First win for 1st XI

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Following a heavy defeat and a cancelled match, the 1st XI finally got their Cheshire Cricket Alliance season underway as they cruised to victory by 48 runs against Didsbury 5th XI in a low-scoring game.  This was due to the fine performance of all three bowlers as the hosts chased a small target.

Skipper Chris Shenton lost the toss and Audlem were put into bat on a soft green track. Andy Rothwell was first to go leg before wicket with the score on 2.  This brought Paddy Leese to the crease, who together with Neil Humphries built the only partnership of the afternoon.

Taking advantage of rusty bowling, the pair put on 55, hitting the boundary a combined total of 8 times.  Leese was eventually dismissed for 16, bowled by Dave Harvey and Humphries was soon to follow, caught at square leg off the bowling of Gul Kaleem for 34.  Thereafter saw a collapse which was all too familiar from Audlem’s season opener. 

No other batsman made it to double figures as the wickets fell fell: Rich Wilson (4), Toby Banfield (3), Qhama Matthews (4), Shenton (0) and Stuart Elkes (3) were all bowled.  Tom Kural also fell for a duck, trapped lbw and Lyndon Woodcock was run out attempting a risky single to wrap up the innings. Simon Swift left not out 8with the scoreboard showing 99. 

In spite of the low total they had to defend, Audlem’s strong bowling attack were licking their lips at the thought of bowling on a track that clearly favoured them. 

Didsbury’s innings duly got off a poor start as Simon Swift took the wickets of Dave Harvey – bowled and Chris Fawcett — trapped lbw, to leave the hosts stunned on 5-2.  Matters then got worse for them when Stuart Elkes joined the party, bowling Rob Doyle with a swinging beauty and having Dave Smith caught sharply at second slip by Matthews leaving them on 5 for 4.

John Perkins then offered up some resistance and he, together with Kaleem, took the score to 31.  However, the introduction of Humphries into the attack was to prove decisive.  The left arm spinner took the wickets of Kaleem, Alan Jones and Dave Hinkley with two catches at mid-off from Shenton and an lbw, to leave Didsbury on 45 for 7. 

Humphries was then to have the final say as he took the remaining three wickets.  John Perkins was eventually dismissed, caught at point by Woodcock for 25, Tony Doyle was caught at slip by Rothwell and Jon Prince was trapped lbw. 

Didsbury’s innings ended on 51, with Humphries taking 6 for 4 off just four overs. Swift with 2 for 28 and Elkes with 2 for 16 and an excellent fielding performance rounded off a successful afternoon.

Audlem gained 25 points and Didsbury 5.  As a result, Audlem are equal third in Division 2 with 35 points, sixteen behind leaders Holmes Chapel.

On Saturday the 1st XI host Styal, who are level on points, at the Gorse Croft, hoping that the batting will improve.  The match starts at 1.30pm.

The 2nd XI, after a week off, travel to newcomers to the league, Chester Asian 1st XI for what will be a difficult Division 4 match.