Ashley Sunday 4th XI vs Cheadle Hulme Sunday 4th XI (Home) – 09/05/2016
Ashley 4s started their season under beautiful sunshine, at home to Cheadle Hulme. In the absence of Steven Foster it was down to Vice Skipper Cheetham to lead the team out. In his first duty as captain, the toss was lost and Ashley were put in to bat. Leading from the front, Cheetham opened the batting alongside Harvinder Singh, but fell to the third ball of the innings, bowled for 0 by opener Lindsay. Alex Jukes came to the crease to bat alongside Harv who looked to be in fine form, piling into the Cheadle Hulme openers and scoring a quickfire 36 in true Harv style, dealing only in boundaries, and scoring 14 from 3 balls including a 6 that had everybody in the pavilion scrambling. Alongside Jukes who fell for 2, Ashley rebuilt to 51/3. Oliver Bellingham came to the crease at number 4 in his Ashley Senior debut, and formed a perfect platform on which to kick on, and with Daz Griffiths moved Ashley to 66/4. This brought the returning Phil Leaff to the crease, who in true style blocked absolutely everything. Runs started to dry up in the middle overs as pressure from the Cheadle Hulme bowlers was fended off by the Ashley duo, both capitalising on the bad ball until the 30 over mark when Captain Cheetham told the two batsmen to put their foot down. Phil fell, bowled by Bath for a well batted 26, his highest score for the 4s to date, with the score at 145/6. This brought in Niall Flynn, playing his first game for a few years and he looked to attack the bowlers, pushing for quick singles and scoring a marvellous boundary back of square. Flynn 8*, Bellingham top scoring on 59*, after 40 overs, leaving Ashley on 166/5.
With an inspiring Cheetham team talk behind them, and lots of support for each other in the field, Ashley opened the bowling against two very tactically gifted Cheadle Hulme openers, Robert Broaders and Charlie Hatchell with the new ball. After putting on some quick runs including a huge six O Ali fell to Chaz Hatch, trapped LBW, this being Hatch Jrs first wicket for the 4s. Inspired by his team mates words in the field Chaz took the wickets of S Akhtar bowled for 11, and then removed P Hutchinson for a duck. As Broaders started to tire in the sweltering sun, Reeves was brought into the attack and rewarded his captain with a perfect display of swing bowling on a green wicket, removing N Triner for 4 with a ball that pitched on leg and took the bail from off stump. Eadie came into the attack at the opposing end and went for 4 runs from the first 3 overs. With runs hard to come by the CH batsmen tried to push resulting in M Kidd being run out after superb work at square leg by Flynn. With Lindsay stumped for 0 off Reeves bowling, Cheetham brought himself into the attack and was rewarded. Reeves got on his bike after a lofted shot over the bowlers head and snaffled in Cheethams first over, Ali falling for 19. Cheetham then removed tricky opener A Beckley, caught by Bellingham for 18. Bath fell for 0 after more good work from Harv behind the stumps and with Eadie chipping in with a wicket the ball was thrown to Chaz Hatch to try and round things up with 6 overs left. He needed 3 balls of the second over to remove the last man H Read for 4. Cheadle Hulme bowled out for 115.
Final figures: C. Hatch 8.3-2-18-4, Cheetham 5-1-11-3, Reeves 7-0-23-2, Eadie 6-3-20-1, Broaders 7-1-27-0
25 big ones to open. Great teamwork all round.