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Saturday 27th April 2013 v Birch Vale (home)

posted 4 May 2013, 03:24 by Mike Madden

Its not normally a good start to a day when one of the first team, who should have been at Hadfield, is rolling the wicket at Horwich Park, and the second XI team talk begins with an introduction to everyone as there are a few “strangers” in the room. As you know, at Whaley Bridge Cricket Club strangers are just friends that you are yet to meet, and with Ben Williams returning after a year’s absence, Mark Johnson returning after 10 year’s absence, and Ivan Heathcote opting for the peace and tranquility of Whaley Bridge instead of the bustling metropolis at Chapel, we were all soon on first name terms. Ivan is our new under 15, and he could have been excused a sense of déjà vu as he took to the field against Birch Vale, as the previous weekend Ivan batted at number 3 for Chapel at Birch Vale, chasing their mammoth total of 362 for 9. So we already had a target in mind when Birch won the toss and elected to bat, as well as a cunning plan as Gibbo was handed the new ball alongside Colin. The plan paid dividends as Gibbo trapped his first victim lbw, whilst Ivan took a catch off Colin and Gibbo claimed another scalp clean bowled. Ben Stones replaced Colin, and after struggling in his first over he tightened up to finish with 0 for 17 off 4. Gibbo, meanwhile, twirled his way to a third victim as the captain clutched a dolly, and his fourth came shortly afterwards with a smart stumping from Harry. The opener was still going strong as Ivan suffered with 1 over for 11, and Ben Williams looked a little rusty but soon gained control in his 4 overs for 14. Gibbo bowled himself into a jug with another lbw victim, then new boy Johnno bowled 3 overs for 12 to pave the way for Colin's return. He finally removed the opener as Harry caught a skyer, then he took his 3rd wicket clean bowled to finish on 3 for 47 off 11. Gibbo, meanwhile, bowled right through, with commendable figures of 5 for 51 off 22. Birch Vale amassed 155 for 8, and we felt a little disappointed that we could have reduced that by at least 30. However, at the start of the day we would definitely have taken it. Whaley went into bat and lost the captain early, bowled for 9. Harry was given out lbw for 16, but Elliott found some form to give us momentum. As is so often the case, a terrible shot saw him bowled for 34, whilst Ben Wiliams was caught for 20. When Ben Stones gave a return catch for 6 the score was 91 for 5, and we were a long way from victory. Ole Madden showed his intentions by clipping his second ball for 4, and he and Mark Johnson took the score past 100. Johnno missed a full toss and was bowled for 17, so Bruce Glover joined his mate Ole in the middle. Ole smashed the ball to all corners, eventually being caught off the last ball of the innings for 28, whilst Bruce gave solid support finishing not out on 5. We fell just 8 runs short, but our youngsters shone brightly and look good for the future.