Egerton Park’s opening match of the season brought a 98-run victory at league newcomers Newbold Vernon.
The good weather helped to produce a firm straw-coloured wicket, typical of a July track and not the usual green seamer cricketers expect in April.
Park lost the toss and were invited to bat, which pleased the visitors.
Initially things looked tricky and runs were difficult to come by in the opening half-a-dozen overs with only 14 runs scored.
But a good foundation was laid by Richard Bailey (29) and Stuart Rose (114) as they put on 66 for the first wicket. Blunt followed in the same over as bailey, trapped LBW for a duck which brought last season’s top runscorer Tom Glover to the crease.
From ball one he looked in good touch finding the middle of the bat with good timing as he and Rose added 158 runs for the third wicket.
Rose brought up his century a couple of balls before Glover’s 50 before he was finally caught behind for a run-a-ball 114.
A little cameo from Charlie Madden (33 not out) helped Park reach an impressive 294-4 off their 45 overs. Glover was finally caught and bowled off the last ball of the innings for 115, made from 77 balls including seven sixes and eight fours.
After tea, Park took to the field with a determination and intensity which was missing at times last year.
With some good bowling and aggressive field placements they made early in-roads to reduce the hosts to 50-6 after 12 overs, Kamal Panchal taking 4 for 40 from his seven overs.
Park stuck with the aggressive fields in a bid to kill off the game, and despite some resistance and counter-attacking from a couple of batsman, Park sealed the win in the 29th over, dismissing Newbold for 196.
Egerton Park: S. Rose 114, R. Bailey 29, J. Blunt 0, T. Glover 115, C. Madden 33*, Extras 3. Total: 294-4.
Newbold Vernon: 196.
Bowling: K. Panchal 7-1-40-4; J. Barnard 4–0–28-1; N. Watchorn 8-2-35-2; J. Blunt 5-0-52-1; J. Woolcock 2.4-0-22-2; T. Glover 2-0-13-0.