The Saracens started their campaign away to Clifton College in the first round of the Cricketer Cup.
With returning captain Ben Williams (Rt 2008-10) losing the toss, the Saracens were asked to bowl first with openers Alasdair Pollock (I 2010-12) and Steve Barnard (Rb 2009-11) making an economical start. In the 7th over Barnard went down injured bringing Williams and then Charlie White (Grove 2009-14) (replacing Pollock) into the game earlier than expected. Wickets tumbled with the Saracens pressing home their advantage and reducing the hosts to 50-4 and then 86-5; however, Clifton's opener and number 7 staged a valiant comeback putting on 111 for the 7th wicket. Thanks to some good death bowling from the seamers the Saracens restricted the hosts to 233-6 in their 50 overs: Williams finishing with 4-35, Charlie White 2-65, and Worcestershire's Olly Westbury (S 2013-15) an economical 0-33 off his 10 overs of off-spin.
Jack Brydon (O 1999-04) and Ben Chapman (Rt 1995-00) led the Saracens out for their run chase in the second innings, with Brydon in particular seemingly keen on getting off to a fast start. That he indeed did, striking 46 off 33 balls before holding out to mid-on (second time unlucky). Chapman followed shortly thereafter (also caught mid-on...) reducing the Saracens to 62-2 and bringing Westbury and Williams to the crease. The pair rebuilt before pressing the accelerator thanks in part to some mixed bowling from the Clifton attack. The two put on 147 for the third wicket before Westbury was unfortunate to be dismissed to a ball that didn't bounce and then Williams fell shortly thereafter LBW on 99. With just 25 to win the damage had been done; Ben Price (O 2008-10) and Tom Cox (M 2000-05) saw the lads home, 14* and 8* respectively, sealing the win in just over 37 overs.
Overall a solid win for the Saracens and sets up a second round fixture away to Uppingham on 1 July. With a clear calendar in terms of county fixtures the Saracens will be hoping to call on several of our professional cricketing alumni to add further strength to the side. Hoist it up!