Alderley Edge CC First XI continue to set the early pace in the Cheshire County Premier League maintaining top spot after claiming victory over newly-promoted Didsbury in a match that lasted less than 48 of the allotted 110 overs at Moss Lane on Saturday.
After winning the toss, skipper Adam Worrall's decision to bowl brought immediate dividends with Didsbury's batting order decimated by Tom Foreman and Australian Hamish Winter-Irving both continuing their good form with the ball from the previous weekend. Didsbury had already suffered the loss of 7 wickets by the time the scoreboard passed 50, wicketkeeper Sam Leech's 17 for the visitors pushed them to a total of 81. Leech's total represented the only double-figure contribution to Didsbury's scorecard from a batsman, the Alderley attack also conceding 17 extras in the innings which lasted just short of 28 overs. Winter-Irving posted a magnificent 7-32 off his 14 overs, Foreman collecting 3-38.
Alderley did not have things all their own way in reply, suffering the early loss of Alan Day and Khalid Sawas to put them on the back foot at 21-2. Worrall, batting at number 4, played a steady captain's innings to steer the home side to victory by 5 wickets finishing on 35 not out from 47 balls, Calum Rowe providing solid support with 26. Hamza Ahmed was the pick of the visitor's attack with 2-15 off his 3 overs.
Alderley's Second XI endured a more difficult day in their fixture at Didsbury. Beginning the game with only 10 men Jon Usher won the toss and elected to bowl, the visitors starting brightly by reducing their hosts to 12-2. Alderley were left to rue several missed chances in the field, a strong partnership of 90 in Didsbury's middle order and a contribution of 40 runs for the final two wickets left Alderley chasing 220. Ben Lambert was the pick of the bowlers with 4-64, Ollie Towle also picking up 3-43.
In the second innings Alderley struggled to build any momentum after being reduced to 40-4 in the early stages of the innings, Didsbury's veteran bowlers keeping runs at a premium for long spells of the reply. Ash Bhamidipati produced a gritty 25 to try and save the game for the visitors and Ollie Towle added to his wicket haul with an eye-catching 52 which ultimately proved in vain with Didsbury running out winners by 90 runs.
On a 'double header' weekend, the 3rd XI progressed to the next stage of the cup with two comfortable victories.
Against a depleted Macclesfield side on Sunday, a Sam Perry century in double quick time was the highlight of a 10 wicket win. On Bank Holiday Monday, Chris Smith's side was boosted by an excellent debut half century by George Holden and a solid unbeaten knock of similar proportion from Jonny Scurrah at near neighbours Lindow, leading Alderley to a 43 run success.
Match report by Andrew Windle.