Stretford 1XI v Whalley Range 1XI
After a long celebratory winter and numerous replays of that Cameron Ball run out. The Division One Champions finally began their new campaign hosting Whalley Range.
Stretford won the toss and elected to bat on a flat wicket. New overseas signing Josh Julius opened the innings with SCC staple Tom Coulson. Both got the season off to a solid start by producing an opening stand of 47. A couple of quick wickets fell, but once AJ and Munir got to the crease the ship was steadied. A commanding partnership was built by adding 105 for the 4th wicket, AJ hitting a superb 84 and Munir 35 to guide the home side to a total of 223.
The second innings got off to an ideal start for the 1st XI. Normal service resumed for skipper Williams as he picked up 2 early wickets and finished with 4-57.
After that Range put on a 120 run partnership for the 3rd wicket; with their overseas hitting 73 and some rusty fielding helping them along the way.
With the assistance of Off spinner Jeff Marshall, Stretford held their nerve. Tighter lines were bowled and a few more wickets fell and the 1st XI closed off victory by a solitary run. Or as former New Zealand keeper Ian Smith would put it, “by the barest of margins.”
Up next for the 1st XI is a trip away to newly relegated Royton.
Stretford 2nd XI at Golborne 2nd XI
Saturday saw a refreshed second team travel westwards to take on last season’s promotion hopefuls Golborne.
After losing the toss the Stretford men took to the field. Things couldn’t have got off to a better start when what can only be described as a loosener from captain Renforth was edged and snaffled by keeper Lomax.
With young gun Taylor looking dangerous from the other end, Golborne found it difficult to score. Page and Grant both took to the stage bowling fast and destructive spells throughout the middle order. Page took his first senior 5 wicket haul backed up by Grant’s 2 victims and with the additional help of Ben Riddell’s wicket, Golborne left the field amassing 137-9 from their 45.
Stretford got to work chasing a competitive total on a wicket which was giving something for everybody. Fortunately Pav Aqueel was up to the challenge scoring a boundary filled 35 to help Stretford get underway. However, when he was dismissed along with the rest of the top 5 Stretford were left 71-5 at drinks. A set Riddell and new to the crease Renforth slowly began to build a partnership, patiently waiting to punish any loose deliveries.
Riddell fell victim when trying to cut away to the off side boundary. Renforth was met by his newly appointed vice captain Wild and showed no hesitation in attacking the remaining runs.
Golborne bowler Corfield being dispatched over square leg for six sent a message of intent to the home side. Both skipper 38* and vice 14* seeing the blue boys home for a 4 wicket victory.
Next week the boys take on Deane and Derby at home and look to build on their impressive start.