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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Birch Vale (away)

posted 13 Aug 2014, 05:41 by Mike Madden
There were a few famous faces missing from Birch seconds, but it was still a strong team, and they had no hesitation in batting first on a dry track.

Colin Wild opened from the top end as usual, and was very tight early on. At the other end, Ed Kitchen also restricted the scoring, and he made the breakthrough with a wicket clean bowled. This was quickly followed by an lbw decision, and when Ole Madden took a simple catch to give Ed his third wicket, Birch were 25 for 3. The fielding was nothing short of magnificent, and after 22 overs the home side were just 40 for 3. Ole replaced Colin and kept up the good work with the ball, but Ben Stones struggled and was replaced after just one over. Bruce Glover took over and gave little away, then George Holden struck. It could have been 2 in 2, but Ivan dropped the first chance which seemed to wake him up. He made no mistake next ball as he clutched the ball at midwicket. Rob Hill took a catch behind off Holden and then Colin returned. Ole took a fantastic catch running down the hill, then Colin claimed his second victim clean bowled. There was some late hitting, notably off Oli Prior, but a run out ensured that Birch Vale were restricted to 196 for 8 off 45 overs.

Whaley were reasonable confident, despite losing Harry Bold for 7, but disaster struck with the score on 48. Ben Stones hit one straight back to the bowler who tipped it onto the stumps. Ivan was stranded and unluckily run out for 11. Two balls later a deflection and a kick saw Ben Stones run out for 23, then Rob Hill was given out caught behind for 4. George Holden started confidently, but he hit one too many to backward square and was caught for 9. Bruce was lbw for 1 and Oli for 0, to bring in the captain. He hit his first ball for a single, but at the other end Ole decided not to run and the skipper was run out for 0. Ed Kitchen played on for 0, and Colin was caught for 1, leaving Ole not out on 22 and the score on 89. We lost heavily, but we took pride in the performance and rued our bad luck. After the game we shared a beer and reminisced about old times, particularly the Bissenden Final in which Birch lost but celebrated with the victorious Whaley side in the Sheps. In two years time, if Birch are still in division 3, I confidently expect us to beat them.