10/06/16 v Bredbury. BCC 133ao, ACC 100/9. Draw 7 points [scorecard]
Alvanley’s game against Bredbury on Saturday was a game of three halves!
Bredbury batted first on a wet pitch – heavy rain had poured down the slope and under the covers overnight.
Alvanley showed plenty of fight to win this tricky fixture at Tattenhall with a second half that showed all their finest qualities.
Tattenhall asked Alvanley to bat first and with an an experienced, accurate attack, it was clear that run scoring was going to be difficult. Rowlands was trapped in front in the first over but there followed a serene period where Ste Charles and Jonno Whitley were comfortable without ever breaking free. Whitley perished at 30 for 2 and there followed a similar stand between Charles and Chris Wright and at 70 for 3 a base was being established. Wright was replaced by Gee and all this time Charles was accumulating steadily until he reached a gritty 50. He fell soonafter and there followed a bit of a procession. As overs were running out the batsmen tried to up the rate but found the going difficult. Si Gee stood alone stroking a relatively assured 31 before perishing in the deep. A few scurried runs from the tail took the score to 142 and left the game in the balance at tea.
This notion was proved wrong by Alvanley’s opening bowlers. Their height exploited previously undiscovered life in the pitch and they regularly hit splices and gloves. Billy Ouzinidis removed Sadler in his first over and the second wicket pair found both Ouzinidis and Charles a real handful. Prince went next find Wright’s hands at cover and when Kettle went LBW to Ouzinidis, Tattenhall were reeling at 15 for 3. Windell followed next bowled by the excellent Ouzinidis whose opening spell yielded 3 for 15. Charles switched ends and brother Steve slotted into the ‘into the wind’ end. His accurate start was rewarded with the key wicket of Coppack who edged to Gee. 26 for 5. Chris Charles then gave Harding at ‘going over’ and after a couple of high blows, removed his middle stump. Ste Charles tempted Gibbon to hit to cover and 35 for 8 was a dream scenario for the Alv.
A stubborn resistance followed led by Dobson but Jimmy Ecclestone found a way of ending a 40 run partnership, trapping Forster in front. Rowlands provided the coup de grace and at 89 all out Alvanley could be well satisfied with a gritty win and a gutsy performance.
01/06/17 at home Barrow in the J Holt T20 Group stage. ACC 159/8. BCC 151/6. Win [scorecard]
Alvanley and Barrow played out a fabulous game of T20 cricket on a glorious evening, in front of a sizable crowd and and a cracking pitch.
Alvanley chose to bat first and got away to a dream start as the first over disappeared for 12 as Mike Rowlands enjoyed pace on the pink ball. Andy Bennion too started well spanking his first ball for 4 and after 4 overs the pair had added 55 runs! Bennion was first to depart, attempting to emulate an enormous six, but losing his off stump for 27. Rowlands was not finished and drove with immense power to rattle to 46 before running himself out!
The remainder of the innings came in fits and starts with Wright, Gee, Ainsworth and Chris Charles all reaching double figures. 159 for 8 was deemed around about par, so work to do.
Ste Charles and Billy Ouzinidis provided their captain with the perfect start bowling with control and with their field settings in mind. The start was made even better by Ben Aveyard’s brilliant piece of boundary fielding being too good for Metcalf who was run out out without facing. The powerplay got even better for Alvanley when Ainsworth nicked off the prolific De Silva to the grateful Gee behind the stumps. The powerplay yielded just 31 runs for two wickets. Ainsworth made further inroads in the 7th over removing Reid but the next partnership was likely to test Alvanley. Johnson joined McClements and the pair batted positively to take the game back to the bowlers. In the midst of this Rowlands snook in a very tidy spell of 4 overs for 25, but the pair remained at the crease and when a flurry of sixes tipped had the game slightly towards Barrow, it took a steepling boundary catch from Bennion to calm the nerves. Death bowling of the highest order then came from Chris Charles and Billy Ouzinidis and the Barrow effort ended 9 short. A thrilling game went Alvanley’s way and sets up a group decider at home v Boughton Hall on the 15th June.
27/05/17 at home v Northwich. ACC 202/9, NCC 206/6. Lose 10 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley and Northwich fought out a thrilling game at Frodsham Road on Saturday, a game whose fortunes swung dramatically one way and another until in the final over the last twist saw the visitors run out winners.
A belting pitch housed this game and Alvanley were grateful to have first bat on it. Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles batted with caution at first against an accurate spin / seam combination operating with the new ball. Gradually they worked the ball into gaps to lift the rate and then came some crisp bounadries as drinks came with the pair still in command at 91/0.
The 28th over saw the first wicket as Charles was stumped over balancing for a typically aesthetic and hard working 40. Chris Jones looked to up the rate with a couple of fine sweeps, a theme continued briefly by Andy Bennion. The loss of these two, in the same passage of play as Rowlands saw a stark change in fortunes at 142/4. Rowlands’ 67 was excellent, full of wholesome drives and clever placement and included 9 boundaries.
Wickets continued to fall, more a case of throwing wickets away rather than demanding bowling or conditions. 148/6, 155/7 and 163/8 were well below what is expected – slapped wrists awaited the middle order. Arthur Brummitt belied his youthful age with a highly mature 21 not out, well supported by a disciplined 20 by Lee Ainswoth. At least 200 was achieved but this was 30 below par in these conditions
Northwich began confidently against probing new ball bowling from Chris Charles and Ainsworth, with Tapsfield in particularly fine form. A quick change to spin brought an instant reward as Ste Charles persuaded Cherion to find Ben Aveyard’s hands at deep square. The score moved smoothly to 70 when from nowhere, Jimmy Ecclestone executed a brilliant run out to remove Wathwickarge. Anoth hefty stand followed as Glyn Cherion joined tapsfield. Charles tried all options to part them but determined batting won this period of play. Control was never lost and the overs suddenly began to run down.
The return of Answorth and Charles swung the game round Both the mainstays were dismissed by sharp catches in the corden. A period of play followed where ball dominated bat. Evans and Walker struggled in dimming light and edges were falling just out of reach at least once an over. The corden moved ever closer and Chris Wright was rewarded with a sharp catch to snaffle Evans. 176/5 with 6 overs left!
More tight bowling brought the equation down to 13 off two and when Wright ran out Dufty, 11 was needed off the last over. Ainsworth had bowled beautifully but he was to be on the end of the final twist. Walker, until now circumspect, pressed the gamble button and struck the jackpot, nailing a 6 and two fours to win the game.
Work to do for Alvanley who welcome some key players back this coming week against Barrow in the T20 on Thursday and and Tattenhall on Saturday
Alvanley travelled to Barrow in a top of the table clash on Saturday knowing a win could see them leapfrog the hosts in to top spot. In a game reduced to 37 overs per side due to early rain, Alvanley won the toss and elected to bowl first on what looked like a good Barrow wicket. After a flurry of early boundaries, Sophie Ecclestone made the breakthrough, removing Reid for 34. This brought McClements to the crease and he proceeded to play positively on his way to 54 before being removed by Michael Rowlands. The rest of the Barrow batting order played around this and after a few lusty blows near the end, they closed on 176 for 8, Sophie Ecclestone finishing with 3 for 36.
In reply, Alvanley got off to a slow start and lost Ste Charles early on. Barrow bowled accurately and with some good fielding managed to put the brakes on the Alvanley innings completely. Wickets were lost trying to increase the run rate in search of victory but the shackles couldn’t be broken. The task was too great with the reduction in overs so Simon Gee and Sam Baxter calmly batted out the remaining overs, with the innings closing on 80 for 6. Iroshan De Silva was the pick of the Barrow bowlers with 3-17 with Mike Rowlands making 24 for Alvanley. A disappointing day with the opportunity to go top of the league on the line, Alvanley will look to bounce back to winning ways when they welcome Northwich this week.
13/05/17 v Stockport. ACC 205ao, SCC 176/9. Draw 15 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley faced bogey side Stockport on Saturday on a good track at the Alv but likely to offer some assistance to the new ball bowlers. This proved to be Stockport who won the toss and asked Alvanley to have first hit. Probing new ball bowling was expertly repelled by Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles and they eased to 27 in 8 overs when surprisingly Rowlands edged behind for 17. Charles carried on with Ian McDermott to 41 before he was bowled for 19. Chris Wright joined the fray and the the 3rd wicket pair added runs carefully and with few alarms and at drinks, 90 for 2 was a good platform. Drinks brought about a refreshed bowling attach and McDermott (20), Wright (30) and Baxter (4) all fell before the score had gone much past the 100.
103 for 5 was a problem with just 18 overs to go and 200 seemingly par score. There followed a crisp stand of 79 between Si Gee and Andy Bennion. Both spotted singles and twos and put the ball over the rope regularly enough. Bennion fell for 35, just before Gee raised his bat for an important 50. The tail wagged enough to get the team past 200, with the last wicket falling in the last over at 205.
Stockport had to face some excellent new ball bowling from Chris Charles and Billy Ouzinidis. The former was so unlucky not to take at least a couple of scalps. Ouzinidis on the other hand removed both openers for a well deserved spell of 7 overs 2 for 14. Alvanley’s taller bowlers seemed to get more life and movement out of the pitch and the batsmen regularly played and missed. Ste Charles nipped in with a cracker to remove Jatoi but a stand of 73 put the game back on an even keel. The key wicket was Danny barber who had hit a run-a-ball 58 before Rowlands’ legspin trapped him in front. A strange passage followed where the game seemed to be ambling to a tame draw. Then from nowhere, a flurry of shots came and the away team strove for the win. With shot came wickets and Rowlands and Ste Charles benefitted from the field end while Lee Ainsworth was bowling a highly skillful spell at the road end. His 14 overs passed the edge of the bat with such regularity that he was almost unplayable. his two late wickets (he deserved many more) put an end to Stockport’s victory hopes and set up a tense finish as an array of slips and short legs sought the final wicket for an Alvanley win. Alas it never came and a winning draw was the reward for an excellent day’s cricket.
06/05/17 at Brooklands. ACC 117ao, BCC 118/6. Lose 4 points [scorecard]
Alvanley suffered their first defeat at the hands of Brooklands but made a good fight of the second half after an indifferent first half.
After getting their wish at the toss, Alvanley were happy to bat first on a pitch that looked like it would be slow and may break up. Ste Charles and Mike Rowlands opened up but apart from the odd play and miss, looked in good touch adding 20 for the first wicket when Charles was adjudged not to have edged the ball on to his pad and was sent on his way LBW. Rowlands suffered a similar fate given out caught behind and when Chris Wright trudged off, Alvanley were in trouble at 35 for 3. Jonno Whitley was making the game look easy with a number of fluent drives but wicket continued to fall. Gee flipped a catch to midwicket and Jones was bowled cheaply. Whitley, eased into the 20s but then got the ball of the day, as hart got one to rear at him from a length. Bennion soon followed and at 50 for 7, the game looked gone. Chris Charles was joined by Jimmy Ecclestone, both batting for the first time this season. They carefully covered the variable bound and lateral movement and gradually nudged the score up. Ecclestone got too ambitious and joined the procession of batsmen caught in the ring, but Lee Ainsworth carried on his good work in keep his captain company. Charles was in control, defending well, running cheeky singles. Ainsworth added the mightiest of sixes to edge past 100 but his soon perished, caught behind. A few lust blows from Charles took the score to 117 before he was bowled for an excellent 40 and an early tea was taken.
Brooklands came out swinging in their reply. Too ambitiously really as Charles found steep bounce and the edge found the flying Gee to complete a brilliant catch and get Alvanley rolling. The flogging continued and the score careered to 43 for 1 in the 7th over without Alvanley doing much wrong. This approach became Brooklands’ undoing as wicket began to fall. Rowlands struck with his first ball, the excellent catch completed by Ste Charles. Lee Ainsworth introduction brought speedy rewards as he sent down a series of impressive overs. This combination reduced Brooklands to 55 for 5 – game on!
A stand between Hart and Hart frustrated Alvanley for a while but half chances and near misses littered this passage of play. Eventually luck went with Alvanley as Jimmy Ecclestone found the edge. 75 for 6! AJ Hart continued to ride his luck, interspersed with some fine shots and he, in combination with the gutsy Law, nudged their way to the win. Credit to Alvanley bowlers but to win games like these, the tough chances have to be taken. Lesson learned
Stockport are next, followed by Hawk Green away in the NVKO on Sunday and Christleton in the T20 Cup on Thursday 18th
28/04/17 at home Mobberley. MCC 157ao, ACC 158/3. Win 25 points [scorecard]
Alvanley made it two out of two with a second convincing win of the season, this time cruising past Mobberley’s 157 for the loss of just 3 wickets.
The toss was again secured by Chris Charles and again he chose to bowl in cool conditions. Billy Ouzinidis swung the ball from the outset and the removed Morris’ off stump in the 3rd over to get his team off to a flyer. This brought in Aussie Nick Butters and he made his intentions clear from the outset, advancing at the bowlers and playing big shots. The second picket pair added a breezy 40 before Butters tried a bit too hard and Ouzinidis duly rearranged his stumps also.
Jimmy Ecclestone and Lee Ainsworth replaced the openers and as last week found wickets came freely! Ecclestone struck with his second ball and by the 23rd over, the visitors were reduced to 75/5 as these two tall seamers found enough swing and seam to trouble the middle order.
A troublesome stand followed but superb ground fielding, in particular led by Ste Charles and Chris Jones meant control was maintained. Ainsworth persevered to dismiss the dangerous Aqueel, well pouched by Ecclestone in the deep but the next pair took the score to 153 and respectability. Ecclestone though had other ideas and added another brace to give him for for the day. Ouzinidis grabbed a late wicket too as the innings closed at 157all out after 47 overs.
Alvanley began quickly with Ste Charles looking in top form and Mike Rowlands flogging boundaries in a hurry. He though perished at mid on for 25 and Charles soon followed adjudged caught behind for 15. Jonno Whitley and Chris Wright steadied things for while, taking the score to 74 before Wright used his leading edge to perish at mid on.
The rest was consummate and forthright! Last week’s 9 wicket man Aqueel was repelled and the rest of the attack dismantled and Whitley and Si Gee batted powerfully and skillfully to impose an unbeaten 84 stand on their opponents. Both imperious on the drive and ingenious in stealing singles, it was a pleasure to watch. Victory was realised with 19 overs and 7 wickets to spare. Gee 40 not out and Whitley 54 not can be happy with their contributions and their form.
Brooklands away next!
21/04/17 away at Christleton. CCC 212/10, ACC 214/4. Win 25 points. [scorecard]
Alvanley began the season with an emphatic 6 wicket win at neighbours Christleton. A glorious day and fabulous outfield and pitch greeted the teams and Skipper Chris Charles decided that the best course of action would be to invite the home team to bat first.
Alvanley’s opening bowlers – Charles himself and Billy Ouzinidis began well hitting good lengths and giving little away. Lively ground fielding backed the bowlers up and after 16 overs the score had limped to 26 for 0. It was a change of bowling that brought wickets. Lee Ainsworth quickly settled and looked dangerous. He bowled Wells for 11 and could have had more on another day. His frugal spell ended and Jimmy Ecclestone took his place. Bowling a full length and getting some movement off the pitch, Ecclestone tore through the middle order. He reduced the home side to 88 for 7 with cracking figures of 5 for 31 off 10 excellent overs. 3 of his victims found the bucket hands of Lee Ainsworth. Ste Charles had chipped in with a wicket, well snaffled at slip, but there was to be a dramatic twist in this innings. The lower order decided to take a chance and throw the bat. It worked the last 13 overs more than doubled the score as O’Connell, Abiden and Shazad all contributed to take the score to a par 212. Ouzinidis returned to grab two late wickets.
Alvanley needed a solid start and how the openers delivered! Mike Rowlands and Ste Charles looked well in control against the new ball and scored quickly enough to keep the rest of the team calm. The pair added an imperious 105 before Charles snicked off an 42, including 7 classy 4s. Rowlands went on to a solid 50 but fell to an otherwise fruitful hook shot for 53 soon after.
Debutant Kiwi, Jonno Whitley was joined by Chris Wright and the pair consolidated well. Whitley looks a fine player and his 17 showed plenty of promise for the season ahead. There were to be no jitters. Wright and Si Gee upped the ante and score freely to post 60 for the 3rd wicket before Gee fell for a classy 27. A few tight overs meant that the game was going to go down to the last few overs but Wright and Andy Bennion were in control. They found the boundary and scampered singles of take their team home with 3 balls and 6 wickets to spare. Wright’s 43 not out was mature and pull off crisply times shots. A fine victory then for Alvanley against a determined Christleton team, it should also be noted that the game was played in a good spirit.
Alvanley host Mobberley next week, hoping to build on this promising start.
Alvanley CC is delighted to welcome Jonno Whitly to these shores. He joins us for the Summer from New Zealand and is a middle order batsman. Also over from New Zealand is former ACC Junior Ben Aveyard, a stylish young player with bags of potential. Lee Ainsworth also rejoins after a year’s sabbatical working and another returner is Billy Ouzinidis who comes back after a year at Neston. Welcome too to Michael Weale and Mark Enwistle, both batsman joining the club for the first time.
Stagsuits, a company based in Chester that supply’s interesting suits for stag parties, is the new 1st XI Sponsor. They have supplied training / T20 Cup kit for the 1st XI. Our heartfelt thanks go out to them!