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Woodcock spins 1st XI to opening-day victory

26th April 2010 @ 10:10am – by Andy Capper
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The 1st XI, which narrowly missed out on promotion from Division 2 last season, travelled to Bramhall full of hope. Skipper Chris Shenton lost the toss and Trinity invited Audlem to bat on what appeared to be a green seaming wicket.

After being dropped by the wicketkeeper and caught off a no ball, Shenton made a swashbuckling 38, striking the opening bowler Higginbotham over his head for six on three occasions before holing out on the fourth attempt to G Myatt. The partnership of 66 with fellow opener Andy Capper set a good platform. Richard Wilson and Capper capitalised on this to see off the opening bowlers and take the score to 106 before Capper was dismissed for 25, mistiming a drive and spooning up a catch to extra cover. Wilson was joined at the crease by Tom Measures as the runs continued to flow. Despite struggling to time the ball, Wilson ground out a gritty 51 before being caught.

With the score now on 169 for 3 with 3 overs remaining, the skipper made a tactical change to the batting order and Audlem debutant Kamal Toraman walked out with the single objective of hitting the ball over the rope. Toraman made a full-blooded connection with the ball and it left the bat at considerable speed. Unfortunately it was grasped by the waiting hands of mid off and Toraman's maiden innings for his new club was over after just one delivery!

Paddy Leese entered the fray and he and the irrepressible Measures, with a brilliant display of selfless cricket, pushed hard for runs, putting the Trinity fielders under incredible pressure as the innings drew to a close. Leese was run out for 5, Andy Rothwell faced one ball for no run and Measures finished on 36 not out as the innings closed on 181 for 5.

The opening bowling combination of Stuart Elkes and Oliver Burney was despatched to the boundary with consummate ease by Trinity's opening batsmen, A Fryer and M.Myatt, as the first 8 overs yielded 66 runs to have Audlem reeling.

The skipper made a double change bringing on Toraman and Lyndon Woodcock. Woodcock made an immediate impact, dismissing Fryer for 26, caught at slip by Shenton. However, Myatt continued to hit the ball well having been joined at the crease by Higginbotham. Myatt was finally dismissed for 56 by a searing delivery from Toraman which caught the edge of the bat and was brilliantly caught at slip by Shenton. Trinity's score was now 106 for 2 with an abundance of overs for the remaining batsmen to take the winning points.

However, any thoughts of an easy victory for Trinity evaporated as Toraman, with a brilliant spell of almost unplayable bowling and Woodcock stifled the runs. Woodcock ripped through the middle order like a knife through butter as batsmen after batsmen failed to cope with the spinner's variations. Despite great catches from Stuart Elkes, Andy Rothwell and keeper Tim Ruscoe, Trinity were still favourites to take the spoils with seven overs to go, needing just 11 runs with 3 wickets in hand.

Another wicket by Woodcock reduced the opposition to 171 for 8 as Shenton brought back Burney to replace the exhausted Toraman. Burney's first over yielded just one run, from a wide, before Woodcock dismissed Friel to leave Trinity requiring 10 runs off 5 overs. Burney bowled two more dot balls before knocking over the stumps with a low full toss, as Trinity failed to cope with the pressure and Audlem held their nerve as well as their catches!

In true Audlem style victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat with two fabulous bowling spells from man-of-the-match Woodcock with 7 for 49 and Toraman with 2 for 51. Audlem gained 25 points and Trinity 7.

On Saturday the 1st XI plays host to Offerton at the Gorse Croft. Play starts at 2 pm.


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