Audlem's cricketers had mixed fortunes over the weekend with the Saturday team earning a hard fought victory against Checkley at Swynnerton Park whilst their Sunday counterparts suffered their first defeat of the season at The Gorse Croft at the hands of Lichfield Nomads.
Saturday's game was dictated by the constant threat of rain from the clouds gathering overhead and doom laden forecast. With this in mind stand in captain, Dan Butler was very relieved to win the toss and ask the hosts to bat first giving Audlem the advantage of chasing a target with Duckworth Lewis calculator likely to determine the eventual winners.
his proved to be a good decision as the rain that had been threatening all afternoon eventually appeared with Audlem poised on the brink of victory just 14 runs short of the 155 they needed for victory with 3 wickets in hand and nine overs remaining. With the game unable to continue Audlem bagged the full 18 points on offer to keep them firmly in this season's promotion hunt.
Audlem were missing several key players on the day but the replacements all contributed in a very good all round performance in the field and with the bat. Stand out bowler on the day was Dave Parkinson who claimed 4 wickets in his 8 over stint for 30 runs and prevented the Checkley lower order pushing on after their early batsmen gave them a solid platform.
All the other bowlers performed admirably in keeping the score in check aided and abetted by some excellent fielding, especially from Irfan Shaik with 2 runouts to his name and young Andrew Salmon who took a fine catch to dismiss the Checkley top scored and change the dynamic of the game.
After opening batsmen Dan Butler and Andy Rothwell had given the run chase a fine start' putting 50 runs on the board in quick time the middle order faltered in the now gloomy conditions and with the score on 94 for 6 a home win looked favourite but when Irfan was joined at the wicket by Martin Molloy things began to swing back in Audlem's favour with both batsmen taking the attack to the hosts who were by now struggling with the adverse conditions. Martin was eventually dismissed for a fine 22 and Irfan completed a fine individual game to remain on 17 not out to give Audlem victory by 3 wickets.
The following day Audlem played hosts to Lichfield Nomads who came away with a comfortable victory by seven wickets to inflict the first defeat of the season on the Sunday X1. . Audlem could only manage 132 all out off their allotted 40 overs which proved to be well under par on the day as Lichfield's powerful batting line-up had little difficulty reaching the target.
Star performers on the day were young Jake Topping scoring 17 with the bat and bowling his 8 overs at good pace and accuracy claiming a wicket for 42 runs , Limpet like Zar Ahmed grinding out his24 runs from his opening batting slot against some very good bowling , Steve Ellsmore — top scorer for the hosts with his fine array of stroke play & young Bertie Hardy contributing runs with the bat and volunteering to take on the keeping duties as first choice keeper, Dave Parkinson was required to bowl.
Next weekend the Saturday X1 are at home to Rode Park & Lawton and the following day the Sunday team make the short journey to Wistaston with both games starting at 1.00pm
Full scorecards for all the games can be viewed on the club's play cricket webpage ( audlem.play-cricket.com).
Audlem Cricket Club