Sale 1st XI lost their crucial game at home to Vivio Cheshire County League Division One promotion rivals Grappenhall on Saturday.
The match between Grappenhall, in second, and Sale, in fourth, was reduced to 80 overs following rain and in shortened games the team winning the toss normally has the advantage and so it proved as the visitors asked Sale to bat first in very tough conditions.
Sale lost in-form openers Brooke Guest and Mat Spells early on to reduce the score to 17 for two and the usually dependable Tyrone Lawrence scored just 10 as the score reached 35 for four.
Captain Chris Canning hit a typically aggressive 38 off 43 balls to take the score to 100, adding 44 for the eighth wicket with Ali Barrowman (18). However, Sale’s batsmen never really applied themselves to the conditions giving away regular wickets due to poor shot selection, eventually closing on a below par 115 for nine off 40 overs.
In reply Grappenhall made a similar start as Lawrence took two early wickets to reduce the visitors to 14 for two. Rick Halkon and Lawrence took a wicket each with the score on 27 to give the advantage to Sale.
However, reduced bowling restrictions came to the rescue of the Grappenhall batsmen after 20 overs. With both Lawrence and Halkon bowled out, the change bowlers couldn't exert the same level of control in extremely challenging conditions of constant light rain and wind. 'Grappers' only lost one further wicket on 88, Jamie Bye for 23 when Barrowman made the much-needed breakthrough.
The game went down to the final over as Grappenhall’s overseas all-rounder Ryan Ninan (49 not out) hit the winning runs with two balls to spare.
In the reverse fixture at Grappenhall the 2nd XI secured eight points from a losing draw. Gareth Watterson (4-36) and Siyan Siraj (3-43) did the damage as the home team were bowled out for 198 in the 48th over.
In reply the seconds lost two early wickets before Siraj (92) and Abas Rizvi (40) looked to be setting Sale up for the win.
However, the lower order couldn't match their effort, only skipper James Hall (27) made double figures as Sale batted out at 186 for nine.
The 3rd XI were in a strong position at bottom of the table Toft on Sunday, when rain forced the game to be abandoned.
Soans Praveen (41) and Zikria Nadeem (26) led Sale to 172 all out with two balls to go. Toft were struggling at 117 for six off 33 overs when the rain got too heavy. Joe Cannon took four for 37 to do plenty of damage with his leg spin as Sale picked up 10 valuable points.
The 4th XI game v Heaton Mersey was cancelled due to a waterlogged square while earlier in the week the Silverbacks lost their Over 40's quarter-final at Bollington.
This weekend the 1st XI will hope to get their promotion challenge back on track at home v Cheadle Hulme. The 2nd XI play the reverse fixture. The third team host Marple.
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