On Saturday (July 17th), Audlem 2nds entertained Frodsham at Gorse Croft on a cloudy, windy day. The home team were looking to make it an amazing ten wins out of ten games played.
The wicket was soft and spongy after Friday's heavy rain. It was unlikely to offer much pace and bounce. The slowness of the wicket suggested that it would be a difficult afternoon for both batsmen and bowlers.
The Audlem skipper, John Wainwright, won the toss and elected to bowl first. The thinking behind this was that it would be difficult to bowl a team out on the slow wicket – especially if they set their stall out for a draw. It was to prove the correct decision.
The slow scoring rate had a hand in the demise of the next batsman. He launched an aggressive aerial shot towards mid-off – and the safe hands of Danny Thorburn took a comfortable catch. Dave Parry was the bowler and Frodsham were two down before the score had hit 30. Audlem had taken early command of affairs.
Things went from bad to worse for Frodsham when they lost 2 more quick wickets. First, Leo North took another smart stumping off the bowling of Wild to dismiss Smith, the number 5 batsman. Wild then took his third wicket when he trapped the opening batsmen LBW for a grafting 22. At this stage, Frodsham were in deep trouble with 4 batsmen back in the pavilion before the score had reached 50.
However, Jason Jones, Frodsham's best batsmen – then arrived at the crease. On his very first delivery, he gloved a lifting delivery from Dave Parry. It was an extremely difficult chance which keeper North just failed to grasp – in fact he did well to get a hand to it. It was to prove a turning point for Frodsham's innings. Jones went on to score an excellent 54 to lead his team to a respectable score.
In fact, with 5 overs to go, Frodsham were looking at a score in excess of 150 with Jones still going strong. Roy Wild then tempted Jones out of his crease and North took yet another superb stumping! The combination of Wild and Parry were too wily for the remaining batsmen to handle and with Jones back in the pavilion, run-scoring was proving very difficult in the last few overs. Frodsham closed on 134-7. The fact that they weren't bowled out showed the wisdom of Wainwright's decision to bowl first.
Roy Wild was the main man with the ball and took 5-57 whilst bowling a marathon, unchanged spell of 24 overs for the second week running. Dave Parry also bowled superbly taking 2-46 off 17 overs. Jacob Rowe bowled a promising spell of medium pace taking 0-25 off 5 overs.
Danny Thorburn joined Ahmed and the duo added a 50 partnership for the 2nd wicket to lead Audlem out of trouble. Thorburn was then bowled with the score on 57 out of which he had contributed an excellent, mature 25. Phil Backes was then bowled for 1 shortly afterwards to make it 68-3 and some question marks started to be raised in the Audlem ranks. Many a team have collapsed from this position. However, Dave Parry and Zar Ahmed then put on a sensible parnership of 44 to put the result beyond any doubt.
Ahmed was then dismissed for 56 trying to drive through the covers only to hole out to mid-wicket. 112-4. However, the job was done. North and Parry safely knocked off the remaining runs to chalk up victory number 10 for Audlem. Parry remained on 27 no and North 7 no.
The man of the match choice was once again between Roy Wild for his marathon spell and 5 wicket haul and Dave Parry for his all round performance with bat and ball. Once again, the award must go to Wild for his match defining spell. He was instrumental in keeping the score down to a gettable 134 and took wickets at key stages of the innings.
It was a comfortable, accomplished performance from Audlem and they never looked in any danger. The Gorse Croft outfit are now over 40 points clear at the top of the table and look unstoppable on current form!
Audlems next match is home to Holmes Chapel on 30 July. Next week, they have a week off and will be playing a friendly at home on Sunday but will be treating it as a league match in order to keep the competetive edge flowing!
Audlem IIs 135-4 (Zar Ahmed 56, Parry 27 no, Thorburn 25 J Jones 1-24)
Man of the Match : Roy Wild
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