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A win and a draw for cricketers

10th June 2008 @ 8:08am – by Audlem Webteam
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Audlem's cricketers made it another undefeated weekend in the Cheshire Cricket Alliance, as the 1st XI won to stay top of Division 3 and the 2nd XI salvaged a well-earned draw to drop one place to fourth in Division 5.

The 1st XI, playing Appleton at home, were looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and stay in top spot. Captain Chris Shenton won the toss and, going in search of maximum points, decided to bat on a good batting wicket. This decision looked to have backfired when Shenton was bowled with only six runs on the scoreboard. However, a stand of 127 between Andy Capper and Paddy Leese, both of whom scored half centuries, put the home side back in control. When Leese was out for 69 with the score on 133, Capper was joined at the wicket by Warner Baxter as Audlem went in search of quick runs. Capper (50) was caught going for a big hit and Baxter (14) soon followed him back to the pavilion, to make it 152 for 4. Tom Measures continued to pile on the runs and both Ollie Burney and Gareth Pritchard sacrificed their wickets in trying to run quick singles. Shenton declared the innings three overs early with the score at 205 for 7, leaving Measures undefeated on 41.

Audlem's opening bowler Stuart Elkes struck early in the visitors' reply, capturing two quick wickets as Appleton were reduced to 20 for 2. When opener Marcus Pepper was caught off Baxter's bowling with the score at 38, Audlem were on target to win the game easily. However visiting captain Stuart Macgregor added 42 valuable runs and he, together with Andy Peters (28) took the score to 129 for 6, with 12 overs remaining. Appleton's Ryan Swart (25) and James Darbyshire (26) then pummelled the home attack to keep the visitors in sight of victory. However, when Lyndon Woodcock removed both of them, the pendulum swung back Audlem's way. Woodcock and Capper captured the last two wickets to leave Appleton 190 all out with 5 overs remaining. Woodcock finished with 5 for 52, Elkes and Baxter took two wickets each. Leese rounded off a fine day with two stumpings and a catch. Audlem gained 25 points and Appleton 8.

The 2nd XI travelled to second-placed Northwich, who had won all of their previous five games. Captain James Hindle elected to field first after inspecting a suspicious-looking wicket and lush outfield, which would prove to make run scoring a difficult process. Audlem's spin attack did the required job of restraining the youthful Northwich batsmen with evergreen Roy Wild bowling unchanged to finish with 1 for 53 off 24 overs. James Hindle was the chief wicket taker with a fine spell of 4 for 26. Andy Dale took two wickets and John Chadwick the other as Northwich finished on 144 for 8 off their allotted 48 overs.

Audlem decided on a watchful reply after opener Toby Banfield was bowled by a 'shooter'. The intention was to have wickets in hand for the final assault, but with the dismissal of skipper Hindle (14) and Tim Ruscoe(19) a tactical draw seemed the best option and the visitors finally closed on 105 for 6 after their 42 overs with debutant Olly Banfield 19 not out. Audlem gained 6 points and Northwich 11.

Next Saturday the 1st XI travel to bottom club Knutsford, whislt the 2nd XI play hosts to Heaton Mersey Village, who are just one place below them in fifth place. Both games start at 2 pm.

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