Last year’s Cuppers winners St Anne’s started the new season with a win in a high-quality contest. Pembroke were first in to bat and began slowly, with openers Mike Hills and Geoff Baines amassing just eight off the first five overs.
However, a slow, wicketless start usually favours the batting team in college cricket, and Pembroke soon picked up the pace, reaching their half-century within the next ten overs.
This wasn’t before the first wicket of the game, though, with Mike Hills adjudged LBW to a Hollingdale delivery, although the ball may have pitched outside leg stump.
Just two overs later, Shephard had his stumps knocked out after a wild attempt at a hook, with Owen taking the plaudits.
Pembroke steadied their ship for a while, offering Baines the chance to reach an assured half-century off some slacker St Anne’s bowling.
But just as it seemed the batters might start scoring freely, the flow of wickets began again, with Dahwan doing the damage.
First Finch went to a good catch, before Baines’ innings came to an abrupt end at 69, perhaps sloppily forcing the ball all the way to deep mid wicket.
The remainder of the innings consisted of an alternation between bursts of runs and the odd wicket. Puxley picked up what could have been a useful 12 before being run out, and ‘Jig’ Patel hit a measured ten before being bowled by the effective Hollingdale, who picked up figures of 3 for 24, almost as good as Dahwan’s 5 for 27.
Pembroke ended on 165 for 9 after batting out the 40 overs, and whilse the St Anne’s team were fairly confident of matching that score, Pembroke had certainly become favourites temporarily.
Finch opened the bowling for Pembroke in the second innings with a maiden over, and the sense that they might keep St Anne’s at bay was growing. However, Hollingdale and Alexander soon broke into their stride, despite the odd occasional scare for both.
As St Anne’s settled into the innings the batting became more promising, and although they rarely broke through the Pembroke field, an imminent rise in the run-rate was on the cards.
Gradually Anne’s began to grab hold of the contest, and the score started to accelerate. With the help of some new-found shoddy fielding, St Anne’s suddenly found themselves on 62 for none off just 15 overs.
Hollingdale and Alexander were looking on awesome form as they pushed their side heavily into the ascendant, before the former was eventually caught for 36 after a decent Finch delivery.
The ‘tourists’ still looked on course however, reaching their hundred within 24 overs, and increasingly there seemed only one possible outcome for the match.
Harindra looked less than pleased when he was given LBW on just 6, Oakes claiming one of his side’s two wickets, but Alexander and Sykes proceeded to bat their team past Pembroke’s total with ease. Alexander, who had looked calm and assured throughout his innings, finished on 94 not-out, and would have been well deserving of a century.
Ultimately the better team did win, but the same performance from Pembroke would probably have seen them beat many other teams in the league.