St Chads 1st XI v Saltaire 1st XI
By Alasdair Fearns
Chad's lose out in close match
St Chad's welcomed Saltaire CC, inviting them to bowl on what appeared to be an abosolute road of a batting pitch. However, the Saltaire opening bowlers took advantage of good swing bowling conditions (with assistance from a Dukes cricket ball?) to claim three early St Chad's wickets.
The Chad's run rate slowed massively as Howard Johnson and Ben Lapworth took pleasure in testing their opponents' (and spectators) patience with lots of defensive play, and the odd near miss. However after stabilising the innings (and seeing off the opening bowlers), Howard and Ben moved the score from 30-3 to a more healthy 120. Howard and Ben eventually both departed (scores of 50 and 46) with around 15 overs remaining, leaving the middle and lower order to finish off the Chad innings. Quick fire knocks from Will Lander and Atiq Kahn (scores of 24 and 26) got the Chad up to a respectable first innings score of 233-9, ensuring maximum batting points.
An excellent tea was then enjoyed by all. In particular, the curried potatoes which had been initially been treated with suspicion, were a great success.
Saltaire's opening batsmen got off to a very positive start, forcing St Chad's captain Alasdair Fearns to turn to his spin options early in the game. This had the desired effect of stemming the runs and creating pressure on the batting team, who lost some key wickets, falling to around 120-5 at drinks. However, with the spinner Atiq (2-45 from 15) and Mitch (3-74 from 11) running out of overs, the Saltaire number 5 and 7 batsmen bided their time well, looking to play the seam bowlers on what had become very batsman friendly conditions. With an excellent stand and some big hits, Saltaire scored the required runs with 10 overs to spare.
Bizzle's Bonus Awards
Man of the match: Saltaire's Adeel Ashraf (15 decent overs and 82* batting at 7)
Chad "thanks for coming" award: Captain Alasdair Fearns, mainly for his 5 balls which went for 18 to finish the game in quick time!