Cricket Tour to Barbados - Spring 2016

Fri 18th March: All very excited about tomorrow's departure, despite the time being 5:00am!

Sat 19th March: Arrived safely after a long day of travel. Great hotel, right on the beach, bajan barbecue for supper followed by an early night. 

Sun 20th March: Game 1 against Wildey Sports Club. A tough start having had little time to acclimatise. We lost the toss and bowled too many wides and no balls which helped our opponents reach 227-8 in 30 overs. Oli Jackson took 3 wickets and Henry Cox bowled well.  In reply we managed 126-8. Will Thomas timed the ball nicely scoring 37  while Cam Welsh applied himself to make 34. Plenty to work in the nets tomorrow.

Mon 21st March: A good net session this morning followed by a tour of Kensington Oval. Afternoon on the beach and then dinner out tonight at Blakeys on the Boardwalk, a short stroll away. Everyone in good spirits and no injuries to report,

Tues 22nd March: another loss but a much improved performance. We played at the delightful Franklyn Stephenson Academy against a talented young team. We started well and had their innings under control until a late flourish took them to 248-3. In reply we were well in the game at 138-3 but a late innings collapse saw us all out for 183, despite an impressive 84 from Rahul Patel.

Weds 23rd March: a fabulous island safari today in 4x4 jeeps. We explored the island's interior and learned loads about its history, culture and ecology. The dramatic east Coast was spectacular with stunning views and contrasting coastal geography. An excellent lunch and a return trip along the west coast completed the day.

Thurs 24th March: Today we faced Empire CC, the strongest club on the island with some very talented  young players. On a small ground, nestling amongst chattel houses we won the toss and batted first for a change. Harry Baker and Will Thomas gave us a sound start and Rahul Patel built on this, taking us to 110-1. Rahul made 20 whilst Will was eventually out for an excellent 69. We rather tailed away after that, despite a big 6 from Arthur Mui helping us to 154-5 in our 30 overs. After an early wicket we were under pressure at 118-3. However, we fought back magnificently and with Oli Jackson taking 3-21 we were in the game at 130-7. Sadly they inched their way to a 3 wicket win. Another improved performance, though, and we gave a good team a real fright. Off to Bubba's Sports Bar tonight for something of a meat feast. 

Friday 25th March: It turned out to be a very Good Friday indeed as we won our first game of the tour. We were at the very scenic and welcoming  Isolation Cavaliers club but heavy showers meant a delayed start and a game reduced to 20 overs each. We bowled and fielded tightly but struggled to take wickets until a late burst from Ned Holland with 3-10 saw our hosts finish on 109-6. We started  well with Will Thomas (32) and Oliver Jackson (18) putting on 53. A trademark collapse followed and we reached 63-5. Rahul Patel led a recovery but after he was out we limped to 106-9. In gathering gloom and with 4 balls left Chester Barnes lofted the ball for 4 to win the game.

Sat 26th March:A day of RnR, starting with watching England's nail-biting win against Sri Lanka. The afternoon was spent enjoying some water sports at Holetown beach and the day ended with a barbecue at the hotel. 

Sun 27th March: Our final game, against Combemere School (the top cricket school on the island and alma mater of England's Chris Jordan). Oli Jackson won the toss for the fourth successive game (calling "windmill") and so Will Thomas and Rahul Patel opened against a fast pair of bowlers on a quick wicket. Rahul went early but Will scored 51 and with Harry Baker, Oli Jackson and Arthur Mui all reaching double figures we reached 123-8 which looked short of a good total. Combemere's open started at a gallop and put on 71 by the 12th over. It looked like a thrashing was on the cards but all the seamers bowled with discipline and although they only lost one more wicket it took them until the 27th over to secure the win. Tom Swanton bowled 4 overs 1-7, Archie Ayling and Oliver Jackson both 4 overs for 11 and Chester Barnes 1-11 in 3. A brave effort against some good players. 

Mon 28th March: fantastic day today on a catamaran which included snorkelling on a coral reef and swimming with turtles. Last night BBQ at the hotel tonight and some tour awards to present before leaving tomorrow.