The 1st XI travelled to the Wirral for the second week running to take on a Port Sunlight team, who last week, had started impressively with victories in both the league and cup. In a match of twists and turns they returned home having earned a hard-fought victory by 2 wickets.
New Audlem skipper Callum McIllveen won the toss and decided to bowl on a dusty slow deck, which offered a bit of bounce. Audlem started well when Simon Swift had the opener caught at slip by Andy Rothwell with the score on 13. Danny Nuttall and Wayne Greve then rallied for the hosts, increasing the run-rate and punishing the bad deliveries.
With Audlem failing to take several catching opportunities, the pair added 103 runs before the breakthrough came when Neil Humphries trapped Greve lbw for 44. With a large score looking on the cards Audlem suddenly wrested the game from the hosts as wickets fell regularly, thanks to the guile of Humphries and the medium pace of Qhama Matthews. The hosts were finally dismissed for 143 as Audlem completed a pleasing comeback. Nuttall was finally out for 75. Humphries finished with 6 for 35 and Matthews 3 for 47.
The Audlem innings got off to perfect start with Rothwell dispatching the first ball for four. However, the next delivery Rothwell was caught at slip. Only fellow-opener Chris Shenton (24) could cope with Sunlight's bowling as Audlem slumped to 36 for 4. McIllveen and Matthews took the score to 55 before McIllveen was out for 13. Two more wickets fell quickly to leave Audlem in serious trouble at 64 for 7. However, Matthews and new partner Kemal Toraman began Audlem's recovery as they added 41 for the eighth wicket before Matthews fell for a creditable 26. Toraman and Swift then shared an unbeaten stand of 39 as they eased past the target with seven overs remaining. Toraman was 38 not out and Swift 21 not out.
Audlem gained 20 points and Port Sunlight 10. On Saturday the 1st XI entertain Offerton at the Gorse Croft. The match starts at 2.00 pm.
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