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Watkins Leads Sale to Back-to-Back Wins

Ben Watkins
©George Franks

After a slow start to the 2019 season Sale Cricket Club made it back-to-back wins in a thriller at Didsbury.  In a game of fluctuating fortunes Sale 1st XI scrapped home by 1 wicket in their division one match in the Vivio Cheshire County league thanks to a match winning performance from Ben Watkins.

Didsbury won the toss and elected to bat first, and despite losing Nick Anderson to Dan Newton for a duck, made a confident start, reaching 59-1.  Ben Watkins made the breakthrough for Hive Projects sponsored Sale, bowling Steve Green for 32.

Opener Tim Hughes then added 55 for the third wicket with Fredrick Kamstra, before he was caught off Watkins for 59, triggering a collapse from 114-2 to 131-9.

Kamstra was soon out for 27 as fellow spinner Rick Halkon got in on the act, taking 4-39 as Sale ran through Didsbury’s lower order.  Watkins soon matched him, taking his 4th wicket for 57 runs to leave the home side on the brink at 131-9.

Jack Hastings (27) and Liam Booth (41) then rallied, adding 69 for the ninth wicket before Isaac Brooks took the final wicket in the last over.

Sale made a confident start after tea as openers Greg Gyves and Mat Spells added 57 for the first wicket, but when Spells went for 15 it prompted a collapse to 91-5.  Gyves was the fourth of these wickets for a breezy 60 off just 70 balls.

Watkins then showed his prowess with the bat as he added 38 with skipper Keith Wellings (21) for the 7th wicket.  However Sale were still 48 runs short of their target when they lost two quick wickets with the score on 153.

Thankfully for Sale Watkins was able to marshal the tail, adding 40 with Rich Adams for the 8th wicket.  However when he was run out for 54 another twist was on the cards, but for Brooks to join Adams and knock off the 8 runs needed for a thrilling win.

Sale 2nd XI came off second best in a high scoring match against Warrington.  Sale asked the visitor to bat first, who racked up 278-3 on a fine batting surface at Dane Road.

Sale made a good fist of the chase, with Viraj Sorathia scoring 74 at the top of the order on his return to the team.  Syan Siraj (26) and Jamal Benzafar (24) also made good contributions, but Sale couldn’t hold on as they were finally dismissed for 205 in the 48th over.

Sale 3rd XI had the best of a drawn game at Cheadle on Sunday.  Sale were asked to bat first and posted 183-9, Viraj Sorathia continuing his form from the previous day with 88.  Skipper Soans Praveen also hit 26 as Sale set the home side 184 to win.


Cheadle made a good start before both openers were run out to check their reply.  Shashwath Rusia then took 4-20 on debut as Cheadle batted out the overs at 136-8.

The 4th XI had their strongest all-round performance of the season, but weren’t able to overcome Woodley.

Sale batted first and opener Vaasu Goyal - on his return to Sale colours after a season away - struck a fluent 41. A mid-innings collapse from 98-3 to 113-7 risked squandering the team’s best start of the season. But Ben Habershon and Maaz Khan combined to add 41 for the eighth wicket. Sale’s innings closed on 157-8 with impressive commitment shown by the juniors to ensure the full 40 overs were used.

The good impression made by the juniors with the bat was amplified in the field. Leading the way, on senior debut, was 13 year-old leg-spinner, Krish Gupta who took 2-34 from nine teasing overs. Jared Moran bowled six luckless overs; Maaz Khan went one better with 1-24 from six overs.

Woodley’s opener, Bamford, stood in Sale’s way, compiling an excellent unbeaten 77, and leading his team to a six wicket victory that was never as comfortable as the margin suggests.

Sale Silverbacks, our over 40s team, lost by a single run to Bowdon Vale on Wednesday. Paul Hanrahan (4-15) and Ben King (2-22) led the attack as the vistiors posted 97-9.

In reply only Mark Rowe (33 retired) showed the required application as Sale finished on 96-8.

On Thursday Sale 1st XI lost their second T20 cup match at Didsbury, Greg Gyves (42) and Dan Newton (34) top scoring in Sale’s below par 130-7.

Ali Barrowman nipped out two early wickets, but Sam Leech steadied their reply to see the home side to their target in the 15th over.

Next Saturday the 1st XI welcome Davenham to Dane Road and the 2nd XI visit Heaton Mersey.  On Sunday the 3rd XI host Hyde and the 4th XI visit Bowdon.

©Cricket World 2019


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