With many players on holiday and some late cry offs the 1stXI entertained Kerridge with only 10 men but still managed to chalk up a win by 40 runs. The match was sponsored by Andy Capper.
Skipper Chris Shenton won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bat first on what looked like a batsman's paradise. Despite some excellent bowling from youngster Joe Roddis, whose opening 7 overs only went for 14 runs, Audlem got off to an excellent start with openers Andy Capper and Andy Rothwell both looking composed at the crease. They added a steady 54 for the opening partnership before Rothwell was snared lbw by opposing skipper Shane Ward for 25. Pinch-hitter Lyndon Woodcock came to the crease. He and Capper added 21 before Woodcock was caught and bowled by Danny Brown. New batsman Rich Wilson looked fluent from the off. However with the score on 85 Capper was bowled by Brown for 40.
Eight runs later, there was to be a big swing in momentum with Kemal Toraman and Qhama Matthews both victims to the impressive Brown. Audlem looked in big trouble at 93 for 5 when Neil Humphries joined Wilson and the two left handers started a blistering counter attack. Humphries took particular liking to the returning Roddis, smashing him for three consecutive boundaries. It was the young bowler who had the last laugh as he uprooted Humphries’ stumps with the left hander having struck a quick fire 31, with the scoreboard showing 163. At this point Wilson was joined by Shenton and they continued the onslaught with Wilson passing 50 and Shenton hitting a quick fire 24 including two big sixes off Roddis. Shenton called time on the innings with the total on 226 for 7 off 45 overs, Wilson finishing on 58 not out and Brown taking 4 for 50.
With Kerridge having to chase down the daunting total they needed a good start but didn't get it as they lost the early wickets of Peter Roddis and Andy Cooke to the impressive Stuart Elkes and Qhama Matthews for just 21 runs. However, if the Audlem players thought they were going to have an early finish they were to be proved wrong, as skipper Ward and bowling hero Brown putting together a dominant partnership of 89 to put Kerridge right back in the game. The batsman both batted beautifully taking full advantage of the gaps in the field to punish any loose deliveries.
Audlem definitely needed a wicket and the introduction of spinners Humphries and Woodcock soon changed the game. Humphries made the vital breakthrough, trapping Ward lbw for a fluent 62. Whilst Woodcock kept things tight at one end, Humphries continued to take wickets, James Bolan, Josh Capper and Matt Waite all falling to the left hander. Then when Elkes returned to take the crucial wicket of Brown for an excellent 57 Audlem were only two wickets away from victory. Another wicket apiece for Elkes and Humphries wrapped up the Kerridge innings for a battling 186. Humphries finished with 6 for 56 and Elkes 3 for 28.
A special mention should go to youngster Jake Rowe who was called up to the 1stXI and showed touches of brilliance in the field, giving his all in chasing down every ball he could on the lightning quick outfield.
Audlem gained a crucial 25 points to maintain fifth place and Kerridge 8.
On Saturday, the 1st XI travel to Wilmslow Wayfarers, who are just one place above them in Division 2. Note from Audlem Online – Sponsorship for the match is still available.
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