A beautiful day, a new score-hut to work in and a cracking game of cricket to watch, what more can a scorer ask for? Well a win would have been nice, but no matter.
The 2021 campaign’s opening fixture was against 2020’s Division 3A winners Old Glossop, in Stalybridge 2nd’s first fixture since 14th September 2019, having not competed last season, and presumably like the majority of clubs across the country haven’t had more than two weeks’ practice to get ready for the match, so it was a pleasant surprise when having lost the toss, Brian Stone’s men were put into bat on a lovely track superbly prepared by Stuart Barnes and Keith Bowers over the winter and last couple of weeks.
Stuart Nock and Alex Wilde opened the batting, with Alex soaking up the pressure and Stu ticking along the runs, with Alex given out LBW for 3, debutant Hur bin Tariq who had been showing promise with the ball in practice joined Stu at the wicket, unfortunately the partnership was not to last long as Hur stood steadfast in his crease as Stu hurtled towards him causing him to have to watch in dismay as he was casually run-out for 42 ending what looked like a comfortable batting session for ‘Nockers’.
With Hur bowled 2 runs before what would have been a debut half-century, by Old Glossop’s captain Darren Acomb (3-41), it left only the tail-enders with a little cameo from Ned Woodman at #8 putting 10 on, adding 24 additional runs to finish the innings on a respectable 158 AO.
After the short interval, Stalybridge took to the field and Madussar Bashir (1-27) and Ajeet Kaintura (3-24) opened the bowling, and despite pegging Old Glossop 44-3, the left-handed opener Jehrome Sagar had a nice 2 hours at the stumps absorbing the bowling pressure and adding runs when available only to be run-out by Hur off his own delivery after his opposite number Rob Barrow who himself had just narrowly avoided a run-out due to a poor fielding throw, never left his crease after knocking it back down the ground to the bowler, putting the visitors on 125-5.
Despite taking three further wickets for just 2 runs, Old Glossop capitalised on a poor fielding display throughout their innings, and with some very costly overs and boundaries where there shouldn’t have been, the 25 extras [ b (14), lb (5), w (3), nb (3)] were all the visitors needed to ensure victory on the second-to-last ball, finishing 159-9.
Although we lost, it was still a great game of cricket to watch, and a good indicator of how we can improve and also how well we did with so little preparation coming into the game, with next Saturday’s fixture away from home when the hosts will be Pott Shrigley.
Final result and scorecard: Old Glossop win by 1 wicket.