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Cricket Report

1st July 2021 @ 6:06am – by John Wainwright
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Cricket Report

The weekend brought a welcome return to winning ways for both Audlem teams with victories over table topping Betley on Saturday and Trent Valley on Sunday.

Saturday's win against Betley who were unbeaten in the league since the 2019 season was fronted by Simon Swift who excelled with both bat and ball and was at the crease to score the winning runs in the final over with 9 wickets down.

Skipper Chris Shenton again won the toss and decided to put the opposition in to bat -- a move that paid immediate dividends as Betley soon found themselves in trouble at 8 for 2 but with captain and star player Harvey Lowe now at the crease and looking in top form Audlem needed a break which came via a misunderstanding between the batsmen looking for a quick single and ended with opener Oliver Stoneley being run out just as he was looking comfortable soon followed by the dismissal of the dangerous Jonathan Phipps to now leave the visitors on 55 for 4. A lot now depended on Lowe as few of his lower order team-mates had been allowed the opportunity to venture out to the middle this season due to the nature of their comprehensive victories. He continued playing his shots but as his contemporaries tried to emulate him they fell victim to Audlem's varied bowling attack and with the introduction of seasoned spinner Neil Humphries the writing was on the wall he eventually fell with the score on 139 after contributing 75 runs to the cause. The remaining two batsmen were soon dispatched without any further addition to the total and only 29.4 of the available 40 overs used. A great performance with the chief accolades being shared between Neil Humphries 3 for 6 and Simon Swift 2 for 14 but a great all- round team effort to contain their illustrious visitors to such a modest total.

Audlem knew their task was not going to be easy and soon discovered that Harvey Lowe was not just a talented batsman as he also opened the bowling and soon had a couple of scalps under his belt and things were looking precarious at 15 for 2 but with the assured Tom Measures (29 ) joining the prolific Dan Butler ( 30 ) at the crease the home team started to inch their way forward but both fell with the score on 75. The middle order batsmen managed to scrape enough runs together to enable a final assault from the big hitting Neil Humphries ( 15 ) and stylish Simon Swift ( 24 not out ) which cumulated in the final over drama with Simon gliding his second delivery to the boundary to give the hosts victory by the barest of margins of 1 wicket.

The Sunday X1 played hosts to Trent Valley from Armitage whose main strength is their powerful batting line-up and this season travelling in their ranks was the Silverdale Professional Ethan Sherriff, a powerful allrounder.

Again Audlem won the toss and this time decided to bat first in an attempt to put plenty of runs on the board to apply the pressure. The ploy appeared to be working with openers Ronnie Farnell ( 37 ) and Charlie Hine ( 55 ) getting the hosts off to a flyer but the middle order stuttered and a below par score of under 200 at one stage looked on the cards but a tremendous 8th wicket partnership between Lauren Kenvyn ( 43 ) and Ewan Farnell ( 69 not out ) swung the advantage back in the home team's favour. Audlem finished on 275 all out after their 40 overs

The hosts knew the batting strength the visitors possessed so needed to contain the runs from the outset to apply pressure in the later stages of the game. The ploy worked as father and daughter opening bowling combination of Andy and Lauren Kenvyn kept the batsmen in check and set them well behind the required run rate required. With Lauren bowling half her allocation the batsmen might have sensed a little respite but the introduction of Ewan Farnell bowling at express pace found the edge of Ethan Sherriff's bat into the grateful hands of Andy Kenvyn and everyone knew it was a 'big' wicket. The game was far from over though as Trent Valley's batsmen kept on attacking but the bowlers maintained their discipline but a huge performance in the outfield by the Farnell lads in particular saved key runs turning boundaries into singles and snaring key catches but the whole team were excellent in the field.

Lauren came back for her second spell and claimed two well deserved wickets and took a sharp catch to dismiss the dangerous Lloyd James as Trent Valley closed on 235 for 7 at the end of their innings. A fine victory against a strong team rounded off a perfect weekend for the cricketers and next week both teams will be on their travels. The Saturday X1 take on Porthill Park at the Scot Hay ground and the following day the Sunday X1 make the short journey up the A525 to play Woore.

The full scorecards for last weekends games and forthcoming fixtures can be viewed on the play-cricket webpage.

John Wainwright ( Audlem Cricket Club).

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