Stalybridge bowling attack demolish youth heavy Buxworth.
Sorry for the delay in getting this written, I can honestly say I fully expect further weekly missives to be just as equally slow in their arrival, as I’ve just realised how much work Hazel Grove’s Ian Halford put in behind the scenes collating the results online each week, across not only the (then) six adult divisions, but the numerous junior leagues also, after taking on the role of looking after just the senior divisions and cup results, at 1:30 on Sunday morning, I was still trawling through match reports, which coupled with the problems with the PlayCricket scorer app login system during match day, highlighted to me the amount he did for the league.
With that out of the way, on with the game at hand; Stalybridge started the day top of the league with a massive one point lead over the rest of the division due to managing to scrape two wickets before being rained of last week, when everyone else had been called off beforehand.
After losing the toss, and being put in the field, Ned Woodman was quick to put a dent in the Buxworth attack, taking three wickets with just 38 runs on the board, the last breaking a blossoming partnership between Ian Walker and youngster Ross McCormack, who impressed me with his deft flick of the bat to get a lot of power for seemingly little effort, and whilst newly joined Tilak Bhojani huffed and puffed at the other end, he was unable to make his bowling impact the opposition, which brought another new face to the Stalybridge bowling attack, Saad Jelani, who set his stall out immediately, dismissing Ross with his opening ball, and his replacement Sam Cooper 5 balls later to finish his first over in a Stalybridge shirt, with a 2 wicket maiden, not a bad start.
With five wickets down and only 44 on the score board, Ahmed Hyatt replaced Ned bowling from the base of the slope, and managed to take the next wicket with an acrobatic slip catch from captain Brian Stone to the amazement of all, not due to the nature of the catch, but how he managed not to break his hip in the process with his advancing years. 😉 With Saad taking his third and final wicket of the home side’s wicket-keeper Nick Adams LBW, which to my eye looked like he edged it (but who am I to complain?), Buxworth were well and truly on the ropes at 56-7; when Ned returned to earn his 5fer first almost taking the middle stump out of the ground to dismiss Dylan Moore, then secondly forcing longstanding SSPCC stalwart Stuart Barnes into a great instinctive catch at midwicket, to dismiss Buxworth captain Richard Millward, and it was only a few balls later that Tilak Bhojani got his just rewards for his earlier hard work, bowling Daniel Lacey to see the hosts finish their innings on just 80 runs, 23 of which were extras.
Stalybridge commenced their innings after tea with Alex Wilde and my son Jordan, who after a couple of decent boundaries, missed a straight defensive shot to be replaced by keeper Mike Hatton, who after smacking his first ball to the boundary, hit his second into the welcoming hands of Tom Moss at long on; denying Stalybridge the maximum possible 20 points (more on that in a moment).
It was the arrival of Stephen Monks (31*) at number 4 with Stalybridge 28-2, coupled with the steady hands of opener Alex Wilde (29*) who carried the bat at the other end, that saw the pair notch up a excellent 56 partnership to complete the rout in just 17.3 of the 62 overs available.
Well done lads, it meant we ended the day where we started, albeit joint leaders with Hadfield St. Andrew’s, who despite batting second, like Stalybridge and bowling out their opposition with the same two losses of wickets as Stalybridge earned an additional point for the maximum 20, for allowing their opposition to reach 100 before bowling them out, which in my eyes seemingly punishes a team for playing better… Not that I’m bitter.
Hey ho! Anyway, next week, see’s Brian’s squad play host to … Hadfield St. Andrews; weather permitting of course.
Final result and scorecard here: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 8 wickets.