Audlem's cricketers had another double success on Saturday as the 1st XI stayed top of Division 3 with a four-wicket win at Ellesmere Port and the 2nd XI stayed third in Division 5 with a resounding 116 run victory at home to bottom team Capenhurst, with Steve Swallow scoring an unbeaten century.
The 1st XI travelled to Ellesmere Port, whose captain Paul Ashley won the toss and decided to bat on a good batting track. However he became the first of Stuart Elkes' two victims as the home side were pegged back to 24 for 2 in ten overs. Audlem were reduced to 10 men for the rest of Port's innings soon afterwards when Paddy Leese, fielding at short leg, was hit on the helmet and as a precaution went to hospital. Despite the handicap, the visitors continued to take wickets as Port were reduced to 76 for 5. A stand of 60 between Brian Heaps and Wayne Shore tipped the balance in the home team's favour before Heaps was bowled for 33 by Rich Brown, who immediately snapped up another wicket. Shore and Dwayne Bernard took the score to 175, when Bernard became another of Brown's victims for 29. Port finished their 48 overs at 184 for 8 with Shore unbeaten on 48. Rich Brown took 5 for 63, Stuart Elkes 2 for 19 and Lyndon Woodcock 1 for 48.
In their reply Audlem went for the runs straight away, but Andy Capper was out with the score at 20. However skipper Chris Shenton and Paul Dean continued the assault before Shenton was bowled for 39 with the score at 60 after just 10 overs. Dean followed him soon afterwards having scored 23. Tom Measures (32) and Andy Keeling (14) added 55 for the fourth wicket. However three wickets fell for just eight runs before Brown and Leese, back from hospital, added an unbeaten 52 runs to take Audlem past the finishing post with four wickets and four overs to spare. Brown was 22 not out and Leese 15 not out as Audlem gained 20 points and Ellesmere Port 13.
2nd XI stand-in skipper James Hindle lost the toss at home to Capenhurst, who decided to field. This move appeared to pay dividends as Audlem were reduced to 35 for 4. However Steve Swallow and Tim Ruscoe had other ideas as they smashed the visitors' bowlers all over the field adding a league-record-breaking 168 for the fifth wicket. Ruscoe played a supporting act with a gritty 53, with Swallow crafting an unbeaten 114. Hindle declared immediately Ruscoe was out with the score at 203 for 5 in just 29 overs. This left the visitors 61 overs to get the required runs.
In their reply Capenhurst were never allowed to settle as wickets fell regularly. The evergreen Roy Wild and youngster Kris Hardwick didn't allow the visitors' batsmen to get into any rhythm. When veteran John Waldron replaced Hardwick, Capenhurst's days were numbered as wickets fell regularly and they were eventually all out for 87. Waldron took 5 for 10 and Wild 5 for 32, whilst Ruscoe rounded off a fine performance with two stumpings. Audlem gained the maximum 25 points and Capenhurst 3.
On Saturday the 1st XI entertain mid-table Appleton, whilst the 2nd XI face a tough game at second-placed Northwich. Both games start at 2 pm.
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