THE 2016 Church Times Cricket Cup competition has got off to a good start, with hard-fought matches in the north-west, an unexpected win for Lincoln, and a decisive victory for Oxford, back after a year’s rest from the competition.
The first match of the season was played on Ascension Day, in Warrington, when Liverpool met Chester.
Chester’s captain, Goodwin, won the toss, and elected to bowl on a soft wicket that the weather promised to dry out later on. Liverpool started well, but scored only 76 off 21 overs. A mid-pitch collision between openers Leffler (captain) and Milton meant that Milton was run out. Four further wickets (3 caught, 1 bowled) were taken by Humphries, who finished with figures of 4 for 22. The last man out, Maynard, was also a run-out, taking a knock in the process. Top score was Birch on 33.
Chester scored 77 for the loss of just 2 wickets in 17 overs. The top scorer was Page on 25, while Carlyle carried his bat for 22.
Chester fared less well against Leeds a week later. This time, Chester batted first, and with the help of Rankin (41) and Carlisle (30) made a respectable 128 for 7. Bradford did most damage, taking 3 wickets for 12 runs.
In reply, Arnold escaped an early catch and went on to make 59 not out. He was well supported by Burge, who scored 33 not out — his highest-ever score in the competition. Bishop took 2 wickets for 21, but Leeds overhauled Chester two overs from the end, scoring 129 for 3.
The sun shone at Sherborne School when Oxford defeated Exeter by nine wickets. Winning the toss, Exeter chose to bat first on a good-looking surface. Glenny (2 for 16) and Wingfield Digby (2 for 12) heaped the pressure on from the start, and the first wicket, a run-out in the ninth over, was a result of a rash quick-single. There on in, the wickets fell regularly, the pressure maintained by Gray (3 for 17) and Peach (1 for 17); notable resistance was put up by Franklin (20). Catches were held and fielding was sharp. Exeter were all out in the 27th over for 57.
A breezy 50 partnership between White (9 not out) and King (44 not out) saw Oxford canter across the line for a nine-wicket victory in the 12th over, McKinnel’s tidy bowling not enough to cause alarm.
Leicester’s recent success at football was not replicated on the cricket pitch, when, in a hard-fought game at Thorpe Arnold, an under-strength Lincoln defeated Leicester for the first time in recent memory.
Leicester won the toss and opted to bat, enjoying a fine half-century from Trethewey (53). But wickets fell at regular intervals, thanks to tight bowling and fielding from Lincoln. Dean captured 3 wickets for 12, and Robinson and Radcliffe got a brace apiece, pegging Leicester to just 83 runs.
In reply, Lincoln kept up with the required run rate, the bulk of the runs coming from Shenton (42) and Robinson (21). Taylor hit the winning runs with a 4 down the ground.
Liverpool 76 all out (Humphries 4 for 22). Chester 77 for 2 (Page 25, Carlyle 22 n.o.).
Chester won by 8 wickets.
Chester 128 for 7 (Rankin 41, Carlisle 30; Bradford 3 for 12). Leeds 129 for 3 (Arnold 59 n.o., Burge 33 n.o.; Bishop 2 for 21).
Leeds won by 7 wickets.
Exeter 57 all out (Franklin 20, Rowland 11; Glenny 2 for 16, Wingfield Digby 2 for 12, Gray 3 for 17, Peach 1 for 17). Oxford 59 for 1 (King 44*, White 9*; McKinnel 1 for 7).
Oxford won by 9 wickets.
Leicester 83 all out (Trethewey 53; Dean 3 for 12, Robinson 2 for 6, Radcliffe 2 for 19). Lincoln 86 for 5 (Shenton 42, Robinson 21; Trethewey 2 for 15).
Lincoln won by 5 wickets.