Last Ball Drama at Oulton Park

Last Ball Drama at Oulton Park
Sale 220 all out (49.1)
Oulton Park 220-8 (50)
Equal Scores Draw
The top of the table clash between division one leaders Sale and third placed Oulton Park ended with a dramatic tied score in the Vivio Cheshire County Cricket League. Sale needed a run out from the last ball of the game to prevent an Oulton Park victory and keep their promotion hopes on track.
Search sponsored Sale were asked to bat first at the small and picturesque Oulton Park ground.  Openers Ian Dixon and Ryan Rickelton made an assured start, adding 73 for the first wicket.
The loss of Rickelton for 38, Dixon for 36 and Tyrone Lawrence for 1 in short order reduced Sale to 90-4.
Danny Halkon added a patient 19 before falling to a caught and bowled chance to Iroshan De Silva as Sale started to rebuild.  Chris Canning and Rob Greenhough (22) then added 49 for the 6th wicket.
With Sale needing to accelerate to post a competitive total Captain Canning played a typically counter-attacking innings (pictured above by George Franks), adding 60 off just 51 balls to continue his recent fine form.
Canning was dismissed just as Sale secured maximum batting points.  Ali Barrowman continued the hitting, adding a rapid 29 off 13 balls to ensure Sale posted a competitive 220 all out in the final over.  De Silva and Guy Emmett finished with 3 wickets each.
Oulton Park got off to a confident start as Martin East hit a run-a-ball 31 and Danny Leach an assured 47 as the home team reached 110-2.
De Silva was next to go for 39, run out by Lawrence, a mode of dismissal that would go on to cost Oulton Park.
At 182-5 the home side looked well set for a victory, knowing they had to win to close the gap on a promotion place.  Sale showed their sharpness in the field in the closing overs as they affected 3 more run outs as the home side tried the get over the line.
The game reached a thrilling conclusion as Andrew Mills, well set on 28 off 29 balls, was run out by Lawrence going for the winning run.  The final points tally of 14-16 ensured Sale remain 37 points clear of third place.  Meanwhile second placed Timperley completed a straightforward win over bottom of the table Middlewich to reduce Sale’s advantage to 9 points.
Sale Silverbacks secured a place at the Over 40’s finals day at Timperley on Sunday by defeating Bredbury Saints in the play-off.  They face Chester Blazers on the back pitch at noon.
Paul Hanrahan, Mark Rowe and Nigel Davenport all reached 30 retired as Sale posted a competitive 139-2.  In reply Bredbury kept up with the required rate for much of their reply, before late wickets for Sale secured an 11 run victory, Hanrahan was the pick of the bowling with 2-15.
Sale 3rd XI also pulled off a fine victory against league leaders Heaton Mersey to keep their promotion hopes alive.  They reduced Mersey’s lead to 6 points in the quest for the single promotion berth, although the leaders do still have a game in hand.
Heaton Mersey posted a competitive 172-6 in 40 overs, Robbie Squire the pick for Sale with 3-39. 
Sale looked to be cruising to victory as captain James Hall (78) and Dan Osborne (52) added 110 for the second wicket.  A mid order collapse reduced Sale to 160-8, before they reached their target with an over to spare.
The 2nd XI came up 15 runs short chasing 199 to win at home to Warrington.
On Saturday the 1st XI host Davenham and the 2nd XI head to the Wirral to play Upton.  On Sunday the Silverbacks play in the Over 40’s finals day at Timperley.
The full scorecards can be found here.

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