We have arrived in France.
But not before a few final, fantastic days in England. A few days ago, the 2nd XI took on Overstone Park Cricket Club in Northamptonshire while the 1st XI took on an undefeated Northants representative XI.
In a picturesque setting, the 2nd XI were able to accumulate 238 before being bowled out in 46.5 overs. Will Lawrance continued his excellent batting on tour with 59 ably supported by Dale Lovatt on 36 with Josh Wear, Iggy Cranfield, James Suttor and Charlie Dummer also making scores in the 20’s. The bowlers managed to bowl Overstone Park out for 188 with the spinners doing most of the damage. Iggy Cranfield taking 3/9 off 4 overs and Alex Hedger taking 1/16 of 4 overs, the pair really strangling the scoring and building excellent pressure on the batsmen.
The 1st XI were forced to chase with Northants amassing a score of 242 with wickets being shared. Matt Hallas, Aaron Collins and Adam Jacklin all taking 2. In a fantastic run chase, Wanderers chased the score with two wickets in hand, Adam Ison scoring 60 and Matt Hallas continuing a great tour with 75. Matt Panecasio finished off the run chase with a quick fire 29.
The following day we travelled further south to take on Stourport High School and Pershore Cricket Club. The 2nd XI faced a very strong Stourport High team who bowled extremely well restricting the scoring early and forcing the Wanderers boys to take some risks. Kingsley Hamilton top scored with 38 before being on the end of a very dubious decision and Dale Lovatt getting some runs again with 25. Unfortunately this was never going to be enough with the locals passing the score with 10 overs remaining and only two wickets down. Dale Lovatt returning the best figures with 1/9 off 4 overs.
The 1st XI maintained their unbeaten record with a solid win against Pershore Cricket Club. Wanderers batted first and put on a score of 5/230 with Brad Ison scoring his maiden century (102 not out) and Aaron Collins an even 50. Adam Jacklion was unlucky to be dismissed on 49 and is still searching for his first 50 in cricket. Despite being in control for the duration of the second innings, the final result was only a 15 run win to the Wanderers with Matt Panecasio and Aaron Collins taking 2 and 3 wickets respectively.
Yesterday we spent the morning in Stratford Upon Avon, exploring the birthplace of William Shakespeare and the beautiful canals that flow through the area. In the afternoon we travelled to Worcester to watch Australia play Worcestershire in their final tour match before the first test. Shane Watson scoring a century and Chris Rogers, Ed Cowan and Michael Clarke all making 50’s. At the end of the day many of the group had the opportunity to chat with both Rogers and Watson and also having photos taken.
Today we headed further South, visiting the holy city of Canterbury and its beautiful cathedral and ruined Norman castle. From here we travelled to Dover and explored the wonderful Dover Castle and its 1000 year history and importance in defending England throughout that entire time. From here we boarded the Dover-Calais ferry and here we are now resting in Calais before exploring the battlefields of the Somme tomorrow and then heading on to Paris.