Stratford U12s got their season off to a flying start in the WCB Durant Cricket League with a comprehensive win over arch rivals Leamington C C by 21 runs. On winning the toss, Stratford elected to bat and openers Theo Barnes and skipper Calvyn Louis got the innings off to a steady start before Barnes was bowled for 7 with the score at 15 off 5 overs. Harry Penney joined Louis and the pair gradually increased the tempo of the innings with some good running between the wickets against what was a slow outfield. With the score at 57 in the 11th over, skipper Louis had to retire at the regulation 30, having hit three 4s. Robbie Fitchford then joined Penney, who two overs later also had to retire, having reached 30. New batsman Lochlan Battersby didn’t last long, being run out for 1 in the chase for quick runs. Fitchford continued to strike the ball well and at the end of the 20 over innings, was 16 not out with partner William Dudley on 3. A score of 97 for 2 wickets, given the slow outfield, was going to be a challenging one to beat. For Leamington skipper Glover was the pick of the bowlers with only 7 runs coming off his 4 overs.
The light was still pretty good when Leamington commenced their innings but they lost their first wicket when Mobberry was well caught by Will Dudley for 3 with the score on 9. Smith was the second wicket to go when he missed a ball that kept low from Daniel Hooper and was bowled for 5. Two balls later Boreman was well held by Robbie Fitchford at mid-off, also off Hooper. Skipper Glover was always looking for runs but was finding support hard to get and with the score at 51 in the 13th over, had to retire for a well struck 31. Stratford’s fielding still held up in the gathering gloom and when Robbie Fitchford came on to bowl he picked up two wickets including a fine catch by Sean Hopwood, who had previously bowled his slow left arm spin with good control. Leamington didn’t really threaten Stratford’s total and their innings ended on 76 for 5 off their 20 overs. Given this was their first match, all Stratford’s 10 bowlers bowled a good line and length and this was backed up with excellent fielding.