After an horrific winter Itchington got their league campaign under way with a home fixture against Alcester and Ragley. With hardly a ball bowled in the pre-season due to all the rain, Itchington and Alcester were very lucky to be playing on such a great surface prepared by Graham Foster.
Clarke lost the toss on a scorcher of a day and Alcester skipper Swinburn elected to field first. Not knowing how the track would play Itchington got off to a steady start with Lidster and Jack being cautious but in control. However in the 6th Over Jack (14) played a gorgeous pull shot for six only to find himself walking back to the pavilion after playing on one ball later. Perks and Lidster then put on a 32 run partnership, Lidster looking in fine touch and timing the ball impeccably. A flurry of quick wickets saw Itchington 95-4, this mainly to Alcester’s new recruit Darren Kok who finished the day with impressive figures of 10-1-33-2. Clarke joined Lidster at the crease and both tried to repair the damage after a mini collapse but two overs later Lidster missed a straight one for a classy 46.
113-6 and Itchington in trouble. Andy Wood joined Clarke and something needed to happen on a track that was playing very well. These two frustrated Alcester as neither of them were going to give their wicket away easily and before they knew it Itchington had brought up 200. Clarke was stumped well by D.Swinburn for a good looking 41 but Wood remained unbeaten on 44 and Itchington closed on 203-7.
A nice tea provided by the Jack family and Captain Clarke felt Itchington probably had enough runs on the table to get off to a winning start.
Sadly he was wrong as Alcester showed grit and determination to hunt down the runs with only two wickets and three balls to spare. Good knocks from Kok (50), Strain (37) and Turner (34) ensured Alcester secured a good win early on in the season. James Rawbone and Aulakh once again showed good promise with the ball taking three wickets and the return of Jake Butler looks healthy for Itchington.
Alcester won by two wickets however over 400 hundred runs on the opening day of the season without any practice games bodes well for the rest of the season.
Lidster – 44
Wood – 44 and 10-1-28-1
Clarke – 41
Aulakh – 8-1-46-3
Rawbone – 6.3-0-41-3
Jack – 10-2-31-0
Butler – 10-0-50-1
Itchington travel to Exhall and Wixford on Saturday 11th May.