A glorious cricket day after last week’s washout prompted a good crowd at New Street to enjoy what turned out to be a great day’s cricket – and plenty of refreshments.
On first inspection, the pitch looked like a road and both Sutton and visitors Newburgh would want first use.
Sutton won the toss and surprised nobody by having a bat. Some were surprised that skipper Ashley Barnes promoted himself to open, on the back of no form and even fewer early season runs.
None were surprised at his stodgy start. Fortunately, fellow opener Jack York showed no such reticence. The first ball faced sped to the boundary and the tone of the day was set.
Obviously frustrated at the lack of runs from the other end, York took the earliest possible opportunity to run out the skipper - a brave move that may well see a lower place in the order in the near future as a reward – and bring Jonny Green to the crease at first wicket down.
From that point on, the crowd were treated to a partnership the likes of which are not often seen in Sunday cricket. York simply carried on striking the ball beautifully, not afraid to take the aerial route at any opportunity.
If anything, Green’s innings was the more pleasing on the eye, if less dramatic. Timing the ball to perfection almost from the outset, he was initially frustrated by finding the field. Soon, though, he was finding the gaps and the scoreboard clicked over at a frightening rate.
Both were given lives, but deserved their luck. Surely the catches each offered would have been taken if they hadn’t exhausted the Newburgh fielders by making them chase leather so far and so long on such a warm afternoon, and both cashed in.
If there is a better performance seen at New Street this summer - 151 for York and 101 for Green in a double-hundred partnership that saw the home side move to 260 -1 within 34 overs - then it will be a mighty good effort, and one worth watching.
Callum Ellis, Jamie Greener, Shaun Anders and Lewis Bolton all found that they were batting on the day after the Lord Mayor’s parade and couldn’t be expected to produce similar fireworks. Still, 290 looked an impregnable total.
Newburgh set about an improbable run chase but impeccably aggressive bowling from Ellis, Joe Smith, and debutants Ben Scott and Jack Yates did for the visitors.
Probably, the excellence of the experienced pair of York and Green outshone the bowling effort, but the performance of the young bowling quartet may well live longer in the memory of those who look forward to many years of watching more of the same.