On a glorious May afternoon, the 1st XI made the short trip to top-of-the-table Frodsham for a clash that could prove pivotal to both teams' chances of pushing for promotion to the pinnacle of the Cheshire Cricket Alliance. Audlem's confidence was riding high after a solid start to the season had seen them rise to 3rd place after last week's comprehensive victory over Holmes Chapel. In the end they had to settle for a draw.
1st XI Skipper Chris Shenton won the toss and chose to insert the home team. Audlem started well on a slowish wicket with occasional variable bounce but where runs could certainly be accumulated with the appropriate amount of application by the batsmen. Frodsham soon slipped to 25-2 with a wicket each for Rich Brown and Simon Swift. Wickets continued to fall steadily leaving Frodsham on 99 for 5 after 30 overs and Audlem in the driving seat. However the dynamic of the match changed with a partnership of 67 in good time between Matt Williamson and skipper Geoff Abram as the visitors began to toil in the hot conditions. Williamson was finally bowled for 36 by the impressive Swift for 36 but Abram continued to swing lustily and was there at the end on 46 not out as Frodsham batted their entire 48 over allocation for 206 for 8. Swift was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 33.
The feeling at tea was that the target was attainable but Audlem got off to a poor start with Shenton and Paddy Leese falling cheaply to the indefatigable Williamson. When Andy Capper (17) gloved a lifting ball to the wicketkeeper and James Littlewood was bowled Audlem were in trouble at 37 for 4 and thoughts of another run chase evaporated. Tom Measures (46) and Rich Wilson (28 not out) applied themselves diligently to eradicate the possibility of defeat and then accelerated intelligently in pursuit of batting points. Measures fell on his sword with a third batting point looming but this was achieved from the last delivery of the match, Audlem finishing on 125 for 5. Williamson bowled with sustained pressure for his 5 for 30 but the home side perhaps suffered from their lack of another wicket-taking bowler. Frodsham gained 13 points and Audlem 7. As a result of the draw, Audlem drop three places to sixth in Division 2.
Next Saturday the 1st XI make the short trip to third-place Haslington. The match starts at 2.00 pm
The 2nd XI, playing at home to Styal for the second week running had another nail-biting finish to the match, this time having the visitors clinging on to a draw with nine wickets down. A report will follow later.
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