Audlem 1st XI travelled to Offerton last Saturday with very little prospect of playing any cricket. However, the rain ceased, the ground was cleared and play commenced at 3.20pm having lost 20 overs from the match.
Audlem skipper Chris Shenton won the toss and did not hesitate in inserting the opposition.
Lyndon Woodcock opened the bowling and a chance came in the first over as a short ball was pulled hard through square leg: the fielder did well to prevent a boundary. However, the missed opportunity proved costly as the Offerton opener I. Bates went on to make 51 before being caught on the long off boundary by Andy Capper.
Meanwhile at the other end, Stuart Elkes was bowling with good pace and proving difficult to score off. The skipper sensed that the pace of the ball was the way forward and brought Neil Humphries on having an immediate impact – M.White was caught after looping the ball up to Richard Wilson at square leg.
Humphries struck again in his second over as Andy Capper came running in from mid off to take a catch inches of the ground diving at full stretch to dismiss the number 3 M.Downs for a duck.
Offerton were struggling to get their innings going but a partnership was starting to build as Bates and M.Selby dug in after Woodcock dismissed I. Scholes, caught by Andy Rothwell for 10.
Overs were running out and as Bates tried to force the pace and was caught, Kemal Toraman was brought on to up the pressure on the Offerton batsmen and dismissed T. Thelwell for 4 caught by Humphries.
The Offerton innings closed on 112 for 5 off their allotted 38 overs with Selby making an unbeaten 35.
The weather was a factor so big hitting Toraman was in at three. Toraman and Andy Capper put on a partnership of 76 before Capper was dismissed for 23 dancing down the pitch after getting bogged down by J.Kirkham, Offerton's young off spinner.
With the score on 85 /2 the Audlem victory appeared to be a formality. But Offerton had other ideas, Richard Wilson was dismissed in a similar fashion to Shenton off the bowling of L. Scholes for 11.
The score was now 111 for 3, the dreaded Nelson struck as Tom Measures was dismissed by Kirkham for a duck and Toraman was also removed by Kirkham for 61 with the score unchanged on 111. The sky was now looking particularly tempestuous, the light was fading fast and the storm was imminent!
Batsmen Paddy Leese and Oliver Burney both on 0 needing 2 to win, Leese kept his head and drove the off spinner over the head of the cover fielder to hit the winning runs and a much needed 20 points for Audlem, 7 points to Offerton.
Audlem play Knutsford at home today.
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