1stXI Back to Winning Ways

1stXI Back to Winning Ways
29 Aug 2022

The August Bank Holiday was a fruitful one for the Jets as they marked Saturday with another round of victories. The 1stXI bounced back with 25pts, meaning both the ones and twos control their own destiny with three weeks remaining. Twenty20 Finals Day for the 4thXI was less successful but a great achievement to make it that far in a competition not high on the agenda at the start of the season.

1stXI v Ashley

Bank Holiday availability saw the 1stXI and Ashley lock horns at London Road with both teams short of full strength. The Jets would have to make do without their leading wicket-taker Dave Oldfield and leading run-scorer Saul Gould, but key absences for the visitors suggested an even contest as their stand-in captain Jibran Khan elected to bat. This was music to the ears of a home side keen to exploit any assistance that might be available with an 11:30 start time, and two of Ashley’s top order were sent packing before the clock had struck midday.

It set the tone for the innings as a relentless seam barrage from a five-man attack offered no letup in intensity. This bore fruit as only opener Alex Morfitt stood up to the test, his watchful 35 ended after the second drinks break as Toby Carson (5-28) claimed an impeccable five-wicket haul. Jamie Henderson (3-28) returned to mop up the tail as Ashley snuck into three figures but were put out of their misery for just 102, single scalps apiece for Manning Berry (1-11) and 1stXI league debutant Kyle Philander (1-13).

The Jets shuffled the pack in response with a much-changed batting order, but this initially failed to have the desired impact as they fell to 15-3 against the spin of Khan (3-46). Order was only restored when Manning Berry (47*) joined Chester Bowden (40) and the pair went about things in the more considered fashion, their partnership of 69 comfortably the best of the afternoon as Bowden clipped the day’s first maximum. The stand was only ended by a needless run out, Berry making amends by soon sending the winning runs high and handsome over the long-on fence for a bounceback win.

Europa Exiles v 2ndXI

Despite claiming victory away to Europa Exiles, the 2ndXI saw their lead at the top of Division B cut to 4 points as a late smattering of wickets in the run chase reduced their margin of victory. A solid 55 (7x4, 1x6, 97b) from skipper Alex Dyson had the Jets cruising but an untidy end saw three batters fall with victory in sight which meant only a three-wicket win and 11pts on the board. With the new playing regulations, even a trio of victories to finish the season won’t necessarily guarantee the title so the Jets will have to be in more ruthless form over the final weeks to hold off Wilmslow.

Earlier, the twos had bounced back well from a poor start as the hosts added a fifty stand for the opening wicket. The introduction of Andy Heath (3-30) paid immediate dividends though, and once he had prised out the top order the tail quickly folded. Exiles lost their final seven wickets for just 34 runs to be 127 all out from the penultimate ball of the innings. Spinners Owen Johnson (2-18) and Adam Burgess (2-24) again enjoyed their work, the latter entering the top five wicket-takers in the league this season.

Lindow v 3rdXI

Lindow conceded

4thXI v Ashley

Didsbury played host to Twenty20 finals day on Sunday with the 4thXI in action in the second semi-final against Ashley. A perfect start from the Jets saw Matt Wragg bowl his allocation out for just 7 runs, adding a wicket and a run out for good measure. Sadly though the boundaries flowed with more regularity against the change bowling with Subhani (43), Kamran (42) and Iqbal (30) hitting out lustily as the 4thXI couldn’t cash in on their start. Despite a great powerplay, Ashley scored at nines for the last 14 overs to post 129-6.

The North East innings then took on the opposite complexion as they enjoyed the fielding restrictions to race to 52-0 and get the required rate down to a manageable 5.5rpo. Matt Mullany moved past 1,000 runs for the summer in the process but his wicket, caught for a quickfire 30, triggered a miserable collapse of 5-15 to turn a winning position into a losing one. The lower order attempted to keep up, striking seven boundaries between them, but it was just too much as an agonising 5-run defeat saw Ashley progress to play the hosts in the final where they would finish runners-up to the now four-time defending champions.

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