AUSTRALIAN imports Ryan Meyer and Adam Meads made their English cricket debuts on Saturday in perhaps the coldest weather they ever faced on a damp pitch.
However, they both wrapped up well in the chilly winds and showed they could be useful additions to the March and Wisbech teams this summer taking two wickets apiece.
March won their annual friendly against Long Sutton by 60 runs after they had scored 183 all out with opening bat Carl Chapman scoring 52 before retiring after an opening stand of 69 with Tom Howgego 31. Shardul Brahmbhatt hit a brisk 23 before Matty Vail hit 33.
Chris Ringham and Tyler Phillips 2-22 opened the March attack and spinner Meyer took two for 16 off eight overs on a very slow track. But the best of the bowlers was John Wallis who bowled his off-spin for the first time in 22 years and finished with 4-32.
Ringham said: “Carl Chapman batted really well. We have put him up the order to replace Matt Wilcox as an opener. Ryan found it very cold and bowled with two sweaters but still impressed with his control of the ball. He scored nine runs before the slowness of the pitch caught him out but I am sure he will do well.”
Wisbech lost their opening friendly with Downham by 19 runs with Adam Mead, who only arrived from Australia three days earlier taking two for 11 off his nine overs.
Downham were all out for 149 with Gary Freear, Ivan Burgess and Kieran Haynes also picking up two wickets apiece.
Wisbech were all out for 130 with Danny Haynes 28, Simon Freear 25 and Sam Albutt 25 the top scorers.
Former Yaxley player Dave Stratton, who is expected to play for Wisbech this season, scored 10 on his debut for the club.
Freear said: “Adam found it difficult to get some pace out of a damp wicket but showed enough to prove he should do well this season. Dave Stratton scored a lot of runs for Yaxley over the seasons and wants a try at playing higher this season and should boost our batting.”
Wisbech did get their noses in front on Sunday with a 13-run win against Spalding in another low-scoring game.
Wisbech batted first and reached 141 all out with 19-year-old Matt Esser top scoring with 55.
Spalding were all out for just 128 with Freear taking five wickets for nine runs and there were two wickets each for Mead and Jack Hastings.
Wisbech play their annual two-game against the MCC on Wednesday and Thursday at Harecroft Road. Play starts on Wednesday at 11.30am and at 11am on Thursday.
On Saturday they are away to North Runcton and then on Sunday the club hold their open day from 2pm -5.30pm when senior and junior players can sign on for the season.
The first team will be playing a match against Newborough while there will so be a number of side shows including cricket coaching and catching competitions plus a club Twenty20 match.
The club have seven junior sides from the age s of nine through under 16s. Fees are £50 for seniors and £30 for juniors