New West Tamworth captain Shaun Stevenson hopes to lead a band of merry men this season.
Returning for his second stint as skipper (the first being in 2011-12), Stevenson oversaw a convincing win over City United in a season-opener at Riverside 1 on Saturday.
The man Stevenson replaced as captain, opener David Mudaliar, began where we left off last season – top-scoring with 60 as Wests were dismissed for 177 in the 39th over of the one-dayer.
In reply, City were removed for 144 in the 38th over.
Stevenson said Wests showed last season that playing cricket with fun-infused passion could overcome player losses, with the surprise packets making the preliminary final and the one-day final.
“We’ve lost a few players, which isn’t great,” Stevenson said, “but we’re more concentrating about everyone just having a bit of fun and just enjoying their cricket this year.”
Mudaliar and Dan Collinson put on an opening stand of 95 before Collinson fell for 48 off the bowling of Cooper Barnes.
Allrounder Harrison Kelly chipped in with 36 but none of the other batsmen got into double figures, with three getting ducks.
Joey Mead (3-27 off eight overs) and Barnes (3-34 off eight overs) led the way for City’s attack.
Tait Jordan (44), Liam Rodgers (34) and skipper Brad Smith (28) spearheaded City’s run chase, with veteran medium-pacer Stuart Irwin taking 3-26 off eight overs for Wests.