer struck again leaving South Wilts 8 down. The Shrews looking to clean up the tail but came up against stubborn resistance from the first innings star Tom Lewis and young James Brewer, both batted sensibly to see the remaining overs out but were still 48 runs short of Shrewtons 192.
A strong start to the season apart from the batting collapse and lots to take into the competitive season where the Shrews host OT’s and Romsey at the Rec next Saturday.