After impressing bowling session, 2nds make harder work of batting innings, but still manage to claim victory over Hazel Grove CC 2nds.
After what seems an eternity, (a month and 4 days to be petty), Brian Stone’s men were back on home ground, and after a week of torrential downpours, today’s match wasn’t a guaranteed event, but it did, and Brian won the toss and chose to put Hazel Grove into bat, stating he believed the ground would dry out over the course of the match, and the damp outfield would help prevent many unnecessary boundaries.
And he was correct in his thinking, with only 4 deliveries for the visitors reaching the boundary, three from opener and keeper, Steve Pigeon, and the other from captain Jake Bennett, coupled with some decent catching in the field, and good bowling figures from Ned Woodman, 2-19 off 12, 2-16 off 6 for Krunal Bhatt, 1-7 off 8 from Maurice Barber, 3-22 off 12 for Ahmed Hyatt, and 3-13 in 3.1 overs, from habitual stand-in Faz Hussain, saw Hazel Grove frustrated at the crease, and only able to put 91 runs on the board.
It could have been so much better too, with Hazel Grove 6 wickets down for 40 runs, but for a 46 run partnership between George Billingham and Jake Bennett, the latter of which was the final wicket to fall in Hazel Groves innings.
A chase of 91 in theory isn’t a great task , but that’s not the Stalybridge way this season, but between opener’s Stu Nock’s 20, Steve Monks 17, and Alex Wilde carrying the bat to finish on 21, the home side weathered the bowling attack, some of which from the Hazel Grove youngsters has to be said was excellent, to cross the finish line with 5 wickets and 13 overs to spare, but it felt like we made hard work of it.
That said, it’s great to have another win under our belt, well done lads, and well done to the 1sts also, who saw off Hollingworth to cement their place at the top of their division with an eighth consecutive victory.
Next week, the 2’s are at home again, when the opposition will be Old Glossop, who Hayfield apparently bowled out for 54 today; then the following day, it’s the second of our two games that weekend, back up Mottram Road, to Dinting Cricket Club.
Stalybridge compete hard in Hayfield, but take too long to mount a meaningful attack.
I missed my first game this season, two weeks ago, away at Dinting, due to being on holiday, and it was just my luck, that I’d miss our first win in eight games, and more-so the game where my son gets his 2nd half-century of the season, no commitment from some people !! Though at least one person was pleased for my return, captain Brian Stone was thankful for a “proper” scorer, given the debacle of trying to get a decent scorecard for that match. It’s nice to feel wanted :), anyways well done lads for that result.
Today however, we were facing a team pushing for the title, sitting in second position behind the team I predicted back in May to be top of the table at the end of the season, Old Glossop, so didn’t expect much out of the day, and was worried it was going to be a long day when Brian lost the toss and Stalybridge were put in the field.
The first ball of the match set the early tempo, with Hayfield’s Andy Oldfield hitting the boundary wall with a deft flick to the right, and it wasn’t long before I heard one of the other Hayfield players predicting a score of 400, and in all honesty, I was a little concerned he would be right, on his 28th delivery he hit another four to put him on 45, and the folks around me were predicting a 30 ball 50, but next came a coaxing ball wider than the rest of the over from Peter Coxon and drew a much needed mistake, at least from Stalybridge’s point of view, from Oldfield who extended his reach and put the ball high into the air, and into the welcoming hands of Tony Mooney at deep square leg, giving Stalybridge their first wicket, with Hayfield on 56.
With his departure the run rate plummeted, but it was still another 31 runs before Coxon took his second wicket of youngster, but normally first-teamer Jacob Miller, while the home side’s second opener Joel Coverley plodded on slowly at the other end before being out on 34.
In a rare turn of events, catches were being taken by the Stalybridge side, who are sure to admit themselves have been sorely lacking in the field this season, and with the exception of Harry Howarth, superbly bowled by Ahmet Hyatt, and Christian South, bowled by Krunal Bhatt, the other eight wickets by the visitors were caught in the field, giving four wickets for Krunal Bhatt, two for Pete Coxon and four for Ahmed Hyatt, though he definitely should have gotten his five-fer in his last over, but was ironically denied by two dropped catches.
With the exception of one over where Krunal was soundly thumped for 26, which saw Christian South hit his 50, despite getting a wicket in one of the deliveries, the bowling was vastly improved over previous matches, and Hayfield were all out for 187 with four overs remaining.
A very doable score it was decided, but perhaps 30 or 40 more than should have been in my opinion, given the start we had.
After tea, the start of Stalybridge’s innings didn’t go quite to plan, with the early dismissal of opener Stu Nock for 13, and it took fellow opener Alex Wilde almost until the 15th over before he progressed past two runs, while Maurice Barber opposite also took a while before adding to his total, which however, ended up a presentable 40 from 50 deliveries.
Stalybridge lost a couple more key wickets with the score in the 90’s, but then didn’t lose another, their 6th, until Keith Bowers was caught on 14, with 140 on the board, but with 9 overs remaining, with Stalybridge requiring another 48 runs for victory, the remaining players just could eke out the required run-rate to catch up, with only Tony Mooney at the other end finishing on 42 not out, before running out Ahmed Hyatt for his …
It was, at least for me personally, the slow start, that contributed a big factor to the final result, but also losing three consecutive wickets for 9 runs, in the middle order, definitely didn’t help either, though it was great to see the big improvement in the field, both with the catching, and fielding in general, and the improvement in bowling, with Ahmed having (I think) his best figures since joining the club, with 4 for 27, though I have to also make special mention of Krunal’s diving (albeit failed) attempt to stop a ball going to the boundary, about 6 feet short and 2 seconds too early, sorry Krunal, but it was funny!
It was also great to hear the 1sts extend their lead at the top of Division 3, with victory over Chaple-en-le-Frith, well done lads, keep it up!
Next week sees the 2nds at home to mid-table Hazel Grove while the 1sts travel up the road to Hollingworth, presuming they make it past Mottram Road, which has been royally shit this week!