Published on May 5th, 2012 | by admin0
1stXI vs Stretton
At the third time of asking, Disley 1stXI’s season got underway and made up for lost time in the drama stakes by delivering a tie with weather-dodging league leaders Stretton. The sting in the tail of this game was perhaps inevitable after the visitors scored nerveless two and three-run wins in their opening fixtures and, from 91-3, Disley’s early-season rust was exposed in a collapse of seven wickets for twenty-one runs – engineered by Amir who returned a league record 9-29. Such figures conjure images of uprooted stumps or extravagant turn, but he excelled in the simplicity of steady, consistent medium pace to rescue an unlikely result for his side.
After a wretched start to the season, conditions were finally playable but also bitterly cold as Disley’s cricketers applied as many jumpers as possible and took to the field having won the toss. After a sedate opening ten overs, the irrepressible Xan Wood wasted little time reacquainting himself after a year’s sabbatical in the Derbyshire & Cheshire League – claiming three wickets in his first ten deliveries to reduce the visitors to 23-3.
Stretton fought hard to stave off collapse but would be indebted to number seven Adnan Ashraf after they lost wickets either side of the drinks break to Simon Hare. The only visiting batsman to look comfortable against the Disley attack, Ashraf struck the ball cleanly down the ground and guided the tail against the efforts of Hare and a fine debut spell from sixteen year-old Dave Potter. The latter was unfortunate to go wicketless, but Hare chipped away – including the wicket of Ashraf for a vital 40 – as some good ground fielding aided the cause with two run-outs to leave Stretton 112 all-out.
After an injury-ravaged 2011 season it was a relief to see Hare (5-49) open his account with a five wicket haul, and there looks to be plenty of options to spread the load with the ball thanks to the return of Wood (3-19) and the emergence of Potter. Ashraf was the only batsman to come to terms with the five-man attack, his 40 keeping the visitors competitive on an understandably sluggish wicket.
Disley’s reply got off to the best possible start as Toby Carson, promoted to open having had some match practice in University cricket, promptly dispatched the opening delivery to the cover boundary, but by the end of the over he had become Amir’s first victim. After two 7-fors to open the season the Stretton medium pacer soon had Disley wobbling at 32-3 and it was left to Andrew Clarke and Jake Reynolds rebuild the innings.
Finding (and clearing) the boundary with regularity, the pair added 59 with little worry to set up what looked a comfortable victory. As the first delivery after drinks disappeared over the ropes it appeared 20pts would soon arrive, but an attempt to repeat the dose saw Clarke depart for 43 (91-4) and the reintroduction of that man Amir.
By the end of the next over Reynolds and Wood had both gone (92-6), and a potentially match-winning burst from Will Ritchie was ended when he was adjudged leg before. The 1stXI were in shock and went into their shell when only a handful of aggressive strokes would have finished the job. As the runs dried up, Amir trapped both Banner and Burgess but first-innings hero Simon Hare looked to have won the game when his pull stroke cleared the deep fielder. After consultation a boundary four was awarded to tie the scores and, when attempts to scramble the winning runs from Critchley failed, it was somewhat inevitable when Amir then found the edge of Potter’s bat to secure a remarkable tie.
This was a game Disley should have won comfortably, but lack of match practice told in the latter stages against the metronomic accuracy of Amir (9-29). Andrew Clarke (43) and Jake Reynolds (25) provided the day’s only worthwhile partnership, but when they fell in successive overs a game dominated by Disley slipped away.
That said, 18pts as opposed to 20 was decent reward and the primary feeling in the Clubhouse (other than it being great to be indoors again to warm up) was that it was just enjoyable to be back playing cricket. Should the weather hold there is plenty for the side to build on next week as the 1stXI make the short trip to face neightbours Pott Shrigley.