It’s been a month since our last game, with two games rained off, and an abandonment, but some-how, we started the day top of division 4, whether that’s due to not all games being reported or not, I have no idea, but it was perhaps just the impetus the 2’s needed with just 3 games left in the season on a gloriously sunny September afternoon.
Captain Brian Stone won the toss, as per usual (really folks, check that coin), and put the visitors Hadfield into bat.
It was 25 minutes into the match before the first wicket of Captain Ric Ball, caught behind for 9 by the acrobatic Mike Whitworth, with a diving backwards catch at something like 120mph (well that’s what it looked like to me), his opposite number Gavin Snowball staying at the crease for another hour and half while the next five Hadfield batsmen came and went. It was his dismissal on 28 with the visitors on 56, by a peach of a delivery from Ned Woodman, which was the turning point in the innings, and the remaining four wickets fell in quick succession for just 5 additional runs, seeing Hadfield all out for 61.
After tea, the message was ‘there’s no rush, there’s 62 overs to get 62 runs’, hoping for maximum points, which required losing at most, one wicket in reply, that wicket however came just 10 minutes into the game, with 2nd opener Alex Wilde being given out edge behind to the keeper, to say he was displeased at the decision, is an understatement, throwing his bat off the field in disgust, certain he hadn’t hit the ball, but had clipped his pad instead, with our Get Out of Jail Free used up, it was down to fellow opener Mike Whitworth celebrating his 40th Birthday on Tuesday with a party at the club this evening, and James Beswick coming in at #3, unfortunately Mike facing the first delivery of Gavin Snowball, just got under the ball, and it spun upwards, and back into the welcoming hands of the bowler, ending his innings on 18.
With the arrival of Khalid Akram at #4, the home side required 32 to win, with just 6.2 overs down out of 62, you’d think he’d have played it safe, and just taken the simple runs where possible, but nope, ping! ping! ping! getting dropped twice, once when he was on 15 just shy of the boundary, and secondly with just 2 runs required left in the game by a dolly of a ball just behind the bowlers head.
The win, when it finally did come was disappointingly to a wide ball, which saw James finish 17* and Khalid on 22* and Stalybridge take 19 points from the day, finishing 62/2 winning by 8 wickets in 18.2 overs.
With just two games to go, next week sees the 2’s head to Whaley Bridge.