Cheshire finish season with an impressive win
|Published: 18th August 2010 13:42|
CHESHIRE finished the MCCA Championship season with an impressive victory over Shropshire at Alderley Edge Cricket Club.
Pictured (above): Cheshire bowler James Hawley and wicketkeeper appeal for an lbw decision against Shropshire Photo - courtesy of Barry Mitchell
By Neil Goulding
Last season's Western Division champions won with over a day to spare as they cruised to a nine-wicket win under glorious sunshine at Moss Lane.
Having forced Shropshire to follow-on having routed then for just 143 in their first innings, Cheshire then dismissed the visitors for 207 in their second innings.
And having score 308-8 themselves in their first innings, that left Cheshire needing just 43 runs to win on the penultimate evening as they made no mistake of wrapping up proceedings without the final day's play needed.
Shropshire may have been crowned this year's MCCA Knockout Trophy champions, but the visitors were missing six players from that winning side as Cheshire dominated from the first day.
All-rounder Richard Logan starred with eight wickets in the match, while off-spinner Nathan Dumelow claimed four wickets.
Resuming on 90-6 - still 68 runs adrift of the follow-on target - Shropshire only managed to add a further 53 runs as they were forced to bat for a second time.
Logan led the way with a fine 5-51 return from 20 accurate overs, while Dumelow impressed with an important 4-35 return from 14 overs.
There was also a wicket for Cheshire debutant, the Alderley Edge all-rounder given the chance to play on his home patch with Nantwich bowler James Warrington missing.
Only Tim Murtagh (42) and opener John Whitney (33) offered any resistance as Cheshire's bowlers tore through the Shropshire batting line-up.
Left-hander Anthony Parker (40) and Ben Price (49 not out) were both in the runs in the visitors' second innings, but Logan weighed in with a 3-51 return from 19.4 overs and promising young spinner Jonny Fawcett also claimed three wickets. Wilkinson finished with 2-32 from 11 overs to cap a decent debut.
And so, having been bowled out for 207 in 66.4 overs, Shropshire left Cheshire just 43 for victory - and the hosts got them in only 6.4 overs.
Despite the loss of opener Wilkinson with the first ball of their second innings, Cheshire romped to victory as Ben Spendlove crashed an unbeaten from just 17 balls. There were seven boundaries for the former Derbyshire batsman, while opener Jonny Kettle finished 10 not out in an unbeaten second wicket stand of 43 in 39 balls.
"It's great to have finished the season with such a convincing victory," reflected a jubilant Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.
"We played really well from the opening morning and then backed up a decent batting performance with a really excellent performance with the ball.
"Richard Logan bowled superbly and we backed up well by the other boys like Nathan, Jonny and Richard.
"It's just a shame that we've not managed to defend our title, but you can't afford to lose more than one match in this division because the standard is so high.
"But overall we've had a decent season and there's plenty of grounds for optimism for next season.
"We've used a lot of young players this season and I'm sure they will be better next season. That's the test for us now."
Cheshire 1st innings: 308-8, 90 overs (Hall 66 not out, Dixon 62, Spendlove 40, Duffy 35, Green 3-46)
Shropshire 1st innings: 143 all out, 51.1 overs (Murtagh 42, Whitney 33, Logan 5-51, Dumelow 4-35)
Shropshire 2nd innings (forced to follow-on): 207 all out, 66.4 overs (Price 49 not out, Parker 40, Foster 28, Logan 3-51, Fawcett 3-60, Wilkinson 2-32)
Cheshire 2nd innings: 44-1, 6.4 overs (Spendlove 34 not out)
Result: Cheshire won by nine wickets
Points: Cheshire 23pts, Shropshire 3pts
Andy Hall (Bramhall) - captain
Johnny Kettle (Oulton Park) - wicketkeeper
Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park)
James Duffy (Hyde)
Lee Dixon (Oxton)
Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park)
Dan Berry (Hyde)
Richard Logan (Chichester)
Johnny Fawcett (Didsbury)
James Hawley (Hyde)
Richard Wilkinson (Alderley Edge)
Scorer: Jim Law