Lindow 1st XI welcomed Mobberley to Upcast Lane for their inaugural match in the Cheshire County League. Despite the cold weather, a good crowd was treated to a thrilling game of cricket with the hosts claiming victory with a ball to spare.
Mobberley won the toss and elected to bat on a firm wicket. This decision was being justified by their openers, Robert Spilsbury and Mark Goodstadt, who put on 85 for the first wicket. The introduction of Luke Unsworth and Ben Tyler proved to be the turning point for Lindow, as the medium pacers tied down the Mobberley batsmen and although they only got one wicket between them, the runs slowed considerably. James Panek, making his Lindow debut, was introduced at the end and took 3-38, including the dangerous Abdul Aqeel who got 30 from 14 balls. Mobberley closed on 214-5 after their 50 overs.
Lindow's openers also dominated the bowling, putting on 54 before Richard Robinson was stumped for 29, bringing Jake Martin to the crease. His partnership of 74 with Ryan O'Brien (55) was full of concentration, patience and flashes of brilliance. Their hardwork was, however, starting to look in vain as the hosts slumped from 128-1 to 146-5. Lindow batsman Arpan Desai then showed his class with some beautiful striking of the ball, hitting a quick fire 41 and leaving Lindow needing 3 off the last over with 2 wickets in hand. With no runs scored off the first two balls, the game swung again as Desai was caught behind from a remarkable one handed catch by Goodstadt. With Lindow now needing 3 off the last 3 balls with batsmen 10 (Sam Walker) and 11 (James Panek) at the crease, the home crowd found itself in tense silence. A single from Panek and then a two from Walker sent them into jubilant celebrations, as Lindow had started their season, and life in the County League, with a hard earned win. Credit too for Mobberley who played the game in a fantastic spirit and will no doubt be pushing for the promotion places come the end of the season.
Lindow 2nd XI faced old rivals Ashton-On-Mersey in their first match in the County League as both promoted teams looked to get their seasons off to a flying start.
Put into bat in overcast conditions, the Lindow opening batsmen struggled against a ball that was swinging in the air but Dan Braddock battled gamely to see off the opening bowlers before falling for a gutsy 26. After a slow but steady start the innings was given impetus by No.3 and Vice Captain Ian Park who played some expansive shots in a well constructed 75, and Rob Venables who hit some strong leg side strokes for a quick fire 63, the innings closing on 229 for 8.
Lindow got off to a flying start in the field when Ashton's opening batsman was clean bowled on just the second ball of the innings by Khalid Ahmed. However a flawless innings from home team captain David Patterson, who ended on 93 not out, meant that Ashton-On-Mersey were able to reach their target with seven overs to spare. The highlight for Lindow was undoubtedly the bowling of debutant U13 player Tom Rae whose accuracy stood out and who was rewarded with figures of 1-15 from his five overs.
Match report by Rowan Day.