Result: Wythenshawe CC 88 (31 overs) LOST TO Astley & Tyldesley CC 89-4 (20 overs) by 6 wickets (GMCL Division 2)
Venue: Wythenshawe Sports Club, Longley Lane (Saturday 10th June 2017, 3pm)
Att: 10 (approx.)
I was surprised to be getting any cricket today at all. The weather forecast in the week leading up to the game went through the full cycle, from full sun to full rain and everywhere in between, eventually improving over the Friday evening to a point where some play looked possible. As such, the trip to Longley Lane and the Wythenshawe Cricket Club was on.
The trip there was an easy one, two buses with one quick switch seeing me dropped off five minutes from the ground, though the pretty leaden skies above weren’t filling me with much hope that I’d be seeing much in terms of entertainment! Anyway, I arrived at the ground’s driveway unperturbed ahead of the 1.30pm start….only to find out I’d gotten the start time wrong for the second straight weekend. This seems to be the equivalent of my football trips “getting lost” of the cricket blogs.
Anyway, luckily I’d decided to get there at about 1pm anyway and so had only missed just under two overs and Wythenshawe’s first nine runs. Not too much of a fail then. Entering through the “WCC” emblazoned gate and onto the undercover outdoor seating area, I settled in to watch the home side’s innings against Divisional leaders Astley & Tyldesley. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything with regard to Wythenshawe CC’s history, so it’s on with the show!!
Wythenshawe’s innings got off to a pretty good start, with the hosts passing fifty in good time, despite the early loss of Ryan Burgess (six) in the fourth over, who nicked an attempted cut shot through to Dean Petrie behind the stumps off the bowling of Jordan Hughes.
Continuing on at around five an over, Burgess’ opening partner Lewis Crowther, along with Sam Grant, took on the Astley & Tyldesley opening bowlers, though not without risk as they offered up two chances. However both were spurned with one steepler and a slip chance being grassed.
Blog regular Dan had joined me soon after these and his arrival coincided with a complete collapse in the Wythenshawe batting ranks. Firstly, Grant (17) became the first victim of tormenter-in-chief James Cutt, the spinner enticing the Wythy number 3 into going for another cut stroke and succeeding in finding the edge which flew to slip where Nathan McDonnell took a sharp catch above his head.
Wythenshawe, though, were still in a decent position at 61-2, but it was all downhill from here for the hosts. ‘Keeper-batsman Nassir’s stay at the crease was a short one, scoring just five before becoming the first of Jordan O’Malley’s scalps, spooning a shot high in the air to point. One run later he was followed back to the dressing rooms by Crowther, who was trapped leg-before by Cutt for the innings top-score of 32.
O’Malley & Cutt continued to turn the screw, the former striking to remove Yadala LBW for nought after a strangle-looking appeal where everyone went up in stages, before the tall spinner removed Wythy skipper Craig McCoy (one) via a comfortable caught and bowled, the ball being chipped back at no pace. From 61-1, the home side now found themselves in all sorts of trouble at 76-6, five wickets having fallen within fourteen overs.
Vijay Muslapuram you felt held to key to Wythenshawe getting any sort of decent score, but he needed someone to remain with him for a while. Unfortunately for him, this support wasn’t forthcoming as O’Malley and Cutt continued to rip through the lower order. Colin Crowther (one) was the seventh man out, run-out attempting a second, before Muslapuram (nine) followed next ball, hitting one straight to mid-off to give O’Malley his third wicket.
Cutt finished off the innings in quick time, removing the final two wickets of Mandava, adjudged caught at short-leg for two, and Mundru caught at slip for a golden duck as Wythenshawe were bundled out for just 88 and the league-leaders looked odds-on to complete a comfortable win. Cutt ended with the fine figures of 5-12, O’Malley supporting him well with 3-16.
The break came and went quickly and soon the Astley & Tyldesley openers were out in the middle and looking to set about knocking off the runs before any rains may have blown in to scupper them. They got off to a pretty good start too, reaching 22-0 after six overs before Cutt was dismissed for fifteen, edging a Muslapuram delivery to slip. A slight glimmer of hope became a bit more of a steady light as Cutt’s opening partner Nathan Moore was dismissed for just four, a big, frustrated-looking drive ending in the gloves of Nassir off the seam-bowling of Grant and ending his becalmed innings.
Aaron Booth added some quick runs to guide the visitors on to 38-2, before McDonnell was dismissed for the third duck of the match, tamely driving Grant down the throat of mid-off who took an easy catch. However, Booth and David Harrison took some of the sting out of the game and the Wythenshawe attack but the rain began to fall and so Astley & Tyldesley’s hand was forced somewhat as they had to up the rate to beat the moisture.
This resulted in the eventual fall of Booth, LBW to Grant for 25 at just under a run-a-ball, but by that point the scoreboard read 57-4 and the drizzle wasn’t falling hard enough to force the players into leaving the field. However, this wicket only served to bring Petrie to the crease and the ‘keeper was in no mood to hang around in this weather. Coming in during the 16th over, and with thirty-two still required, the game was over by the end of the 20th, Petrie smashing Yadala’s spin for three boundaries (including two big sixes into the gardens) to secure the win for the Division 2 leaders. Petrie ended on 27 not out off 14 deliveries, with Harrison unbeaten on a watchful eleven.
As a result, we headed off earlier than expected, with Dan even getting to leave earlier than his planned 5pm ahead of his unenviable Parklife shift during the night! The quick journey back was uneventful, though I was back home over two hours before the game was even scheduled to end. Not too shabby. Next up is a planned trip to Whalley Range for Saturday where I will again be watching Wythenshawe. I’m sure they’ll be pleased to hear Dan won’t be there to instigate another collapse!
Value For Money: 9