A new fixture to open the season against a Kings School XI saw a mixed bag of pretty underprepared Stragglers saunter out to the middle of the beautifully groomed and green square at Birleys. After the first two overs had been summarily despatched for 16 by occasional Straggler George BW, the Straggler bowlers – Ed Prest, Graham Tyndall, Jasper Smallwood and Charlie Fiddler – found their line and length, and tightened the screw. Both openers were in the hutch with the score on 36 in 11 overs; and only 68 on the board after 20. However, a further bowling change in the increasing chill and gloomy cloud, saw the boys up the tempo without taking too many risks and reach a comfortable 203 for 5 at tea. Early season Straggler catching rarely warrants a mention in despatches, but pretty all were taken, two by Matt Smallwood, the first with judicious use of the sternum, and the second already making an early claim for the champagne moment, grasping on to a wickedly swirling miscued swipe.
Sadly rain intervened after only one over of the Straggler innings, enough time for Jasper to show intent and pick up a 5 with some overthrows.