Cheshire lose by 105 runs at Truro
By Derrick Hastings

Cornwall v Cheshire at Truro, 22, 23, 24 July, 2012
Toss Cornwall who elected to bat
Cornwall 184 and 346 – 8 (Decl); Cheshire 168 and 257
Cornwall won by 105 runs
Cornwall 21 points – Cheshire 4 points

For the first time this season, there were three uninterrupted days of brilliant sunshine with temperatures in the high 20’s. There was heavy dew on each of the three mornings but this soon evaporated under the hot sun. The track played well, although many of the balls kept low.

Cheshire had broken with tradition and hired a coach to take the players to Cornwall as it was better for the team not to have to drive the 300 miles to Truro after a full day’s play on the Saturday and then to be faced with a similar journey back after the match.

The coach arrived at about 4:00 am on the Saturday night, which meant that the players had not managed to get much sleep before losing the toss and being asked to field in the hot weather.

Cornwall started well with an opening partnership of 80 between Matthew Robins and Jacob Libby before Ian Tait claimed the scalp of Robins (40) followed four balls later by that of Ben Smeeth, who had not scored. Tait added to his tally in his next over having Matthew Rowe caught behind by Jonny Kettle with the score on 86. Ross Dixon trapped Libby LBW when he was on 56 and Cornwall was then 111 for 4. The rest of the middle order collapsed quickly, with Tait taking a further three wickets leaving Cornwall on 139 for 9. The last wicket stand between Ben Kitt (31) and Sam Hockin (14*) added 45 runs to bring the total to 184 all out, with Adam Syddall taking the last wicket.

Ian Tait’s figures for the innings were 21 – 8 – 52 – 6 and Danny Woods took two wickets.

In reply, Cheshire started briskly, with Jonny Kettle and Warren Goodwin putting on 45 runs before Goodwin (18) was trapped LBW by the Cornwall captain, Tom Sharp. There then followed a middle order collapse with Sam Hocking taking 5 wickets including Kettle (29) who had survived being clean bowled (off a no-ball) only to offer a simple catch to the Cornish ‘keeper.

Khalid Sawas came in to bat when the score was 46 for 2 and had to watch helplessly while his partners came and went in rapid succession until Syddall came to the crease when Cheshire were 78 for 7. Syddall played carefully and provided the necessary anchor to Sawas’ run scoring. The pair put on 55 runs, with Sawas scoring 43 of them, to take the Cheshire total to 133 for 8 when Syddall was caught behind off the bowling of Kitt for 10.

Sawas was then joined by Woods who played as equally an important innings as Syddall had done, enabling Cheshire to reach 156 in the last over of the day when Sawas became Hockins sixth victim when his score was 73.

Second day

The second day was, if anything, hotter than the first one and it was not long before Hockins took his sixth wicket leaving Cheshire on 168 all out, 16 runs behind Cornwall and 7 runs short of a batting point. Hockins figures for the innings were 17.3 – 4 – 82 – 7.

There followed a gruelling day in the field for the Cheshire players.

The opening partnership of 98 was followed, three runs later, by the second opener falling, like the first to Tait. This brought the Cornish ‘keeper, Taylor Williams, in to bat, much higher than he had done in the first innings. He went on to score 125* by the time that Cornwall declared their innings on 346 for 8 on the morning of the third day.

Third Day

It was not long before Cornwall declared leaving Cheshire a target of 363 to win the match or to hold out for a draw. Tait’s figures for this innings were 24 – 8 – 76 – 3, giving him nine wickets in the match, while Woods took 3 wickets and Ross Dixon and Adam Syddall took one each.

Although Cheshire kept up to the required run rate to possibly win the match, it never looked really likely as wickets fell too regularly for comfort.

To start with, Kettle (55) watched a number of his partners get out, with only Lee Dixon’s 44 offering a decent score. Danny Berry went on to make 41 and was joined towards the end of his innings by Ross Dixon. Syddall and Woods again provided excellent support to Ross, who went on to make 63 before being bowled by Sharp and that really marked the end of the Cheshire innings.

Cheshire ended on 257, 105 runs short of the Cornwall total. The pick of the Cornish bowlers were Sharp (27 – 9 – 87 – 4) and Hockin (25 – 4 – 83 – 3), who ended with 10 wickets in the match.

After the match, James Duffy said, “We should have been in a better position than we were, but we dropped too many catches, particularly in the first innings. Also, our batting was a bit fragile. Syds and Woodsy showed us the way it should be done in those sort of circumstances and this shows their greater experience when compared to some of the newer players.”

“Tait bowled extremely well again and Sawas and Ross Dixon both batted well to top the scoring. Jonny [Kettle], Lee [Dixon] and Bezzer [Berry] all made valuable contributions with the bat in the second innings but, unfortunately it was not quite enough to win the day.”