The weather had its first impact on the 2017 season as showers reduced games across the county. Whilst the 2ndXI endured a frustrating abandonment at Didsbury, the 1stXI did eventually get on in what proved to be a remarkable game of cricket with Hale Barns that saw them return to winning ways.
Entering the final stages at 104-7 and left with an unlikely equation of 34 runs required from the last 3 overs of their reduced allocation, the Rams managed victory with three balls to spare. Not only that, they did so with Jamie Henderson allowed the luxury of playing out a maiden in the penultimate over as Andrew Clarke, well set having just passed fifty, went nuclear at the other end.
He smashed 38 runs from his final nine deliveries to finish unbeaten on 93* (9×4, 5×6), taking 26 runs from the 28th over to relieve the majority of the pressure. The job was then finished with consecutive sixes in the final over as four of the final five deliveries he faced cleared the ropes in some breathless cricket.
Earlier, Disley had fought well to limit Barns’ scoring, taking the last 7 wickets for just 24 runs to dismiss the visitors for 137 after a brisk assault by Indian overseas Hash Dafedar (54). The evergreen Martin Blackbourn (5-28) was the chief destroyer, leaving Disley 30 overs to chase thanks to additional showers.
Disley’s reply had gotten off to an inauspicious start as the Rams slumped to 1-2 but a stand of 64 between Madusha Wettasinghe and Andrew Clarke was dominated by the former’s unorthodox 38. It kept Disley in the hunt but, after the 3rdXI skipper was removed, the middle and lower order were paralysed by the bowling of veteran Dave Saddington (4-15), setting up a grandstand finish.