The new era of the Leicestershire & Rutland Cricket League started in auspicious style for KCC on Saturday as the club collected three victories. With the Third XI not starting their NCL campaign until next week, all eyes were focussed on the new setup for Leicestershire cricket.
The 1’s travelled to local rivals Market Harborough and returned with a comprehensive 6 wicket victory. Bowling first Harborough were restricted to 184/9 with the returning Richard Jackson the pick of the attack with 4/46. In response, a good opening partnership between skipper Craven and the returning Sunny Patel set the foundation for the win, with Sunny recording a fine 88 to banish the horrors of his run out debacle at Lindum last Sunday. A 6 wicket win was a great return from what is always a tough place to go to and sets a good benchmark for the season..
There was also a great start for new 2nd Team Skipper Luke Spence who led his team to an emphatic 9 wicket victory against Thorpe Arnold. The visitors were dismissed for 97 on the back of some great bowling in particular from Tej Thakkar and Dave Whitmore who both finished with 3 wickets each. In reply the total was reached without alarm as Dips Patel and Fabian Taylor played sensibly before Callum Wordsworth hit the winning runs on debut. Some excellent fielding from the boys was also a feature and the highlight was a stunning diving catch from ‘Mighty’ Joe Cuthbert who was mobbed by his surprised team mates.
The newly promoted 4th Team took an early liking to life in Division 5 as they crushed Cropston 2’s by 8 wickets at Fleckney Rd on Saturday. There was great intensity from all of the boys, who realise that there is a fight on to get a playing shirt like never before this season. Winning the toss and inserting the visitors Sam Pounds and Harrison Norton quickly got on top of the batsmen and reduced them to 8/3 in no time. Harrison certainly looks to have benefitted from a good pre season and he was a real handful in spite of the April pitch. Oliver and Ben Lodge ensured there was no let up in the pressure on the Cropston batsmen, and it was the spin of the latter, paired with debutant Mahang Patel who ripped through the last 6 wickets in 12 overs after drinks. Cropston were dismissed for 79 and the fantastic bowling was backed up by some exceptional fielding which pouched every catching opportunity and created chances for run outs at regular intervals. The small total was reached without alarm within 22 overs and it was great to see Rickesh Patel back in a KCC shirt and he ended up 23* at the end.