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2nd XI lose but close gap to second place

29th August 2014 @ 6:06am – by Leo North
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Despite the morning's torrential rain and flooded lanes last Saturday, visitors Westminster Park 2nd XI were relieved to find a ground that was perfectly fit for play. This was thanks to the sterling efforts of mopper-up-in-chief John Wainwright and his willing team of volunteers. Unfortunately for Audlem's 2nd XI, the visitors won by 3 wickets.

Dinesh became the first captain to win the toss this season against home skipper Danny Thorburn and promptly invited the home team to bat on an admittedly still soggy pitch. Cruelly, after all his efforts opener Wainwright experienced the worst of the day's batting conditions and was the first to go for two runs with a ball that stopped on him.

Rob Johnson and Zar Ahmed started to bat comfortably on a pitch that was quickly drying out. Johnson departed for an attractive 20 with the score at 42 and then Dave Morris produced the home side's innings of the day with a hard-hitting and rapid 42 before annoyingly patting a full toss back to the bowler with the score at 101 after 27 overs.

The next 10 overs brought only 22 runs during which Zar, who had several attractive shots well fielded by the energetic visitors, was dismissed for 27 and Stuart Elkes departed for 11. Danny Thorburn went on the offensive for an aggressive 29 but four of the last five home batsmen departed for ducks, with Leo North finishing on 13 not out and the score 164 all out.

On a pitch that by now had dried out another 35 runs for Audlem would have been invaluable. Despite excellent opening spells from Johnson and Elkes, Park made steady progress towards their target. These bowlers both took excellent return catches and when two brilliant catches in the deep by Wainwright and skipper Thorburn reduced the visitors to 91 for 5, the match was in the balance.

However, despite two late wickets, a decisive stand of 70 by the unflustered Zachariah, unbeaten with 50, and the unorthodox Nagesh (19), enabled the visitors to clinch a vital victory. Elkes finished with 1 for 20, Johnson 3 for 48, Roy Wild 1 for 46 and Lyndon Woodcock 2 for 43.

Audlem gained 12 points and Westminster Park 20. This win now puts Park just one point behind the 2nd XI who are currently third in Division 4. Tomorrow Audlem travel for another vital encounter to The Groves, who only gained 5 points from their match but stay in second place, now just two points ahead.

1st XI

The 1st XI travelled to Bowdon Vale last Saturday and won by 38 runs. Audlem batted first and were all out for 135. They then skittled the home team for 97. Unfortunately, no report of the match at has been received and no details are available on the Cheshire Cricket Alliance website.

Audlem gained 25 points and Bowdon Vale 6. As a result, Audlem move up from sixth to fourth place in Division 2, level on points with Frodsham 1st XI and 14 points behind Westminster Park 1st XI in second.

Seventh-place Offerton are the visitors to the Gorse Croft tomorrow for a match that starts at 1.00 pm.


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