That Damned Rain
By Matt Sharp

Cheshire Development XI vs. Durham 26/27th June 2013

On the 26th June the Cheshire Development Xl took on a young Durham academy at Warrington CC. With a changeable forecast Reid having won the toss was keen to make the most of the fine weather early on and elected to bat.

With a winning streak that is now four games without loss Sharp was optimistic of a positive result having included Jackson and Holmes two promising youngsters and Williams only making his second start. Murphy and Warner opened and though the latter looked comfortable Murphy fell early on pushing a ball to 2nd slip. Warner continued to support Rowe who demonstrated his class with a superb 71 though following Warner's departure wickets tumbled with Law, Reid and Williams all giving their wickets away, Ashling (17) put up some resistance but with Rowe now gone the Development Xl limped to a meagre total of 169 all out. Rowe apart none of the batsmen did themselves any justice. Pick of the bowling was Captain Van Woerkom who finished with 4 for 35 off 14 overs.

Durham entered the fray before tea and batted sensibly but extremely slowly with Clark the pick of their batsmen hitting 53 before Cranmer claimed his wicket. Riley picked up the other opener and Cranmer claimed his 2nd with a superb C+B. With Durham on 122 coach and manager John Windows declared after day one.

Durham were confident of bowling Cheshire out before tea had arrived but Cheshire's first innings but the tide was about to change. With a reshuffled batting order moving the more experienced players up front Cheshire proceeded to destroy the Durham bowling with a lunchtime score of 163 off 34 overs (Reid 51no, Ashling 50, Murphy 24 and Law 22). Reid was keen to get Durham back out into the middle and then the rain thrashed down to end what was expected to be a thrilling finish. At 3pm the result was declared a draw.

Sharp was asked to reflect on what could have been " Debuts were given to Holmes of Cheadle and Jackson of Alderley Edge who both performed well as did Danny Williams (Poynton) who played his first full game. We didn't have a great start when Ashling was injured during the warm-up. Our first innings display was embarrassing with only Rowe, Cranmer, Ashling and Warner batting sensibly the other guys gave their wickets away. I can forgive the youngsters but some of our more senior players failed to deliver. We bowled tight at Durham and though the pitch didn't give a lot to the quick bowlers Riley was still a handful. Cranmer and Reid though asked questions of the batsmen and Holmes bowled superb on debut. We got a glimpse of Williams who looks like a good prospect for the future."

"I have to praise John Windows for declaring after day one when the game could have drifted towards a less than satisfactory draw."

"Our second innings however was a great lesson in how to re-focus and change a game through positive action. Our batting line-up took the game to Durham with Reid and Ashling in particular dispatching all comers. Having set our visitors a realistic target Cheshire was keen to get on with the game and finish in style."

"And then it rained and rained and rained...."

The team can be seen here.