Massive 6 & 8 partnership for away side sees unlikely victory for Brian Stone’s men.
It was an early start with Stalybridge 2s on the road to league leaders Hadfield St. Andrew’s, and I was running late; when I arrived with 15 minutes to start, returning captain Brian Stone had already won the toss and put Hadfield into bat, on a bloody hot day, and scoring on my own, I scrabbled to get ready in what could only be described as a green house, it was frikkin’ boiling in that score-hut. 🙂
Rick’s partnership with Ian Morton coming in at #3 ended thirty minutes later in the 14th, when Ahmed Hayat got the first of his 2 wickets to bowl Ian for 10, bringing in keeper John Nicholson who at the home fixture in week 3 hit 105* in their 158 run victory, so it was with great relief when Ahmed got his second, just under 20 minutes later bowling John for just 16, and 5 balls later in the 19th over Mark Connolly (3-33) got an equally important wicket in their skipper on 24 caught at forward square-leg by Adil Zaman, the home side now 63-4 with twenty six overs to go.
The visitors had to wait another 13 overs and 27 runs before Jacob Dooley (3-23) took the first of his 3 wickets to bowl #6 Alex Smith for 18.
Chris Trantor coming in to replace Smith did an good job seeing out the last 14 overs, while his remaining partners came and went before finishing 22 not out, with the hosts all out for 134, with just two balls left in the innings.
First ball after tea, and disaster struck with opener Keith Bowers claiming his 3rd of the season when Hadfield’s captain Rick Ball (3-20) took the first of his 3 wickets, and took his second 3 overs later to dismiss fellow opener Jordan Elliott for 1.
Mike Hatton coming in at #3 did a job trying to stem the tide, but was frustrated by his partners falling around him before he himself was deemed LBW and was sent back to the dressing room on 22, and the visitors five wickets down and only 29 runs to show for it after 14 overs, with a humiliating defeat looking highly likely.
His final partner however Adil Zaman (who hadn’t meant to play after taking a nasty blow to his big toe in the last match), coming in at six, began the start of a phenomenal innings lasting 2 hours 19 minutes initially with Mike, then captain Brian Stone who too was given LBW on 8.
Brian’s dismissal with 25 overs left to play, brought in Stalybridge’s other hero of the day in Alan Dale who over the next hour and half, between the pair of them put on an incredible display of picking and choosing the right balls to play and what to soak up.
Adil happily absorbed the pressure at one end, while Alan picked up the runs at the other, despite being dropped twice, and was unlucky to miss out on his first half-century, but still notched up a career best of 45 not out, while Adil must have been knackered after spending all that time in the heat to earn his 24 runs off 109 deliveries to see Stalybridge pick up a very welcome but unexpected victory to win 136-6.
Well done to the both of you.
Final result and score-card: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 4 wickets.
Next week see the 2s at home to host Pott Shriggley CC 2nd XI for their first meeting who had a free day today after their opponents Buxworth conceded.