First XI Slump to Second Home Defeat
The first XI fell to a second defeat in three games at the hands of Ferndown Wayfarers at the recreation ground on Saturday. Following Jamie Mitchell's decision to step away from Saturday cricket, newly appointed skipper Will Harries won the toss and chose to bat on what looked to be a good surface prepared by the Shrewton ground staff.
Things started to go wrong before the innings had even begun with Mark Gurd having to drop down the order due to an eye issue just before the start of play. With Will Sleeman promoted to open, the innings got off to a rocky start, Chris Brewer falling to a ball with a bit of extra bounce and Harries flashing a loose drive to second slip to leave the side 14-2 in the fourth over. Despite looking comfortable early in his innings, Dan Bingley was dismissed by a good delivery, but the innings was rebuilt by Sleeman accompanied first by Rich Barnett and then Mark Gurd to bring the Shrews to 91-4 in the 23rd over. However, the dismissal of Sleeman for 61 brought about a collapse reminiscent of a fortnight prior, the Shrews losing there last 6 wickets for just 15 runs. No other Shrewton batsman made it past 10 and seven players fell to what could be generously described as loose shots, an unfortunately common theme for the side this season. For the visitors, while the wickets were shared around, it was the opening spell of Miles Lewis (3-28) that was critical in ripping out 3 of the top 4 and leaving Shrewton in a position once again that didn't allow them to bat their full allocation of overs.
106 was nowhere near a competitive total on a pitch which had no demons and although the bowlers showed a lot of fight and put in a much better showing than their batting counterparts, it was to be in vain. Harries (2-19), Alvin Cameron (1-11) and Dan Pownall (1-21) picked up the wickets to fall but James Stephenson's gutsy 39* saw the visitors home inside 27 overs to complete a six wicket win. Wayfarers have now won all 4 of their games and look to be an organised outfit, but the Shrews will once again be disappointed that they have not given a great account of themselves on the pitch.
Following the game, skipper Harries made it very clear that changes to the batting lineup were on the way under his leadership. Indeed, Shrewton have managed to score just 388 runs in their 3 completed games this season at an average of just over 15 per wicket, not the record of a side who feel they should be competing at the opposite end of the table to where they currently sit. Next week, the side face a long trip to unbeaten Odiham and Greywell and will be looking for a much better batting performance.
Shrewton - Sleeman, Brewer, Harries (c), Bingley (wk), Barnett, Gurd, McClure, Cameron, Bate, Pownall, Jackson