Opening day blow for Wilburton

CLUB officials worked tirelessly to ensure the pitch was ready for Wlburton’s first match of the new cricket season against Longstanton Grasshoppers II on Saturday.

They may wish they’d left it a week longer though, as the visitors made the best of a damp track to notch up a crushing 114-run win.

With all other fixtures in the league cancelled, Wilburton assume second place albeit with just three points to Longstanton’s maximum haul of 20.

With Longstanton’s first team out of action, captain Ben Leach decided to drop down into the seconds to get some overs under his belt and he tucked into the Wilburton line up at a furious pace.

Hitting a whopping 18 boundaries, including nine maximums, Leach was undefeated on 121 as Wilburton’s sprightly fielders became mere spectators.

Leach’s opening partner Rob Salaman hit six boundaries in his 41 before he was finally run out to get Wilburton on the board.

A couple of quick wickets followed as Paul Dewey (1-37) and Richard Padmore (1-19) struck despite the damp surface making the track very slow for the bowlers.

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There were no such troubles for Longstanton’s bowlers however, as, with Wilburton needing to score at five-per-over from the outset, mistakes were quick to creep in.

Openers C Steel (4) and C Holden (7) were dismissed cheaply, with number three Thom Walker (0) and Lee Newton at number four failing to trouble the scorers.

Ryan Newton and Tom Juden were a breath of fresh air for the home side however, adding 38 for the sixth wicket.

Newton went on to top score with a superb 57 before he was run out late in the piece.

With just seven extras conceded, Longstanton dismissed the home side for 104, securing a sizable victory, with little more than 20 overs bowled. T Watts (3-10) led the way with the ball for the visitors.