Wilmslow CC 57ao beat Poynton CC 47ao
Wilmslow debutant Tim Opie with 6 for 28 secured an unlikely but not unprecedented victory at the Rectory Field on Saturday in this season opener against Poynton.
The weather of late has been miserable and opportunities to prepare pitches so bad, there was talk at some clubs about delaying the season. Not so, at the Rectory, which looked great, the outfield even had a stripe in it, and the palm trees at the leisure centre end, gave it an almost tropical look.
That is of course until, and despite a fantastic effort from the groundsmen, you entered the playing area. It was flat, the bounce was even ( if painfully slow), but it was like playing cricket on playdough and the bowlers loved it.
The visitors won the toss and invited Wilmslow to bat, Danny Williams who will be a top performer in this league returned 5 for 20, only Waqir Malik got to double figures. Significantly, there were 19 extras including no balls and wides. The Squirrels lasted just 18 overs, wickets in April require considerable application, they are nothing like the indoor winter nets batsmen can plunder due to their pace and bounce.
Aussie Tim, attended a couple of those nets, and showed a turn of speed that actually had batsmen jumping around. Having been told at those sessions 'you will have to pitch it up lad' he duly did. On Saturday with the exception of a couple of short ones, he continued, exploiting the seam movement both off the pitch and through the air with great aplomb.
It was a dramatic win, few would have given the Squirrels a chance, having to defend a paltry 57. This is not the first time however, in 2015 Old Parks suffered a similar fete chasing just 55, Wilmslow that year were promoted. Winning is a habit, and wins like this grow team spirit. Jake Woodhouse 9 overs 1 for 14 and 'Jags' Narayanan with 4 overs 2 for 3, provided great support to Opie and with both top batsmen from last year absent, there is certainly more to come from the 2018 Squirrels.
The promoted 2nd XI will need to wait another week to make their debut in Div B, as Poynton's ground was not fit. Next week sees the Squirrels on the Wirral at Maritime. Our best wishes to our friends at Wilmslow Rugby Club and their promotion push, but can you get it over soon, we need our cricketers back!
Match report by Mike Harding.