Double over Oxton

Double over Oxton
Oxton  182-9 dec (49.0)
Sale 186-4 (37.2)
Sale win by 6 wickets
Sale kept up the pressure on the top 2 teams in division one of the Vivio Cheshire County League, thanks to a 6 wicket win away at Oxton.
In an early start, Oxton won the toss and elected bat in excellent conditions and raced to 50 inside 10 overs due to some wayward bowling from the Sale openers. This prompted the captain Chris Canning to introduce the spin of Ian Dixon and Brooke Guest from the 11th over to restrict the hosts. The change paid off with Guest claiming the wicket of the dangerous Gibson, caught at backward point by Matt Spells with the score on 55. 
Dixon and Guest slowed down the run rate with some excellent bowling  during the middle overs, the Oxton batsmen content with singles. With the score on 98, Dixon bowled Ben Roberts for 21 and Guest struck again in the next over removing Jamie Crawley. This brought overseas star Guyan Fernando to the crease who looked to give the innings a kick start hitting a couple of early boundaries, all rounder Dixon finished with figures of 15 overs 1-33. Tyrone Lawrence was re-introduced for a 2nd spell and claimed the prized wicket of Fernando clean bowling the Sri Lankan around his legs. Opener Marc De Brabander was proving more difficult to dismiss and hit a classy 75 off 131 balls, he was finally dismissed by Lawrence, LBW from around the wicket.  
Some excellent fielding by the visitors led to confusion in the middle with Sale claiming 2 run outs. Richard Adams was brought into the attack and took the final 2 wickets finishing with figures of 2-23. Oxton declared with the score on 182/9 due to only having 10 players present, a broken down car led to Shaaiq Choudhry not playing.  
The Sale reply got off to a bad start losing the in form Guest, clean bowled by Roberts for 5. Tyrone Lawrence then joined Spells in the middle and moved the score onto 56 with Spells the aggressor, playing beautifully through the offside. An unusually slow innings by Lawrence ended when he was caught behind for just 8 off the bowling of James Fraser. Fernando then struck to remove Dan Halkon for 1 to leave Sale struggling at 57-3.
Ian Dixon joined Spells at the wicket and played carefully in the early stages. Spells continued his free flowing innings reaching a well made 50 with a clip of his legs off the bowling of Fraser. However, Oxton brought Calum Andrews into the attack and he struck with his third ball to remove Spells due to an excellent catch by wicket keeper De Brabander.
With Sale still needing 100 to win, skipper Chris Canning was the next batsman in and got off to a fast start hitting his first ball through point (pictured above by George Franks). Targeting the short leg side boundary, Canning looked in excellent touch launching 2 sixes over mid wicket. This prompted Oxton to bring opener Ben Andrews back into the attack looking for the prized scalp of the Sale captain. The extra pace on the ball was to Canning’s liking taking the over for 29 runs.
Inside 10 overs after drinks, Canning had taken the game away from the hosts bringing up a classy 50 with another 6 over square leg. Sale finished the game off in the 38th over with Dixon hitting the winning runs finishing on 26 not out. In a partnership of 103, Canning ended on 73 off just 43 balls.
The 25 point win keeps Sale in 4th place in division 1. However, with the top 2 teams losing, the points gap has shortened and with Sale playing 2nd place Grappenhall in the next game it looks set to be an exciting finish to the season.

And Sale will be able to concentrate on the League after losing their Cheshire Cup Quarter Final match on Sunday against Hyde of the Premier Division. Batting first, a young Sale side made 83 - thanks largely to stalwart Tyrone Lawrence's 43. Hyde chased down the target for the loss of one wicket.
Returning to Saturday, in the reverse fixture, Sale 2nd XI made it a 50 point day for the club beating Oxton by 8 wickets. Winning the toss and electing to bowl, Sale restricted the visitors to 186-5 in their 50 overs. Tight bowling from opener Gareth Watterson put Sale onto the front foot and he was well supported by Abas Rizvi and SiyanSirj. Sirj finished with figures of 10 overs 3-38.  
Captain James Hall fell early in the reply but that brought Siraj to the middle to join Rory Woodward. An excellent century stand finally came to an end when Woodward was caught falling short of what would have been a good fifty.  However, Siraj continued to play some expansive shots and was supported by the incoming Rizvi. The pair knocked the total off inside 36 overs with Siraj finishing 100 not out.

Sale's senior teams were unbeaten in league fixtures over the weekend. On Sunday, the 3rd XI enjoyed the better end of an exciting drawn match at Stockport. Batting first, Sale made 192-8, built around a strong middle-order performance - Abas Rizvi (44), Soans Praveen (55) - and late acceleration from Sully Butt and George Franks.

Stockport looked set to overhaul the total in quick time, reaching 65-0 in ten overs. The introduction of spinners Rizvi and Butt altered the match dramatically. Unable to cope with clever flight and some sharp turn on a dry surface, seven Stockport batsmen succumbed by the 30th over. Their lower order showed more fight, hanging on for a draw at 183-8. Rizvi ended with figures of 5-31.

The 4th XI had a convincing victory at Bredbury - 175 runs the winning margin. Michael Grant made a century; Zikria Nadeem adding a 50.
Earlier in the week Sale Silverbacks were on top in their quarter final tie away at Bollington. With the hosts on 94-5 in the 18th over, the rain intervened and the tie will need to start again this week. 
On Wednesday the Silverbacks travel to Bollington in the quarter final. The 1st XI host Grappenhall and the 2nd XI play the reverse fixture.  The 3rd X1 travel to Toft whilst the 4th team play Heaton Mersey at home.
The full scorecards can be found here.

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