The Lindow 1st team recorded an important victory against league leaders Barrow at Upcast Lane last weekend.
After winning the toss, Lindow captain Benjamin Tyler inserted the away side and medium pacer Tim Young and swinger Alex Matthews bowled well without much luck initially.
However, Young (2-43) showed good patience and proved how effective dibbly dobbly bowling can be. Young was eventually rewarded when he had De Silva caught behind by coach Liam Castellas. Matthews (3-48) then chewed away at the opposition with wickets starting to fall regularly.
Silver fox Simon Bolton (1-14) got into the action quickly after being introduced trapping Afridi dead in front. Loved up Ryan O'Brien (2-9) continued a good week for him with two important breakthroughs as he and skipper Tyler restricted Barrow at the end of the innings. Barrow concluded on an under-par 142-8 from their allotted overs.
Lindow struggled in response with Castellas (8) getting bounced out being caught at short leg off the bowling of veteran Mal Barrow. Despite Matthew Ramsden's powerful 18, when he was dismissed by Barrow, the game was nicely poised at 52-3.
From here both O'Brien (71 not out) and Jamie Peel (38 not out) played outstandingly well as they took Lindow past the target to hand Barrow their first loss of the season. It was an efficient all-round performance from Lindow which leaves them in third place in the table and very much in the promotion race.
A Lindow 2s team missing six "regular" players went down bravely to title-chasing Heaton Mersey on Saturday.
Put into bat on a wicket that allowed batsmen to play shots but also offered plenty to bowlers who could put the ball consistently in the right place, Lindow got off to a promising start, Rowan Day and impressive youngster Max Espley getting to 40-0 from the first ten overs. Unfortunately the innings then took a turn for the worse when Day fell victim to some skilful bowling with further wickets then falling with a flourish. At 60-7 Lindow were staring down the barrel of an embarrassing defeat, but with 13 year old Henry James in only his second game for the 2s batting stubbornly and with great maturity, alongside Homy Masud (44 not out) who counterattacked with gusto, Lindow dragged themselves to 131-9 at the end of their allotted 50 overs.
The team then showed great spirit, fielding well and adopting a never say die attitude. Skipper Rowan Day brought himself on and bowling a tight line managed to take 4-27 from his 15 overs and exert some pressure on the home team who suddenly looked nervous in their pursuit of a low total.
Alas it wasn't to be for Lindow, Heaton Mersey scoring the winning run with seven wickets down in the 48th over. It was a great effort by Lindow, and the highlight of the innings was Henry James' first wicket for the 2s during a six over spell of controlled line and length bowling.
Sunday witnessed a vital clash at the top of the 3s league as Lindow, in first place, travelled to second in the table Sale.
On a pitch on which scoring runs was never going to be easy Lindow, asked to bat first, struggled at the start with openers Gedrodge and Pete Venables falling cheaply. The first wicket brought Adam Bull to the crease, and after a scratchy start, he soon started to show his class. Playing some gorgeous sweeps and exquisite drives, his 58 was by far the main contributor to Lindow's total of 131-7.
Defending an under-par total, Lindow came out to bowl fired up and determined to impose themselves on the Sale batsmen. Rowan Day bowled straight and full and was rewarded with six wickets for 22 from his 10 overs, and left arm spinner Graham Clinton bowled accurately and with fine variation and his one wicket was far less of a reward than he deserved. Fielding well, epitomised by U15 Joe Day's fine and James Venables' superb diving catches, Sale's hopes of victory were short-lived. However, to their credit, they dug in and refused to buckle, and the last pair batted out nearly 15 overs to secure a draw. However, Lindow's points haul was far greater, and in the context of the race to the Championship, left the match the happier team.
Match report by Angela Yore.