On a fine day, Mersey 1s travelled to Hale Barns CC hoping to make it three wins in a row following wins against Lindow and Poynton.
The day got off to a good start for Mersey as captain Ian Hughes won the toss and put Hale Barns into bat. Hale got off to a fairly non descript start until the 7th over when opening bowler Alex Ford had opening bat Chris Colley LBW with the score 29-1.
Hale Barns continued to score runs on a very quick outfield as new batsman Fernando joined opener Hunter at the crease. The duo put on 69 in the next 18 overs before Fernando was bowled by Hughes in the 25th over. This was followed by another partnership of 60 as Mersey struggled to gain momentum. Hunter in particular impressed hitting 89 from 117 balls including 15 boundaries before Gandy stumped him with Hale Barns in a comfortable position of 158-3 with 8 overs left in the innings.
Hale Barns knew that overs were running out but made fine use of them as new batsman Iqbal helped his team put on another 50 runs contributing 27 runs. By the time the innings was complete,
Iqbal had scored 40 off just 21 balls, giving a strike rate of 190.5. Two run-outs in the last over saw Hale Barns finish on 221-5 leaving Mersey with work to do.
Mersey began their innings without their regular opening batsmen of Ainscough and Edwards. In their place, Hughes chose Ali Akhbar and Rob Lisney. The two batsman proved worthy of their move up the order earning a 50 partnership in 12.4 overs before Akhbar was bowled by Younas Saeed with Lisney hitting 25 over his first 33 balls faced. Cheema joined Lisney at the crease but was out caught ten minutes later with 10 runs.
Next batsman Gandy showed early promise before an LBW decision left Mersey on 88-3 off 21 overs.
Unfortunately, this marked a downturn in Mersey's fortunes as the wickets of Rashid, Saj Ali, Shah and Lisney fell in the next 9 overs to leave Mersey 108 for 7 with 15 overs to go as they looked to be
heading for defeat.
Events took a turn for the better when Alex Ford and Gurdit Singh came to the crease. The pair put on 32 in the next 8 overs with Ford scoring 25 of those before Gurdit was caught behind with Mersey
reaching 140-8 with 7 overs to go.
The arrival of Saqib Ali to join Ford further brought Mersey closer as Ali scored 28 off 14 before Ford was run out in the 43rd over with the score 178-9 as Mersey looked to have avoided defeat.
As captain Hughes joined Ali, the emphasis was making sure Mersey did not lose their last wicket in the next 2 overs. Calm heads prevailed and Mersey earned a hard fought draw finishing on 182-9 and 10 valuable points.
Mersey travel to Malpas this week looking to keep this unbeaten run going.
MOTM - Alex Ford for scoring the teams highest individual score and his own highest score of the season and for
steading the innings when a collapse looked possible.