After a rain-affected first half of the season with 3 of our 5 zone matches cancelled, we found ourselves in the group battling for the plate. Our first match was at home against a strong Alderley Edge side.
Alderley Edge won the toss and elected to bat. Ben Haspell opened the bowling and got us off to a great start, taking a wicket in his first over, Joe Glare diving forward to take a very good catch. Undeterred, our opponents progressed to 47 for 1 off 7 overs. Then, in Ben’s 4th over, he took 2 wickets in 2 balls – both bowled. Alderley Edge were now 48 for 3 off 8 overs. Their innings never really recovered and they were dismissed in the 22nd over for 101, Henry Stevinson top-scoring with 33. Ben finished with figures of 4-0-22-3. There were 2 wickets each for Tom Russell (3-0-10-2) and Joe Glare (4-0-17-2) and 1 each for Mark Lever (4-0-23-1), Humzah Wasim (2-0-3-1) and Rahul Sharma (0.4-0-0-1).
We needed 101 to win – an achievable target especially as we gained the 3 overs that Alderley Edge did not use and so had 28 overs to reach our target. Alderley Edge did not have a red match ball available – only a pink one. After much debate, we reluctantly agreed that they could use the pink ball – and immediately regretted it as the ball swung all over the place and made batting very difficult. Nevertheless, Ben and Tom got off to a good start and we were 24 without loss after 5 overs. Then Tom skied one and was caught for 14. Alishan Khan joined Ben and the score moved on to 38 for 1 off 8 overs. Then 2 wickets fell in an over. First Ben was caught for 10 before Pat Chatterton was controversially given out (by me) caught behind off his thigh pad for 0 – 39 for 3 off 9 overs. Alishan and Taylor Entwistle tried to patiently rebuild the innings. We progressed to 67 for 3 off 16 overs; 35 required off 12 overs with 7 wickets in hand - still achievable. The 17th over was a wicket maiden and a wicket fell in each of the 19th, 20th and 21st overs to leave us on 76 for 7 off 21. The wickets stopped but so did the runs and this soon became 83 for 7 off 25 – we needed 21 off 3 overs. We lasted 5 more balls, losing our last 3 wickets for 1 run to finish on 84 all out. Alishan top-scored with 15; Tom (14), Taylor (14) and Ben (10) were the only others to make it into double-figures.
What had seemed so promising in the beginning had ended in disappointment.
Man of the Match: Ben Haspell for bowling figures of 4-0-22-3 and 10 runs with the bat.