Audlem Cricket Club

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Chris Shenton of Audlem Cricket Club

Audlem Sunday X1.v. Burton CC ( Chester ) 12 May

Audlem got their new season off to a winning start against new opponents Burton CC from The Wirral. After two successful seasons playing in the Stone & District League the club decided at the recent AGM to revert back to playing Sunday friendly cricket with the aim of greater involvement from the membership and to try and attract new prospective players from the village and surrounding area.

On winning the toss Audlem's skipper decided to take first knock, not through any tactical plan or knowledge of the opposition's strengths and weaknesses but a number of his key players were still absent as the allotted start time drew near.

A 40 over per innings game was agreed upon with a draw being brought into the equation as neither team had any idea of each other's playing ability. Any player reaching 50 runs would also retire their innings. Audlem's openers, Simon Swift and Andy Burton( 28) got the team off to a solid if unspectacular start on a slow sticky track and added 51 for the first wicket. Andy Burton was the first to fall, followed by two quick dismissals but luckily for the home team new signing from Woore, Nick Hancock (43) was able to craft a match winning partnership with Simon (50 retired not out ).

No other batsman played an innings of note but put together small valuable partnerships to get the final total to a very respectable 172 all out in the final over of the allotted 40.

When Burton came in to bat after the tea interval they found run scoring as difficult as the Audlem batsmen had earlier in the day and were soon behind the rate required, pinned down at one end by some intelligent and varied spin bowling by Usman Ghani who finished with fine match figures of 9 overs 4 maidens 5 runs for 2 wickets. Man of the match Simon Swift capped off an excellent individual performance with 4 wickets for 15 runs off his 7 overs. During the bowling spell Simon claimed his 400th victim for the club which is a great achievement for a young guy. The other 4 wickets were shared equally by club stalwarts Paul Thorburn and Dave Slack who earlier in the day scored his first ever boundary for Audlem.

With only 8 balls of the game remaining Paul Thorburn took the final wicket with the score on 109 and claim victory by 63 runs.

A very enjoyable game with everyone given the opportunity to contribute and a delightful opposition who showed fine sportsmanship throughout.

Next Sunday Audlem play host to Malpas ( 1:30pm ) The game is sponsored by 3 Shires Property Management from Audlem (www.3shires.net)

John Wainwright

Audlem CC