Sale Battle for Draw

Sale Battle for Draw
Sale 1st XI held on for a draw at home to Macclesfield in division one of the Vivio Cheshire County Cricket League.  The former premiership team were looking favourites for the win before a rear guard action secured the draw points for the home side.
Search sponsored Sale asked Macclesfield to bat first.  The visitors enjoyed the surface at Dane Road, reaching 240-5 declared in 46 overs, Thomas Tudor leading the way with 94.  Jeremy McFarlane was the pick of the bowling for Sale with 2-53, with credit also to you young fast bowler Mal Clarke with an economical 1-31 off his 9 overs.
After losing an early wicket, Greg Gyves and Mat Spells added 55 for the first wicket before Spells was caught for 19. Gyves batted with fluency, before falling for 54 off just 52 balls.
The home side continued to lose wickets at regular intervals, slumping to 148-8.  McFarlane and Rich Adams then added 55 for the 9th wicket to secure maximum batting points and use up vital overs.  When Adams went for 17, Clarke then held on to secure the draw with McFarlane who finished unbeaten on 81 (pictured above by George Franks).
Sale 2nd XI remain in one of the promotion places after continuing their winning run at Cheadle Hulme.  The home side struggled after being asked to bat first, being bowled out for 134 in the 44th over.  Siyan Siraj with 4-23 and Grant Whittaker with 4-34 did the damage.
Sale made short work of the reply, reaching their target in the 36th over, Dan Newton getting the innings off to a flying start with a brisk 32. Siraj (23) and Whittaker (26 not out) then added runs to their earlier wickets as Sale coasted home for the loss of 5 wickets.
Sale 3rd XI lost at Alderley Edge, but remain top of the Sunday premier division. Young opener Viraj Sorathia top scored with 64 as Sale posted 185-9 in their 45 overs.
The home team reached their target for the loss of 5 wickets, with 2 overs to spare, Mike Jones taking a brace.
On Sunday, the 4s were involved in a losing draw against Lindow.  Lindow were invited to  bat first, and Sale produced arguably their best bowling and fielding display of the season, restricting Lindow to 131-7.  A Bull  (55)and Callum Livingstone (27) made key contributions for Lindow.   Howard Briggs opened for Sale with a fine spell of 10-3-10-2, and wickets were also taken by the impressive attack of Joe Wicks, Isaac Brooks, Ian Habershon and Dennis Gornall.  Gabe Smith and Billy Dawson both fielded superbly, keeping the Lindow score to what was believed to be a manageable total.
Sale's reply never settled.  The Lindow bowling attack was accurate making scoring difficult, with the impressive Rowan Day also picking up regular wickets and finishing with 6-22.  9 down with 18 overs remaining, Sale were facing their first defeat of the season.  However, a fine last wicket partnership between unflappable Isaac Brooks 13 not out and a resolute Joe Wicks 20 not out preserved the sides unbeaten status.   A difficult game to assess in the sense that the Lindow score was gettable, but in the end Sale were relieved to salvage the draw, mirroring the fixture away at Lindow early in the season.  Respect and credit is due to Pete Hodge and the Lindow team, who again played with great spirit in another tight finish.
Earlier in the week the Silverbacks, over 40s side, lost at Brooklands by 27 runs.  Skipper Iain Harrop top scored with 30 retired, with Nigel Davenport hit 27 not out in pursuit of the home team’s 134-3.
On Wednesday the Silverbacks host Bowdon Vale.  On Saturday the 1st XI travel to Warrington and the 2nd XI welcome Middlewich to Dane Road. On Sunday the 3rd XI visit Cheadle and the 4th XI host Wilmslow.
Sale Invitation XI 128 all out (18.1 overs) defeated Sale U18 126-7
U13s 139-5 beat Bowdon Vale 72 all out
U13 Eagles 74 all out (19) lost to Alderley Edge 88-7 (20)
U10s 271 beat Whalley Range 236
U9 Badgers 292 beat Lindow Leopards 214
Facing a fifth cancellation in six starts, the U18s fixture on Wednesday was saved by the positive response of club-mates to turn out as an 'Invitation XI'. The scratch team batted first. First teamers, Ryan Burgess (31*) and Jeremy Macfarlane, reached their retirement scores rapidly. U18 skipper Joe Cannon (3-16) dragged his team back into the game with three cheap middle order wickets. Meanwhile, his opposite number, Mat Spells (35*), was shepherding his side towards a respectable total. George Howling (2-12) seemed to have brought the innings to a close with two quick wickets, when Jeremy Macfarlane reappeared to restart his innings. One delivery from Will Radcliffe and a clean take of a steepling catch by Ibraheem Shereef ended the innings.
Sam Battersby (35) and Will Radcliffe (41* retired) built a solid opening partnership in response. Ali Rizvi (14) increased the scoring rate, keeping the u18s in sight of a famous victory. With wickets falling to Zikria Nadeem, Greg Gyves, Linesh Sorathia and Gabe Smith, Captain Cannon was left to score 11 off the final over bowled by Jeremy Macfarlane (2-12) and four off the final ball, which proved just out of reach.
Many thanks to all who played, particularly those who turned out at short-notice, including umpires Siyan Siraj and Paul Batts.
On Friday, the 9 man u13s batted first against Bowdon Vale.  Sale lost early wickets, however Suleman Khan (30 retired), Thomas Burt (25) and Ivan Flitcroft (19 retired) all played some attractive shots, and Sale posted a very respectable 139-5.  In reply, Sale maintained their recent high bowling and fielding standards, restricting Bowdon Vale to 72 all out.  Wickets were taken by Suleman Khan (3) in a give all round performance, Isaac Brooks (3), Moh Rizvi (2), and Zeeshan Khan, who also got a run-out.  A good team performance, highlighting some real development and progress across the season.
Sale Eagles u13’s showed great battling qualities and nearly pulled off an improbable victory at Alderley Edge on Friday night.
Alderley Edge got off to fast start but hostile bowling from Harvey Devenport and Callum Ross removed several of their top order. Tanay Patel continued to show great improvement with the ball and Aiden Bridle deservedly picked up a wicket at the end of a consistent spell of bowling.
In reply, the Eagles were indebted to Jack Brassell who made a quick fire 18, including a huge 6 over mid-wicket before stepping onto his own wicket en route to another boundary. Harvey Devenport maintained the momentum, cutting and pulling with power but he ran out of batting partners and finished on 21 not out. A very encouraging team performance for the Eagles but we ended up 14 runs short of the target.
The Under 10 team hosted Whalley Range on Thursday night. Sale batted first and made steady progress with Brayden Ross (19) hitting three fours in the opening four overs. James Newhill (18) also hit three boundaries in his four overs at the wicket. After 8 overs Sale, starting on 200, had reached 241. A difficult period followed with three run outs during the next pairing but Dan Bradley and Thomas Kennedy added 18 in the fourth pairing. Ben Cleary came out all guns blazing in the final pairing, hitting a new best for Sale of 19, beating a previous best set only last week. This enabled the home side to post a par score of 271.
The visitors made an impressive start, ending the first pairing on 220. From that point on Sale put the brakes on the reply. Zenen Evans conceded just one run in his two overs and James took two for five in his two overs. Highlight of the evening was William Taylor’s first wicket of the season which was celebrated in style by the entire team. Dan and Angus Rawson continued to stem the flow of runs as Whalley Range entered the final pairing on 236. Brayden finished a great all round performance with figures of one for six in his 2 overs. The hosts ended victors by 21 runs.
Sale took a group of four girls to the annual Marple Girls Festival on Sunday 16 July.  The event was an 8-a-side tournament, so we combined with two players from Bramhall (Claudia and Poppy) and two very young All Stars from Marple (Esther and Isabel), to compete as “Storm” at U11s level on the day.  Playing in one of two pools of four teams, we started against Lightning.  Our guest pairings from Bramhall and Marple got us off to a steady start, before Amy Seddon started trying to hit the coach and a poorly parked BMW (which was soon moved).  Having whacked a few 4s and a 6 in a partnership of 34 with Molly Saunders, Elizabeth Mansfield followed suit and with Jessica Parish they added another 33 runs.  Our bowling and fielding saw us comfortably win the first match by 34 runs.  The next two pool matches were much tighter.  We lost the second match against Didsbury by 1 run, leaving the team rueing a couple of missed run opportunities and a dropped catch.  The team was determined to make amends in our final pool match against Greenfield.  Amy and Elizabeth again led the way with some aggressive scoring, ably backed up by their partners Molly and Jess.  One of our guest players, Poppy, took 2 wickets and right at the end Molly made an amazing block on the boundary to prevent a six, which saw us home to a victory by 6 runs.  As three teams had all won two matches, we won the pool on runs scored, and so we went straight to the final against Lindow.
By now our team was depleted to six players (to our opponents ten) so a 10-over match followed where four of our players batted and bowled twice.  Batting first, Claudia and Poppy got us flying with 20 runs from the first two overs.  Elizabeth and Jess added 32 for the next pair, including an incredible sequence of 4646-4 in one over from Jess!  Molly and our remaining All-Star Esther maintained our momentum, before our Bramhall guests batted again for another 18 and Elizabeth and Jess got our score to a whopping 180 going into the last over.  Unfortunately Lindow saved their best bowler for last, as she skittled 3 wickets to peg us back to 166.  In reply, Molly and Esther kept things really tight, allowing only 12 and 4 runs to be scored from their two overs each.  The rest of the team bowled tidily which was enough to ensure that, going into the final over, the scores were level.  Lindow edged into the lead, but were pegged back with the penultimate ball when Molly held her nerve to take a catch.  There was even a run-out chance off the final ball, but Lindow got home to win by only 3 runs.  So, an unlucky result in the final but overall for our girls to play as they did in what was effectively a scratch team was a fantastic achievement.  For the record, no windows were broken and no BMWs or coaches were harmed in all the 4s and 6s (42 in total) smashed by our team.
Lindow had proven to be a thorn in our side so far this season, having beaten the U9 Badgers in our last outing, and our girls also having lost to them in the girls tournament final on Sunday, so we headed to Wilmslow on Tuesday night hoping to change our luck.  Well, I’m not sure what the Badgers had for their tea, but every player put on an outstanding performance.  We elected to bat first, because we had one player running late and we were also a player short.  Hector Bridle and Thomas Brassell opened the batting, and after a quiet first over, the runs started to flow with Thomas hitting 3 boundaries in a partnership of 21.  Our next pair in was Elizabeth and Alex Mansfield, who accelerated our innings with 29 between them, including 4 boundaries from Alex.  Hector then batted again with our captain for the day, James Dyson, and the pair continued our excellent scoring with lots of 1s and 2s and a couple of 4s from Hector.  Rey Bhardwaj and Pranav Sheshagiri finished our innings, both adding boundaries in a final partnership of 24.  Our score of 292 was our second highest of the season, so we knew we were in with a strong chance of winning.
As we took to the field, what followed was the best team bowling performance of the season by some margin.  5 wickets fell in the first three overs, as Rey picked off 3 wickets for only 4 runs in his two overs, before he then had to leave early.  Fielding for the rest of the match with only six players only seemed to spur the Badgers on as the wickets kept tumbling.  Pranav also chipped in with 3 wickets for only 3 runs, Thomas picked up 2 more wickets, and Elizabeth and James got one each.  There were also two run outs – one from James and one from Hector, as we notched up 12 wickets in total, but there could have been more.  Alex would have had a wicket but for a simple dropped catch, and Pranav hit the stumps twice – once when bowling and once for another run out – but failed to shift the bails both times.  Elizabeth and Hector in particular were unlucky not to be better rewarded for persistently accurate bowling, regularly passing the bat and missing the stumps by a whisker.
It was really pleasing to see our team’s substantially superior bowling, which has been a recurring feature of the season, finally being rewarded with a handsome win.  This combined with some excellent run chasing, committed fielding and a good level of encouragement and praise of each other throughout the match was wonderful to watch.  Well done Badgers, let’s finish the season on a high.
The full scorecards can be found here.

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