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Smith Solves England Opener Crisis

The country’s Cricket’s Chief Selector, baseball loving hooray Henry, Edward Smith, has pitched the ultimate curve ball following the retirement of nabuchadnezzar run getter Alistair Cook by announcing that he is set to scrap using opening batsman.

Since the retirement of Strauss, England have discarded opening batsmen like used toilet paper, each player ending up soiled and flushed back down into the country cistern. Ironically, used toilet paper amongst the runs more than one of Strauss’s replacements.

A cursory look down the county statistics to find out who may be the next uber driver off the app tells a sorry tale. Once billed as the new Michael Atherton, Haseeb Hameed averages only 5 more runs than walking wicket Fidel Edwards at 9 runs per innings this season.

Smith has acknowledged that some players may have had a raw deal. Nick Compton enjoyed some sucess but was deemed “too slow”. Modern cricket fans don’t want to drive a Volvo if there is a cheap lease deal available on something more sporty like a champagne coloured Vauxhall Omega.

Smith has taken the bold step of allowing England’s number 3 and 4 to start off the innnings with England opting to bolster the lower order with a new number 12 and 13.
The line up will get its debut outing in a trial 100 ball match, the new ECB concept deisgned to move the game on to the next generation. The date of the game will be decided when ECB Chair Colin Graves has copied the rules off the back of his fag packet.

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Stretford Upset Applecart as Jaffer Squeezed Again

Stretford continued their fine form in recording a powerful 122 run victory away against fiscally stimulated Walshaw on Saturday.

From the moment Corey Fagen helped Ali’s first ball out the ground there was a sense of excitement that iCare sposnored Stretford could take advantage of a short boundary, solid wicket, rapid field, previously beaten opposition, heightened belief, underdog spirit and a lost ball; truly a perfect a storm.

Stretford piled on runs as quickly as a a retired footballer gains pounds. Corey Fagan again weighed in with a 119 from only 60 balls. Walshaw simply had no answer to Fagan’s relentless stroke play, hitting nine fours and nice sixes and instantly damaging Walshaw’s confidence

Despite Fagan’s fireworks it was fellow Australian country boy Dillen Watson who controlled the remainder of the innings falling five short of his own richly deserved century.

Close friends Fagan and Watson have proven a big hit for Stretford and it was fitting that they were batting together when Fagan passed 100 for the first time, building a 110 run partnership in the process.

Adding to his half century against high flying Greenfield, Matt Armstrong chipped in with 47 during another 100 run partnership with Watson and provided a welcome return to form for the promising U19 captain.

Even the presence of ex-India Test match batsman Wasim Jaffer in the Walshaw ranks could not prevent Stretford amassing 316/7 who stood motionless at mid wicket as cricket balls whizzed by.

It was a day to forget for the Walshaw bowlers. Australian Weal took three wickets for a hefty 83 runs and Ali was swatted for 98 off 15 overs. Only Leg Spinner Khan, who did not play in the previous cup game, returned an economy rate below 5 runs per over finishing with 2 for 65 off 15 overs.

Walshaw showed a a distinct lack of intent in their reply however Stretford’s bowlers, especially skipper Benjy Evans, were able to extract more life out of a docile pitch than that of the opposition.

Walshaw slumped to 30 for 3 with Evans outstanding. Bhojani gloved a rising delivery from Evans behind for a sedate 11, Grant found the leading edge of the dangerous McClung who was caught at mid off for 12 and Khan steered a catch to Sarfraz at gully off Evans.

Walshaw were now in a massive hole and Jaffer showed his world class talent in dominating in a 70 run partnership between himself and Greer who fell for 13. Wickets tumbled but Jaffer seemed impregnable. He serenely passed his century but Stretford chipped away at the other batsmen cleverly attempting to starve him of strike. Indeed Stretford limited Jaffer to 77 balls but still had the time to stroke 13 fours and five sixes before holing out to deep mid wicket for an average bolstering yet impressive 111 off Grant.

Benjy Evans was the chief destroyer for Stretford who picked up 4-40 and Alex Grant’s purple patch continues taking 3 for 49. The pair have formed a formidable opening partnership and have now taken 25 wickets between them against some quality oppositions.

More hard work is required to move up the league table however the brand of exciting and spirited cricket being played by such a young side is heartening

Stretford’s 2ndXI lost at home to Dukinfield by 51 runs however Matt Laker turned in a brilliant all round performance taking 6 for 47 with the ball and scoring 79 runs with the bat.

Next week the first team travel to Heyside and the second team host Unsworth.

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Grant & Fagan Star as SCC ease past Brooksbottom

20180526_184402Stretford’s 1st XI made short work of beating Brooksbottom by 7 wickets on Saturday and secured a third win in five games in the process.

It was another magical day for Alex Grant & Corey Fagan, both producing match winning performances against a side boasting two of the league leading run scorers.

Skipper, Benjy Evans removed the dangerous Quereshi without scoring and strangled Brooksbottom’s run rate with figures of 1 for 12 off 8 overs. Brooksbottom slipped to 42-4 when Grant had overseas player Bonavia caught behind and then trapped run machine Gower LBW. Despite a battling 38 from Hopton, Brooksbottom continued to lose wickets without showing any determination to bat their allotted overs. The gregarious Grant claimed 5 wickets for 26 and Corey Fagan chipped in with a further three wickets. Brooksbottom were rolled out for 89 with 18 overs remaining.

Stretford gained a bonus point by chasing down Brooksbottom’s meagre total with the loss of only 3 wickets. Corey Fagan punished the hosts dismal fielding by blasting four sixes and seven fours. His 66 not out was far from being blemish free but was essential in securing the victory while the merry-go-round of batsmen at the top of the order continues to spin around him. Stretford reached 90 for 3 from only 16 overs.

Stretford travel to mid-table Walshaw next weekend with increased confidence while the second team host Dukinfield.

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Grant & Fagan ensures lovely day for Stretford as Stayley wither in the sunshine

Stretford added a league win to their impressive victory over Walshaw in the cup when they recorded a confidence boosting 4 wicket victory over Stayley on a glorious Saturday.

After winning the toss, Stayley, enjoyed some good fortune in reaching 29 before Bird edged behind for the first of Alex Grant’s five wickets. Peter Skuse fell just prior to the first drinks break for a kitchen sink style for 47 when he was stumped off the bowling off Fagan with the score on 62.

In the face of some gargantuan hitting from Ahmed (58) Stretford’s lines and lengths became more disciplined and proved too much for Stayley. Ahmed was brilliant run out by Tom Coulson who threw down the stumps at the none-strikers end which provided a vital turning point. Along with a wonderful catch by Matt Armstrong, tumbling one handed down leg side behind the stumps off Grant.

On a small ground with a rapid field, Grant finished with figures 5-55, his second first team five wicket haul. The popular Grant has endured a lengthy spell on the side lines through injury and was impressive particularly in the second half of his spell, beating the bat on numerous occasions.

Although being hit for 5 sixes, Corey Fagan returned figures of 2-44 and miserly skipper Benjy Evans 1-32 off 12 overs.

Important contributions from Dillen Watson (28*) and Ben Riddell (16) guided Stretford home with 16 overs remaining but a blistering 76 from 59 balls from Corey Fagan damaged a shell-shocked Stayley early in the 2nd innings after Stretford slipped to 30 for 2. His 70 run partnership with O’Malley proved pivotal in securing victory.

Perhaps the most important moment in the match was a dropped catch by M Rehamn who spilled Fagan on 30 at mid-off. These momentary lapses from such an undoubted talent will frustrate the Stretford faithful who will be wanting more from Fagan who had a brilliant hundred in the palm of his hand.

Next week Stretford will be looking to continue their good form against Royton at home to make it 3 wins in 4 games

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Weems Wipes Out Walshaw

Stretford’s 1st XI bounced back in style following a difficult start to the league campaign with a thrilling 9 run victory against an affluent Walshaw side, featuring ex-India Test Batsman Wasim Jaffer, in the Per Fit Windows Cup on Sunday.
Batting first, an understrength, Stretford again failed to bat all their allotted overs however amassed an impressive 205. Corey Fagan hit 71 and there were also useful contributions from Tom Coulson (24) Dillen Watson (21) and debutant Ebrahima Shaikh (20)

In reply Walshaw slumped to 65-5 thanks with Benjy Evans, Kamran Hussain and Corey Fagan in the wickets. An 80 run partnership was broken by Joe Weems who uprooted Wasim Jaffer’s off stump for 86. Weems continued his aggression and captured his first five wicket haul for the 1st XI, finishing with figures of 9 overs 5 for 52.

Walshaw were bowled out for 196 on a glorious day for Stretford who will hope to have more players available in the coming weeks in an effort to improve their league form.

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Pre-season

pexels-photo-636246.jpegPre-season Friendlies Announced

We can confirm that three pre-season warm-up games have been arranged in preparation for the upcoming season.

It certainly feels like the season is getting much closer. A few weeks at the Winter Nets (at LCCC Indoor Centre, Thursday 8pm) and a trio of quality friendlies will certainly allow everyone to shake of the winter malaise and be ready to kick off the season in style.

All games are at home starting at 12.30pm. The fixtures are as follows:

Sunday 8th April v ICA (International Cricket Academy)

Saturday 14th April v Workington

Sunday 15th April v Whalley Range

If you or your company are interested in sponsoring the match ball for any of these fixtures please contact us. For £30.00 you will be invited to the club on the day of the match, given a slap up lunch, you will get to choose the player of the match and given premium advertising at the club for the weekend. Not only this your picture will be published presenting the player with their award on this very website and on social media