Audlem 2nd XI hosted Rylands 2nd XI on a damp, cloudy, cold day at Gorse Croft and won in convincing style by 154 runs. Toby Banfield and 15 year old Ronnie Farnell were the stars with the bat, whilst veterans Roy Wild and Dave Parry took the plaudits with the ball.
Skipper Tom Kural lost the toss and the home team were invited to bat first on a slow wicket. Rylands' opening bowler, Sujith Nair, was bowling a very tight and testing spell as openers Zar Ahmed and John Wainwright added 39 for the first wicket – albeit at a slowish pace before Ahmed was dismissed for 9.
Two runs later Wainwright was out for an enterprising 23. Kural and debutant Dave Madden took the score to 55, when Madden was run out for 6.
Toby Banfield joined Kural and the pair added 23 runs until Kural was bowled with a dipping full toss after an aggressive 17. It was then that the real fireworks then started. Banfield and 15 year-old Ronnie Farnell tore the visitors' attack apart.
Apart from Sujith, Rylands' bowlers were no match for the aggressive Audlem duo. They both played superb shots all around the wicket and ran aggressively. The scoreboard rattled up to 155 when Banfield was bowled by Sujith for an excellent 58.
Farnell was joined by Paul Thorburn who ensured there was no respite for the beleaguered and tiring Rylands outfit. Thornburn added an impressive 33 in a partnership of 64 with Farnell before being caught. Farnell's innings of 50 not out was a joy to behold and showed maturity beyond his years.
Kural called a halt to proceedings and declared the Audlem innings at 219 for 6, allowing the home team an extra two overs to bowl at the opposition. Sujith, with 2 for 30, was the only bowler to keep the score under check.
Rylands began with intent. Openers Phil Mansfield and Sujith attacked the Audlem opening attack of Dave Parry and Ronnie Farnell with gusto and had reached 50 for 0 off only 9 overs and looked in no trouble. A few raised eyebrows were seen amongst the Audlem fielders, as it appeared that this was going to be a close run thing.
Enter veteran spinner Roy Wild. His first ball to the aggressive Mansfield landed outside off, bounced and cut in it – taking the top of the off stump! It was a magnificent delivery -the ball of the day – a match winning delivery. Rylands were gone.
Suddenly Parry also found his line and started to pick up wickets. Wild was looking like taking a wicket with every ball at this stage. In no time at all, Rylands collapsed from 50 for 0 to 64 all out! Wild took 4 for 7 off 6.4 overs and Parry 3 for 27 off 11 overs. Young Reggie Farnell delivered the coup-de-grace and bowled the final Rylands batsman in his first over, finishing with 1 for 1.
Audlem gained 25 points to go equal fourth in Division 4 and Rylands 3. Tomorrow the 2nd XI travel to Rostherne to face their 1st XI.
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