|OEA Sporting Club - Cricket|
Saturday marked the season opener for the OE's in the Odey Wealth Championship. A nail-biting win over Norman Piette Cobo puts the OE's top of the table after the first game week. In Charlie Clapham's first game as OE's captain, he won the Toss and elected to bowl. The conditions were overcast and perfect for Ben Johnson and Matt Stokes to open the OE's bowling attack.
Ben Johnson started the innings from the top end to a resilient Zak Damarell who started the innings well with a boundary from his third delivery. Stokes also applied pressure from the pavilion end, Tom Veillard the recipient of Stokes first over. The openers failed to break the partnership of the Cobo pair as they brought up 50. However the first change brought Harry Duke into the attack and two overs later led to the wicket of Tom Veillard, bowled top of off. This brought Josh Butler to the crease.
The Cobo pair settled in quickly with Damarell bringing up 50 from 54 deliveries. Both batsmen continued to score freely with Cobo reaching 150 in the 31st over. However, the OE's got the breakthrough they needed as Louis Steyn came into the attack and got the wicket of Damarell with his fifth ball. A testing catch from Matt Stokes meant the opener had to depart after a well made 83 from 86. Two wickets down Cobo needed to dig in and build a partnership, Ollie Newey and Josh Butler did this well, taking the score to over 200 from 40 overs with a mammoth six straight down the ground from Newey. Butler also passed 50 in this over with a cut shot that beat point and trickled over the boundary.
Cobo took on the OE's bowling attack in the last 10 overs, scoring 99 from the 60 balls. The loss of Ollie Newey to Matt Stokes's first over back in the attack allowed Dec Martel to show his fast-scoring skills, an impressive 39 off 23 balls that came to an end with Charlie Birch getting the all-rounder. Josh Butlers skill full innings also ended in the same over, with the Cobo and Guernsey captain falling short of his hundred by just 6 runs with extremely well earned 94 from 122 balls with 11 boundaries. Heading into the final over Will Peatfield and Alex Bushell in the middle. The pair combined to take Cobo to 300, however Peatfield Nicked off to a Stokes outswinger that was grabbed by Fintan Ridgwick behind the stumps.
Lunch brought two things, amazing food as always at the college field and a huge shift in weather with Stokes and Birch walking out into the scorching heat in St Peter Port. Both Batsmen looked to start the season as they left off last year with the two top scorers hungry for more runs. Birch failed to see off the opening spell of Will Peatfield as he was tempted by a legside delivery that he edged into the gloves of Island keeper Damarell. OE's were 14/1 after the third over with captain Charlie Clapham making his first appearance as the new skipper after the departure of Morgan Clayton Last summer. Clapham and Stokes looked to score but Clapham struggled to find runs from the opening spell of Newey and Peatfield and was walking back to the pavilion in the tenth over after being bowled by Newey, scoring 5 from 28.
OE's were 40/2 at the end of the first powerplay with the late call up, Ben Ferbrache fresh at the crease. Ferbrache and Stokes combined in excellent form, the Guernsey internationals never looked close to ending their partnership, with Stokes surpassing 50 with a boundary off a shorter delivery from Martel. The OE's senior pair took the scoring to another level with Ferbrache reaching 50 in the 31st over, Stokes on 89 at this time and neither of the Old Elizabethans looked like they were departing anytime soon. Three overs later Stokes surpassed 100 for the 4th time in an OE's shirt and the first of the 2022 season.
After reaching his hundred Stokes changed gear, scoring his next thirty runs off just 20 balls. Ferbrache also scored freely amassing a score of 90 from 90 balls before being bowled by Martel, the score up to 243/2 from 41.4. The departure of Ferbrache brought the exciting Marcus Thomas to the crease who aimed to get Stokes on strike to reach the target of 301, however this wasn't executed as Thomas departed without troubling the scorers after a yorker from Will Peatfield caught him on the pads. Fintan Ridgwick arrived at the crease and did his job perfectly as he allowed Stokes to face the majority of the remaining overs and reach 150 from 140 balls. Ridgwick's inning was cut short as he chipped a simple caught and bowled chance to Tom Veillard, Veillard deserved a wicket after a few missed chances in the field.
Harry Duke scored the winning runs in the 48th over with a ramp shot and straight drive that both reached the boundary. Stokes ended on 163 from 145 and Duke a smart 10 from 3. Stokes's innings made the game as he batted in fine fashion without ever looking like losing his wicket. The OE's face Wanderers Irregulars next with Clapham's men looking to make it two from two.