Alderley Edge First XI's recent good form in the Cheshire County Premier League was brought to a shuddering halt by table toppers Nantwich on a sweltering afternoon at Whitehouse Lane on Saturday.
After being asked to bat first Alderley suffered an early blow when Nantwich seamer Jimmy Warrington removed Sam Perry, one of his three wickets for the afternoon, with just 2 runs on the board. Ed Foster (22) and number 3 George Bell (24) formed the most productive partnership of the afternoon for the visitors taking Alderley to 38 before Warrington accounted for Foster. A flurry of middle order wickets then saw Alderley slump to 81-6 as Nantwich seized control of the game, chiefly through a devastating spell from Mitchell Spencer who collected 5-13, including a hat-trick, to finish Alderley's innings on 86 from just 29 overs. Nantwich made no mistake in reply reaching their target in the 18th over of the second innings for the loss of just opener Chris Simpson for 40 with Aneesh Kapil finishing unbeaten on 39, Andrew Windle taking the solitary wicket to fall.
Alderley's Second XI fared better in the reverse fixture at Moss Lane, claiming a vital 25 points through a 4 wicket win over Nantwich's second string. Choosing to bowl first Alderley's attack took regular wickets to stem the flow of runs from the visitor's order with openers Ashray Bhamidipati and Josh Chalk doing the bulk of the damage with 4-68 and 3-44 respectively. James Westhead's 31 from the middle order in partnership with 41 from number 7 Sam Cork pushed Nantwich over the 150 mark but Alderley's bowlers stuck to the task with Archie Vaughan's 2-26 wrapping things up in the 46th over with Nantwich bowled out for 173. Alderley's reply started precariously with two quick wickets keeping them to 14-2 in response but 29 from number 3 Dil Yahathugoda steadied the ship before runs from Archie Vaughan (45) and Andrew Kennedy, with 55 not out, saw Alderley home in the 52nd over.
On another hot day on Sunday Alderley's Third XI claimed a prize scalp defeating current champions Didsbury at their Wilmslow Road ground. After winning the toss and deciding to bat, the hosts came under sustained pressure from Alderley's attack, a spirited 44 not out from skipper Rab Nawaz batting at number 10 rescuing Didsbury from 92-8 to a more respectable 157 all out. Josh Chalk led the way with the ball for the visitors claiming 4-28 with good support from Ben Chapman (2-39) and Charlie Boddy (2-12). Three early wickets for Matthew Plested in the second innings put Alderley on the back foot at the start of their reply but 55 from Henry Stevinson and 49 from Ashray Bhamidipati broke the back of the Didsbury total with 27 not out from Archie Vaughan sealing a great five wicket win for the visitors in the 34th over.
Match report by Andrew Windle.