On a drizzly day in the Heatons, Mersey played host to Poynton who were also relegated with Mersey last season hoping to build on last weeks great win against Lindow CC.
The toss was lost by Mersey and Poynton elected to bat; a decision which surprised the Poynton scorer who felt that fielding first was the sensible choice for a side after winning the toss.
Mersey chose to open the bowling with Alex Ford and Saqib Ali. In the early exchanges of the match, the bowlers kept the score to a minimum, and in the 7th over, Ford struck with Baxter (LBW) out for 14 with the score 23-1. This was followed shortly after by the dismissal of the other opener, Simon Dunn who was bowled by Saqib in the 12th (37-2) as Mersey quickly gained the upper hand. Poynton continued to score at a slow pace and lost more wickets in quick succession which Ali getting 2 more wickets within 3 overs (54-4) off 20, ably assisted by Ford who finished
the day with respectable figures of 7o, 3m, 1-17.
By the time drinks fell at the 23rd over, Mersey had claimed another wicket with Ainscough taking a catch off the bowling of Saifullah to leave the score 67-5 with Mersey looking to quickly bring an end to Poyntons innings. This did not prove easy as the middle order batsman of Brian Kingham and Chris Williams, dug in scoring a partnership of 35 over the next ten overs.
Play was interrupted in the 30th over when the increasing rain (which had been on and off for most of the match) forced the umpires to stop play.
The delay lasted for 35 minutes which led to Mersey knowing they would lose 6 overs from their innings.
As play resumed, Poynton's run rate picked up slightly before Williams and Kingham were caught behind by keeper Gandy in 8 minutes, giving Ali 5 wickets - a sterling performance. Poynton's captain,Jimmy Williams tried to inspire his team late on scoring 19 off 28 before fellow captain Hughes took
2 wickets to see Poynton finish their 45 overs with 146-9.
At tea, Mersey knew that 147 was a makeable score if they produced a similar display as to last weekend it was the same in the top order with Ainscough and Edwards once again opening the batting.
The two batsman picked up where they left off achieving a partnership of 49 off 13 overs consisting of 11 boundaries before Edwards was caught off the bowling of Heath after an impressive
individual knock of 29 off 35 with a strike rate of 82.9.
Despite this, the scores continued to remain fairly close until around the 20th over when Gandy and Ainscough began to pull Mersey steadily ahead with Gandy hitting 26 off 37 before being found LBW in the 30th over. By then the damage was already done and with that partnership of 42, Mersey had reached 106 with 10 overs left.
It was left to Hassan Rashid, to join Ainscough at the crease to see Mersey over the line and he did so in style, making 24 off 17 - SR (141.2) including 3 sixes as Mersey reached their target with 4 overs left and Ainscough once again making a 50. With the BBQ to follow, it was another great weekend for Mersey.
MOTM - Saqib Ali for bowling 22 overs for 58 runs with 5 wickets - an entire innings. All the more impressive given the current period of fasting undertaken by many of our players during Ramadan.
DOTD - Rob Lisney for dropping a catch early on.
Next week, the 1s travel to Hale Barns.