Thorburn duo steer 2nd XI to draw with Wayfarers

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Audlem Cricket Club

The 2nd XI remains in mid-table in Cheshire Alliance Division 4 after their drawn encounter with Wilmslow Wayfarers on Saturday at the Gorse Croft.  Father and son Paul and Danny Thorburn saw Audlem safely bat out the overs and earn an extra bonus point by reaching the 150 runs mark.

Skipper Zar Ahmed elected to field on winning the toss, but soon discovered that Wayfarers had amassed a powerful batting line up to combat Audlem's attack.  Openers Khatteer Zeb and Richard Branagan started in confident fashion, putting on 53 for the first wicket.  

The eventual dismissal of Branagan proved to be a false dawn as it brought to the crease the belligerent Tom Matthews, who proceeded to pile on the runs with Zeb.  They took the score to 143 in rapid time before the partnership was broken.  This gave the middle-order batsmen the freedom to press on to the eventual total of 201 for 5 declared after 41 of the allotted 48 overs.  Lyndon Woodcock was the pick of the bowlers with fine figures of 4 for 40 and Roy Wild bowled his usually miserly spell of 12 overs for only 32 runs.

Given the sporting declaration by Wayfarers, Audlem had high hopes of chasing down their target, but they found themselves up against a fine opening bowler in Andy Bruce who maintained a tight line and length.  He asked questions with every ball he bowled and his opening spell finished with remarkable figures of 11 overs 9 maidens and only 5 runs conceded.  

With one end effectively closed for run scoring, the home side were up against the clock trying to fashion a reply.  The batsmen took every opportunity to mount a response by keeping the scoreboard moving, accepting any loose balls bowled at the other end. The run rate was now seriously behind the clock and the target was out of sight, but the middle order of Danny Thorburn, who hit a fine 43 not out, Phil Backes (27), Leo North (13) and Paul Thorburn (22 not out) ensured that they reached 151 for the loss of 5 wickets at the close.

Wayfarers made most of the running and will feel frustrated they did not achieve the maximum haul from this game.  They gained 14 points and Audlem 6.  As a result, still-unbeaten Audlem, who are proving to be dogged opponents this season, remain above them in the league table in seventh place.

This weekend the 2nd XI have a double header On Saturday they travel to Congleton to take on bottom-of-the-table Mossley in the league and on Sunday welcome Port Sunlight, who are top of Division 5, to the Gorse Croft in the first round of the 2nd XI Knockout Cup.  Both matches start at 1.30 pm.