By Leo North - 1st August 2013 2:52pm
Last Saturday the 2nd XI travelled to Warrington to take on fifth-placed Stretton 2nd XI and an excellent all-round performance saw a third successful run-chase in as many games for the visitors as they won by six wickets.
After winning the toss the home side had no hesitation in batting on a beautiful surface, but their first three wickets fell before the end of 10 overs for just 37 runs, two clean-bowled by Simon Swift (2 for 21) and one lbw to Dave Parry (1 for 31). The Stretton batsmen were then pinned down by Maj Ullah (2 for 29) and Lyndon Woodcock (1 for 21) and nearly one third of all the overs bowled in the innings were maidens.
Three excellent catches and quite startling ground fielding were additional contributory factors to the Stretton slow progress. Amazingly, between the 30th and the 39th overs only two runs were scored and just when the Stretton batsmen thought the worst was over, on came veteran spin-bowler Roy Wild (2 for 17) as fifth bowler! When the excellent Jay Mistry was stumped by Leo North for 46 off the bowling of Woodcock the score was 117 for 7. The rest of the innings petered out to a well below-par 130 for the loss of 8 wickets in 48 overs.
Despite the setback of losing Zar Ahmed to the fourth ball of the innings, by the fifth over the Audlem score stood at 33! Maj Ullah had smitten all his runs and been caught at cover for an explosive 28 before skipper Danny Thorburn faced his third ball! Thorburn and Rob Chadwick then progressed steadily to start with but gradually pushed on with flamboyance and style. Shots all around the wicket were a joy to behold and when Thorburn (34) and Chadwick (43) were dismissed only ten runs were required. Simon Swift (6 not out) and Dave Parry (5 not out) scored these in four balls as Audlem eased past the target in just 26 overs.
Audlem gained 25 points and Stretton 9. As a result Audlem move from sixth to fifth place in Division 4, whilst Stretton slipped to seventh. It is amazing to think that at the beginning of July Audlem were bottom of the division. Four straight wins have moved them up seven places.
On Saturday the Gorse Croft is unavailable due to a family wedding so the 2nd XI face a tough task as they play fourth-place Mellor 1st XI at Scot Hay's ground.
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