The first match of the 2020 summer season (delayed for reasons with which we are all too familiar) was on the gloriously sunny afternoon of 12th July, when Capel hosted Carlton Sports, whose captain, Chas McDonald, won the toss and put the home side in to bat.
Jon Stronell (8) had the privilege of facing the first ball, which went for 4 byes, followed by achieving the first boundary of the season in the 3rd over. Unfortunately he lost his wicket in the next, caught at slip by Bailey off a ball from Cobley. Fellow opener Alex Stevenson (13) was c&b S Mohammad, bringing Dan Stronell to join Bim Gajjar at the crease. Each scored 20, Dan hitting the season’s first 6 in the 22nd over, only to be out, c S Mohammad b Gable, in the same over, with the score standing at 74. Bim also fell to a S Mohammad catch, b Bishop. Darren Semple made his captain’s debut with a 4, but was out, c&b Gable, in the same over. Newcomer Phil Lander added 1 before losing his wicket c K Mohammad b Bishop. Ryan Walmsley (4) took the score to 90 before he too returned to the socially-distanced pavilion, c Bailey b Gable. Ian Matthews, top-scoring with 31, breathed life into the tail end, supported by Tom Stronell (11) and Juan Van Heerden (0), whose time with the bat was all too brief. All three fell victim to McDonald, aided by a Gable catch. First-timer Will Wright did not score, but had the distinction of being not out, the scoreboard showing Capel’s total at 131 in 36 overs.
The coronacrisis deprived players – and supporting members – of the delights of a CCC tea, play resuming after teams had rested and sanitised.
Carlton’s captain McDonald (10) was first to take strike, falling lbw to Dan in the 3rd over. Jones (4) went the same way in the 5th, Dan again finding his target. When J Stone (14) was out in the 12th, c Darren b Tom, the score had climbed to 61, thanks to the arrival of on-form K Mohammad, who single-handedly, or single-battedly, won the match for Carlton with a classy and confident innings of 80 n/o, including seventeen 4s. Bailey (9) was c Phil b Juan in a wicket maiden, and McInnes was 2 n/o. Carlton made 132 for the loss of 4 wickets in 24 overs.
It would have been good to have a home win, but more important was the pleasure of seeing competitive cricket being played on FOG Rec in 2020.