Last day shenanigans ends up with season’s 2nd top score and a 100+ partnership.
With the usual 1st XI scorer otherwise pre-disposed, I was asked to score the 1st’s final fixture of the 2021 season, at Newton, much to the annoyance of my missus, given today was our wedding anniversary.
Captain Adam Smith-Harwick won the toss and chose to have a bat, deciding to rip the usual batting order up, and started with Tilak Bhojani and Jacob Dooley, Tilak survived just two deliveries before being bowled on his 3rd, with just a single run to his name, Jacob faired a little better, seeing Tilak’s replacement Madussar Bashir depart on 12 after hitting two sixes (if I had a pound for every time Muddy hit a six, and was out next ball, I’d probably have about 4 quid by now), and Jamie Brownhill last a couple of overs before Ben Downend picked up his second wicket; before Jacob was c&b by Newton’s Captain Dan Weston.
With the departure of Rob Mallett on 6, Stalybridge found themselves floundering on 35/5, and a couple of Newton spectators feared it a waste of time keep watching and headed to Gorse Hall Road to watch their 2nds play a friendly against a mix of 2nd and 3rd XI Stalybridge players.
The arrival of usual opening pairing of James Brady and Richard Wright however brought some stability to the sinking ship, over the next 40 minutes Brady and Wright over doubled the tally before James was caught for 28 and the visitors on 80/6, coming in at 8 was Jordan Sherwin and it was his coming to the crease that saw a partnership with Wrighty torment the home side for an additional 102 runs, during which Rick celebrated his 50 twice, with some of the home team applauding him while on 47 before being told they were a bit premature; the next couple of overs before he actually reached 50 must have been stressful if he was aware of the error, because his 2nd celebration was definitely a muted affair. 🙂
Wright departed on 71 with Stalybridge now 182/7, a far cry from the 35/5, a couple of hours earlier, leaving Sherwin having just made his half-century on 51 to see out the rest of the innings watching the remaining wickets of Robinson, Jelani and Smith-Harwick fall for combined total of 13, whilst adding another 19 on himself to take him to 70* and extras making up the rest of the final score of 222 AO, bested only by the opening day game at Pott Shrigley of 224/9.
After the 20 minute break, Newton came out full of purpose, and put 23 on the board in short order before 2nd opener Jamie Richardson fell for just 1 run having only faced 5 of the preceding 15 balls, but the man to replace him, who had arrived 75 minutes late to the opening innings Callum Williams was to be the thorn in Stalybridge’s side, along with #5 Josh Cragg between them put 18 fours into the boundary, 9 apiece, and Cragg adding 5 sixes to that number, before being caught by Sherwin of a Brady delivery (who in spirit of mixing it up, was bowling spin) on 81 in just 39 balls, by which point the damage was already done, and the home team were coasting to inevitability on 178/4, Stalybridge were only able to pick up one more wicket in George Baker before, in the 33rd over, Tilak Bhojani saw his only ball bowled sent to the boundary for 4 by Williams to see Newton seal the match 224/5.
It was a good game of cricket to watch, but despite the good score put on by the Stalybridge 1s, the result mirrors all but one of the rest of the year’s played fixtures, so they will lick their wounds and spend the 2022 season vying to return to the top flight of the Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League, the 2nds having finished smack bang in the middle of Division 3 in 8th position will probably be placed in the 3rd again after it is split again in two, but nothing is certain at this time.
Final result and scorecard: Newton win by 5 wickets.
P.S. I made it up to the missus by taking her for a delicious curry after the game at the Club’s main sponsor, Candolim, but didn’t manage to snag a discount by name-dropping :(.