Cricket: Alderley fail to land knockout blow to Widnes


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Alderley Edge first XI came within one wicket of victory on Saturday but couldn't take the final wicket needed for victory as Widnes' tailenders saw out the final nine balls they needed to survive to register a draw. Stand-in captain Charlie Reid won the toss and elected to bat first at Moss Lane against their opponents, newly promoted from Division One in the Cheshire County League.

After losing opener Alan Day with the score on 33, Calum Rowe and Ed Foster combined in a second wicket stand of 121, easily Alderley's best of the current campaign. Foster was dismissed one short of his half century hitting a composed 49 from 92 balls.

Following Foster's dismissal Rowe continued to provide the impetus for the hosts' innings falling agonisingly short of a deserved century, well caught at short cover by Muhammad Bashir for 98. Ed Fluck and Stephen Parry combined for a partnership of 37 at almost a run a ball to leave Alderley well positioned on 233-4 after their 55 overs, Fluck finishing unbeaten on 25, Sean Moore taking 2-41 for the visitors.

Jake Hill struck twice early in the second innings for Alderley removing both openers with the score on 25 in collecting 2-22. Matt Burns and Muhammad Bashir batted patiently to add 94 for Widnes' third wicket but with spin coming from both ends in the form of Reid and Lancashire man Parry the home side restricted scoring opportunities and kept in control of the scoring rate.

When Burns and Bashir were dismissed within an over of one another Alderley seized the chance to attack and under increasing pressure the visitors collapsed from 119-3 to 122-7. Widnes number 8 Alex Hewitt survived several close shouts in compiling 23 not out from 47 balls to see Widnes to a draw, surviving with Number 11 Matt Parkinson to collect 4 points to Alderley's 15. Parry was outstanding for the home side with 2-19 from 17 overs, Reid taking 2-44 and Fluck 2-6 from a useful late innings spell.

With a combination of injuries, school cricket selections and illness a decimated Second team was forced to concede their fixture away to Didsbury and will be hoping for a much improved situation in availability next weekend.

On the preceding Thursday evening Alderley's First Team got their Twenty20 campaign underway in the group stages away to Mobberley who won the toss and elected to bat first.

Alderley got to work quickly with the ball sweeping the host's top three aside with just 7 runs on the board. A brief fightback led by Mohammed Ali (17 from 18 balls) took the home side to 33-4 from where they quickly collapsed to 55-8 and a defendable score was looking out of reach.

However a final partnership of 57 between number 5 Matt Rose, top scoring with 42 from 44 balls, and captain Hank Schlaghecke's 17 carried Mobberley to 112-8 from their 20 overs. 2-10 from Alan Day, 2-24 for Charlie Reid and 2-27 from Jonny Scurrah did the damage for Alderley with the ball.

In reply Alderley's top order went straight on the offensive, racing to 57-2 and then 94-4 with Calum Rowe hitting 22 and George Bell striking 25 from 19 balls to put the visitors in command. With 12 runs required from 3.5 overs the match took a bizarre twist where low sunlight directly behind the bowler's arm which had been gradually worsening through the second innings became impossible to face.

With no further play possible the umpires' decision was to award the match to Alderley on run rate giving a victory by 3 wickets and 2 points to open their account in the Twenty20 competition.

Match report by Andrew Windle.

Alderley Edge Cricket Club, Cricket