TCC travelled up to North Hertfordshire for the season opener against newly promoted Highgate.
After losing the toss, our new overseas recruit Thomas Bangs took the new ball and immediately impressed, bowling a challenging line which troubled both openers. Emboldened by the captaincy, Lockers took the new ball from the other end and (to everyone’s surprise) succeeded in bumping out the Highgate opener with his second ball. After a couple of erratic overs Lockers removed himself from the attack. Bangs continued from the other end was extremely unlucky to only finish with one wicket from his opening spell.
On a ground with exceptionally short straight boundaries, it was perhaps not ideal that the rest of the bowling was left to the spinners but Heap, King and McLellan did well to restrict the scoring against batsmen who were well set.
Barney bowled a particularly tight spell, continuing his transition into a bowling all-rounder and was unfortunate not to get the wickets his bowling deserved (9-1-33-0). Ferg was quickly into his stride as he confounded any pre-season fitness fears, bowling 11 overs straight through and picking up 3 wickets in the process (should have been 4 - sorry Ferg).
Highgate finished on 225-8, a total boosted by some lusty late hitting from the Highgate lower order.
Spirits were high at tea, as we were confident we had restricted the opposition to a competitive but chaseable target.
A couple of early wickets dampened this enthusiasm but Tom Cassady (44) and Rich Lalor (24) batted nicely and at the halfway stage we were very much in the game at 120-3. Unfortunately, a collapse reminiscent of the England team of the mid 90s followed as the Highgate seam attack proved too good and ran through us to bowl us out for 145.
Perhaps the most/only impressive aspect of the second half of our innings was the multi-tasking displayed by Matt Austin (worse for wear after a night on the sauce with CBB) who proceeded to simultaneously: score, finish a killer Sudoku and place multiple (unsuccessful) bets on the horses.