Cricket: Alderley pick up crucial league points but suffer cup exit


Alderley Edge First XI lifted themselves off the foot of the Cheshire County Premier League with a winning draw at Grappenhall on Saturday, just failing to claim the final wicket to give them outright victory.

Winning the toss Alderley Captain Sam Perry elected to bat first and led from the front with a superb unbeaten 163 which provided the lion's share of the visitors' total. Alderley were put under early pressure from the home sides' spin-based attack after the departure of opener Pat Ashling with the score on 3. Subhaan Mahmood's 29 helped move Alderley's score forward in partnership with Perry as the pair added 57 for the second wicket. From 60-2 Perry took control of the visitors' scoring with the next 6 batsmen all falling for single figures as Tom Macrury (2-48) and Arav Shetty (2-74) started to impose themselves.

Number 9 Andrew Windle hit a spritely 15 in a 70-run partnership with Perry who reached his century with some savage hitting off the seam bowling of Bramhall and continued to accelerate the scoring rate to help Alderley close on 237-8 off their 55 overs. In total Perry had faced 173 deliveries hitting 17 fours and 4 sixes.

Andrew Windle struck twice early in the second innings with the new ball to reduce the hosts to 18-2 before Grappenhall's overseas player Tom Macrury hit a quickfire 24 to carry their total past the 50-mark. The Kiwi found himself short of his ground as Dan Fesmer enacted a smart run out from the covers followed by a further scalp to Windle (3-37) which left the hosts faltering on 77-4.

Opener Arav Shetty continued to play cautiously and combined in a partnership of 104 with his skipper Ben Bodha before the latter was trapped in front by Fesmer for 40 off 74 balls with the score on 181. Fesmer picked up another two quick wickets (finishing with 3-28) as Grappenhall slumped to 206-7 with a renewed Alderley side sniffing a chance of victory.

Shetty continued to hold firm, eventually reaching his century in the company of number 10 Zak Judge, until the returning George Valentine finally claimed the opener caught behind with 10 balls remaining to give Alderley a chance to take the win. However Grappenhall's final pair survived a number of close calls to see out the remainder of the innings closing 12 short of their total to take 8 points to Alderley's 15.

On Sunday Alderley entertained Cheshire Cup holders Hyde at Moss Lane in what would be their first home fixture of the season in the second round of the cup competition. Winning the toss Perry again elected to bat first but a disastrous start saw Alderley reduced to 10-4 inside the first 5 overs of the match.

Number 3 Subhaan Mahmood hit a patient 74 not out to hold the innings together, initially combining in a partnership of 70 for the fifth wicket with youngster Alfie Usher who showed a cool head under pressure notching a precious 29 from 59 balls on only his second appearance for the First XI. A free-flowing 27 from 39 balls from Australian overseas Saami Welsh helped Alderley pass the 150-mark with Alderley managing to see out their full forty overs (unthinkable a few hours earlier) to register a score of 169-7.

George Valentine landed two early blows in the second innings removing Cheshire players Luke Young and Charlie Barnard to leave the visitors on 7-2 before Welsh claimed his first scalp of the campaign to leave Hyde on 31-3. Oli Kenyon combined with Welsh's catch in the deep accounted for former Alderley skipper Adam Worrall for 12 as Alderley continued to make inroads to Hyde's order but a partnership of 98 for the fifth wicket between number 4 Cole Turner and number 6 Andrew Jackson pushed Hyde's nose in front.

Father/son duo Liam and Dil Yahathugoda combined to dismiss Jackson for 43 with Dil taking a superb running catch on the long off boundary before Valentine returned to have Turner caught behind for a well-made 74 from 106 balls to set up a grandstand finish. But with 5 needed from the last over Hyde's 8 and 9 Rohit Archarya and Zak Kelly saw the visitors home with 1 ball to spare to claim victory.

In Second XI action Grappenhall claimed a seven wicket win over Alderley at Moss Lane on Saturday. Winning the toss and electing to bowl first the Grappenhall attack quickly had the hosts in trouble removing the top six with just 60on the board as Stanley Pennington, Ross Arrowsmith and Fameesh Aziz all claimed two wickets apiece.

Alderley wicketkeeper Simon Pickering hit a defiant 51 not out and with Dan Woolf notching 47 from number 8 the pair lifted Alderley's total out of the doldrums to close on 200 all out off 43 overs. In reply an unbeaten century from Grappenhall 'keeper William Fell extinguished any notion of a Grappenhall slip-up as, with the support of 27 from fellow opener Steve Rooney and 30 from Gaz Burns, the visitors reached their target in the 29th over for the loss of three wickets, Dil Yahathugoda claiming 2-35 off ten overs for Alderley.

Match report by Andrew Windle.


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