1st XI season ends on a low

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Audlem Cricket Club

Audlem’s season ended with a whimper as they were soundly beaten by Division 2 Champions Wilmslow on Saturday.

Skipper Chris Shenton had been diagnosed with a deadly strain of ‘Whooping Cough’ but soldiered on to lead his side out for the final team in 2012 on a pleasant day at Wilmslow Leisure Centre. However, the nature of his condition was such that he spent the day at slip largely mute with instructions whispered to Keeper’ Leese.

Audlem won the toss and elected to bowl on a green and somewhat damp surface. This decision looked vindicated when Stuart (Brains) Elkes took a wicket in the first over to end his recent dry spell with the ball.

This set the tone for a brilliant first 24 overs as he and Stuart Heaps bowled unchanged with unerring accuracy and devastating swing on a helpful pitch. Audlem reduced the home side to 96 — 7 from 35 overs with Brains claiming 4 wickets in his best display of the season.

A gettable target and plenty of overs in which to chase them appeared possible but Wilmslow are Champions for a reason and some superb hitting from Max (the sleeves) Harvey and his partner saw them force a declaration at 181-8. Neil Humphries returned 3 wickets and Tom Kural one. 

A fair tea and a check of the football results for the boys followed as they rested after 44 overs of toil in the field. Opener Andy Rothwell began in explosive fashion with some expansive drives in a gung-ho approach.

Unfortunately Qhama Matthews at the other end secured his 5th successive duck and 3rd golden in a row falling plumb lbw in the third over. Shenton was next in, wheeled out on his deathbed and ushered off soon after caught in the covers for single figures. Rothwell was bowled by a clever slower ball and the visitors were falling apart.

Tim Roberts and Leese played well, dug in and runs began to flow but 182 still looked a very tough ask. Roberts fell bowled and Leese soon after caught behind as Audlem began to capitulate. Banfield grafted for a gritty 9 before he was adjudged lbw and Pob was bowled soon after for 1.

A flourish of 4’s and 6’s from Kemal Toraman provided some brief entertainment and Heeps lifted a ball in to the car park but the game was up and Humphries was caught at mid-off with Audlem still 70 short to end proceedings. 

The club would like to congratulate both Wilmslow and Wilmslow Wayfarers on their promotion to Division 1 and wish them the best of luck for next year.

More tomorrow on thoughts for the season just ended — and for next year.