After an excellent start to the season having won the first two games, the 1st XI travelled to Knutsford in high hopes of carrying on their successful run in Division 2 of the Cheshire Cricket Alliance. For the third game in a row skipper Chris Shenton lost the toss and Audlem were asked to bat.
Things did not start well for Audlem as they found scoring very hard to come by with Knutsford's openers bowling with good control. Shenton was caught trying to up the tempo with only 9 runs on the scoreboard. The scoring rate continued to be slow and Andy Capper also returned to the pavilion after he too tried to up the tempo.
Audlem were now in trouble as Tom Measures was out two balls later leaving the score at 32 for 3. Hope now rested with Richard Wilson who had been in great form in past weeks. He and Paddy Leese looked to rebuild the innings and took the score to 65 before Wilson was controversially caught for 29, off the 7th ball on the over. Knutsford's bowlers continued to take wickets regularly, with only Oliver Burney being able to stem the tide. His 30 not out enabled Audlem to reach 122. Credit has to go to Knutsford's bowlers Brian Cook (4 for 32) and Syed Morteze (4 for 28) who did the damage for the home team.
Audlem now had a mountain the climb to get anything from the game, but they did have one ace up their sleeve with the return of Simon Swift to the team for the first time this season. He did not let his team-mates down as he bowled a hostile spell against which none of the home batsmen looked comfortable. His opening spell of 2 for 11. Audlem smelt blood as the home team had lost 3 wickets with only 9 runs on the board. However Knutsford's Alan Elleray had other ideas as he took the attack to the visitors. He played a full array of powerful shots to which Audlem had no answer. By the time he was stumped by keeper Tim Ruscoe off Kemal Toraman's bowling he had scored 54 runs and had taken Knutsford past the 100 mark. Audlem once again carried on fighting to the end and managed to take 7 wickets but the target of 122 runs was just too small a target to defend.
Knutsford gained 20 points and Audlem 8 points. However, Audlem remain top of the division, although only 8 points cover the top four teams.
On Saturday the 1st XI is at home to Heaton Mersey Village, whilst the 2nd Xi travel to Holmes Chapel. Both games start at 2pm.
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