The 2nd XI, following three straight victories, went into last Saturday's Cheshire Cricket Alliance match against visitors Styal full of confidence. In the end they had Styal clinging on for a draw, but remain in third place in Division 5.
On a very sunny and hot day skipper Toby Banfield won the toss and decided to let Styal field in the heat of the day. Banfield and John Wainwright shared another good opening partnership with some aggressive stroke play and a high level of byes keeping the scoring rate high. When the score was 84, Banfield was bowled by Ben Hayes for 39, including seven 4s and a 6. Having got off to a flyer Audlem were stopped dead in their tracks by Hayes who bowled two more batsmen in the same over. Zar then came to the crease and added some much needed stability to the situation. He and Wainwright put on another 42 before Wainwright was out lbw for 47 in the 22nd over. Paul Thorburn and Leo North helped Zar to keep the score ticking over. When John Chadwick (21) came to the crease he played some very attractive shots to increase the scoring rate to allow Audlem to declare on 226 for 7 off 44 overs. Zar hit the last ball of the innings for a four, which took him to 53 not out. Hayes finished with 4 for 68.
In their reply Styal got off to a decent start before spinner Roy Wild took the first wicket with the score on 39. Fellow opener Steve Wynne (39) then played some nice drives before he was removed by a quicker one from Raj. When Wild took two wickets in the same over, it put Audlem in a strong position at 80 for 4. Wild and leg spinner Phil Backes continued to take wickets as the visitors struggled to 119 for 7. However, much to the frustration of the home side, the tail wagged. Audlem eventually managed to whittle Styal down to nine wickets with eight overs remaining. Once Styal had reached 175 to secure their final batting point, the last two batsmen settled for a draw and played out the final three overs. Wild was Audlem's most successful bowler, taking 5 for 40. Audlem gained 15 points and Styal 8.
On Saturday the 2nd XI entertain Northwich at the Gorse Croft. The match starts at 2 pm.
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