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James Emmerson13 May - 21:08
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Plenty to enjoy in a DLS-dominated weekend

Lots to get through as the action builds up for all our teams. However we will start back on Wednesday with our Over 40s, divisional champions last season, who went to Hale Barns. Marcus Fisher commented: “As usual, we chose to bat. It was a steady paced, unspectacular batting performance but there were good contributions from Sunil (32) and Mike (32), who both retired. The final total was 113 - slightly under par but, with good bowling and tight fielding, competitive. Rehmani (4-0-8-1) and Santosh (4-0-13-1) delivered exactly what was needed from the opening partnership but their middle order then turned the game as our bowlers struggled a bit. In the 15th over, Mark Helsby took two wickets in two balls and gave Didsbury hope. Six were needed from the last over and Hale Barns found the winning boundary with two balls to spare. It was a good, close game to start the season.”

On Saturday the many passers-by on Wilmslow Rd will have been bemused to see the cricket ground without any play on a glorious afternoon – but that was because of a ruthless performance by the 1s, whose match started at 11.00am and was all over casanova at 1.45pm. We’ll get back to that later.

The 2s were at Georgians and impressively chased down 201 to win by 7 wkts. Ryan said “I lost the toss, they batted on what turned out to be a very good wicket. Oli (Chamberlain) and Jack (Harland) bowled a tight opening spell with Harland nicking off the top 3 batters to some good catches in the cordon. Georgians rallied after drinks and some good lower order runs put them to a useful 200. In response Didsbury’s opening pair played beautifully, putting on 173. Tom Hafil fell for 92 for what would have been a sublime debut 100, Evan falling soon after for 74. Didsbury eventually home by 7 wickets – very pleased.

A desperately tense game at Mere saw the 2As lose by 1 run to Timperley. Rehmani was, as ever, sanguine in defeat. “Yes, it is painful to get so close but lose the game, but lots of positive things for us. Great discipline and accuracy in the bowling in such hot weather is a good sign and shows the strength of our bowling side. Our opening partnership (Jack Airey/Tom Brady) was very handy and we were 55-0 but we need to look at the trouble our middle order got into collapsing. But overall the team spirit and energy was great. Great debut by Rob Goldstone who brought lots of positive energy into the field, great fielder and had to bat in pressure which shows his ability and skill. Proud of the team and hoping to get over the line soon.”

On Sunday the storms that swept across the region late afternoon affected all but one of our sides. Our 3s had to move their game to Marple and were very glad they did, enjoying an uninterrupted match which ended with a 6 wkt win. Having spent much of last Sunday cloistered in darkened quarters, JB emerged to face the world again and was delighted with what he saw. “Excellent team performance, perfect bounce back to last week’s horror show. All the bowlers bowled well, especially the juniors, restricted Marple on a good batting deck. 2 excellent partnerships between Simon Lord and Sean Reilly, then Simon and Sunil Singh saw us comfortably home. We could see the rain and bad weather over Manchester but it missed us!”

Jack had Cheshire duties yesterday but kept well in touch with his 4s at Heaton Mersey. He said “we bowled first on a very friendly pitch for us. Tushar Arora 6-4-8-0 a highlight, deserved a wicket at least. Wickets shared out amongst the other bowlers to bowl them out for 102. We were 78/5 from 28 overs in a rather slow but careful chase when the rain came and washed us out. Win by DLS. (2 games…2 DLS wins!)"

Sadly for the Wanderers over at Flixton DLS decreed that they lost by 50 runs after heavy rain hit their match with Georgians. A frustrated Paul told me “we elected to field on a seamer friendly wicket, and reduced them to 98-6. Tight lines from Shah Zeb, Sam Hartford and Mohsin Ali, had them on the ropes. Unfortunately for us their no.3, on debut, then took over and took the game away from us. His century was well deserved, as our bowlers struggled to contain him. Chasing over 223 was always going to be tough, and so it proved. Tight Georgians bowling met some Wanderers shot selection that left a little to be desired at times. Bright spot was the Wanderers debut of Adi Manesh, who batted with maturity for his 25. As the heavens opened, thunder crashed and frogs rained from the sky at Flixton, we were found short and wanting on 91-7. Shah Zeb was the most threatening seamer and deserved our Wanderer of the week accolade for his overall ‘threat’ and two wicket haul."

Being just a mile away at Urmston (as the crow flies), Simon Taylor’s 5s first game of the season was also washed away, match abandoned with the 5s 77-2 off 12 chasing 153. Simon said “Stand out performance was Mark Helsby with the ball with 2-16 from 7. A good debut from Adam Siddique opening the batting also very encouraging.”

No comments received at the time of this from Chris but his Knights were the more relieved of the two sides as the rain hit Hale Barns CC and washed out play, Knights 43-3 after Stockport 4s had racked up 201-3.

Rosh’s women had a tough start to their title defence as two Leigh batters both made centuries and set Dids a massive 258 to win, Dids finishing on 183-9. Rosh commented on Rosie Ackerley making her first senior half-century (54*), 45 from Rosh herself and 26 from Hannah Marshall being the other notable knocks for Dids.

And so we turn our attention back to the 1s, who had a pretty much perfect weekend. Grappenhall beaten by 9 wkts in barely any time at all on Saturday, and then progression in the National KO on Sunday with a fabulous batting display against Neston, the 1s 54 ahead on DLS when we copped the rain that affected so many others.

Nick’s take on it all was as follows: “Saturday saw Boothy at his best (6-40), a great effort to see us roll Grappenhall for 77. Great improvement in the field really made the difference with super catches from Sam, Sehm and Cookie. Tim got us off to a flier with 12 off the first over and we never looked back in chasing the score in 15 overs, Tim particularly looking in fine form which was a sign of things to come. Sunday we won the toss and hoped to prove Barbs right that it was indeed a good batting wicket! We got off to another solid start, in line with our plan to set a good platform to launch into the second half of the innings. Tim played the perfect anchor role, 99* a superb effort carrying his bat, with contributions throughout. Was nice to get a few personally. With the ball we saw Jonty’s best opening spell to date, at times bowling with real pace and getting a couple of early ones. Nice to be well ahead on DLS when the rains came after last year’s exit! We look forward to travelling to Hem Heath for our next game (May 26), should be a great contest.”

‘Nice to get a few’ indeed! The best way to do justice to Sunday’s magnificent batting is to watch the youtube broadcast. Enjoy the hitting, the running, the energy of it all. I shall round off this lot of news with a statistical reflection on it all:

  • Liam’s 6-40 included a treble-wicket maiden (actual sequence was 6-15 in 39 deliveries). It’s the third year in a row the general has bagged a six wicket haul in early season (2022: 6-31 in game 1 at Toft; 2023: 6-12 in game two, also at Toft; 2024 6-40 in game 3).
  • Tim Hughes made 138* off 151 balls over the two games. His 99* in Sunday’s game was the classic anchor role, 28 off 67 at drinks (20 overs), which included just one boundary (his first 46 runs included 32 singles); he then made 71 off 44 in the second half.
  • The 15 sixes hit make it 35 sixes in two National KO matches this year, along with 37 fours.
  • Nick’s 120 (63 bs, 8x6, 11x4) was made in 15.1 overs, in which time he and Tim added 184 at a rate of 12 an over. Both batters reached their half centuries with a six, and Nick, who went from 50 to 100 in 20 balls, also went to three figures with a six. All told his hundred took just 49 balls, a strike rate of over 200.

Or, put another way, ‘nice to get a few’.

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