Academy player Connor Marshall has joined the senior Nottinghamshire squad for their pre-season tour of South Africa. Here, the all-rounder explains how things have gone so far...
We arrived at the NWU Sports Village in Potchesfroom on Tuesday after a long 11-hour flight – and were greeted with a much warmer climate than we had left back home!
After getting the journey out of our legs on the day of our arrival with a pool and recovery session, the next couple of days the cricket began. With them being the first few sessions outside of the year, the excitement levels among the squad were high.
Everyone has been working at a very high intensity, and preparing for the games to follow. In training, everyone has had the opportunity to hit a lot of balls, and the bowlers have been able to get four or five spells against the batters.
With a bit of rain around, we have also been able to get a couple of gym sessions in at the High Performance Institute. The facilities at the University have been fantastic, and the quality of the nets have been great.
Our first match of the tour saw us play a 50-over match with each team made up of seven Notts players and four local players. Jake Libby captained one side and Chris Nash the other.
Libby's team batted first and accrued 338 off their 50 overs. Libby made a fine century and retired once he reached the milestone. Luke Fletcher also made a quickfire hundred from number five.
Steven Mullaney made a very quick start at the top, making 30 within the powerplay overs. The bowlers stuck to their task and toiled hard throughout the innings. The wicket takers were Connor Marshall (2), Gurney, Wood and Kitt.
In reply, Nash and Luke Wood opened the batting in the second innings and a made a solid start, with the former contributing a composed 40, and there were handy contributions from Billy Root and Ben Kitt.
However, it was the local players who stole the show with the number four batter scoring a destructive 140 and the number 10 reaching 50 off very few balls to set up a close finish.
Ultimately, however, Nash's team fell six runs short. The bowlers in the second innings showed great fight as Matt Carter (3), Jack Blatherwick (2), Matt Milnes (2), Mark Footitt (1) and Fletcher shared the wickets.
It was a fantastic game and everyone was able to get a good run out for the first time this year.
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