Stalybridge put in a good batting performance, unfortunately Birch Vale put in a great one.
Stalybridge lost the toss, and were put into the field, and immediately into the innings, Birch Vale opener Steve Burns showed how he was going to conduct his time at the crease, with 13 runs from the single over, he had hit his half-century after facing just 25 deliveries, and added the next 50 to hit his century just after 58, despite getting the second opener out for 6, his replacement Alex Wood more than made up for Ollie Wyatt’s cheap dismissal off Krunal Bhatt, by being the next to hit a ton, before being caught close to the boundary on 102 by Jordan Elliott for the first of Ajeet Kaintura’s four wickets, but the damage was already done by this point, Birch Vale were now a decent 294/3, which on this ground is a winning score in its own right.
The next three wickets just added another 5 runs, but 8, 9 and 10 all managed to put another 89 runs + extras between them, and Birch Vale completed their overs with a huge score of 389/9.
Despite knowing a win was impossible, it didn’t stop Stalybridge at least having a go, and whilst the opening overs were a bit slow, with Stalybridge hitting 33 runs in the same number as Birch Vale hit 100, the arrival of Khalid Akram to join Stu Nock at the crease, after Alex Wilde was caught and bowled by Birch Vale’s captain Jack Linskey (who you would have thought had just gotten the winning wicket, given his exultant shout, and the aggressive way he threw the ball at the ground after catching it, but hey ho), allowed Stalybridge to start accumulating runs, by the 15th over Birch Vale started giving their fringe bowlers a go, knowing they weren’t in any danger of being caught, but more importantly it gave the batsmen a chance to get their eye in and get some runs.
The next 22 overs saw Stu and Khalid build up a very respectable 137 partnership, before Khalid was caught of a Steve Burns delivery, to end on 40, with Stu Nock now on a dead 100, and Stalybridge’s total now 174, it was just a case of seeing out the remaining 8 overs and try to try and get another 26 runs to get maximum batting points, with the aid of Steve Monks at the other end, and Birch Vale for the first time in all my watching cricket, giving ALL 11 players a bowl, (which plays havoc with score books, ya bastards!), Stu managed to add another 39 runs to his score, to carry the bat and end Stalybridge’s innings on 229 for just 2 wickets.
Great knock Nock! (Who’s there?)
Bowlers wanted, please apply Gorse Hall Road cricket ground – hey it worked after the Old Glossop match, I can but try. Joking aside, good reply to a massive up-hill battle lads, on any other day, 229/2 is a winning result on this home field, and with some tighter bowling, we should be able to get back to last season’s winning form.
Final result and scorecard: Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI win by 160 runs.