By Matt Sharp

Cheshire Development XI vs. Lancashire U19s 24th/25th July 2013

Cheshire Development Xl played Lancashire U19s at Heywood CC hoping to repeat the heroics of their earlier win against a Lancashire 2nd team. With late call ups for debutantes Calum Kay (Bolton School and Didsbury CC) and Calum Davies (previous Cheshire U15s and Stockport CC) and a first game for the young and talented Andy Hodgson (previously Cheshire U17s and Macclesfield), Cheshire put out a young team with the hunger and desire to upset a well drilled Lancashire side.

Normanton captained the team and lost the toss with Lancashire putting the visitors into bat. Warner batted as he always does with patience and focus in abundance and is making his name in the squad as a reliable front man, he was partnered with Kay and the two openers created a superb platform for the rest of the team.

Lancashire though could already see that the wicket was going to be a real factor in this contest and turned to spin with Warner falling for 26 before McCoy and Normanton returned back to the pavilion without scoring a run. At lunch Cheshire had lost 3 wickets for 10 runs and the match shifted towards Lancashire.

Kay was caught soon after lunch, Hodgson went for 6 and Ashling scored a quick 20 but Cheshire were in real trouble with the combination of the pitch and spin creating chaos. The saviour was to be Poynton's Danny Williams deciding that the only way to deal with the spin was to take it on, scoring 46 off 60 balls, and playing some class shots to all areas of the ground. Unfortunately for Cheshire Williams ran out of partners, with the last four batsmen only scoring 20 between them and the visitors finished on a below par 160 all out.

Lancashire came to the crease before tea and with Normanton opting to try his pacemen and at the end of the day they had posted 60 for the loss of only one wicket, though with Normanton and Lomas turning the ball "round corners" at the end of the session Cheshire were hopeful if not certain of getting a positive result.

What happened on day two though was a superb display of positive cricket, with a small total to defend and with lots of wickets to get Lomas proceeded to dominate the whole morning eventually taking 6 wickets for 45 runs off 27 overs, ably supported by Normanton with 3 for 72. Catches were taken by McCoy, Warner and Ward and the fielding team worked incredibly hard to apply the pressure, Ashling took two stumpings with some quick work behind the sticks which resulted in Lancashire declaring on 161 for 9.

Following lunch Cheshire tried admirably to create a game with Warner again scoring with 34 and McCoy trying to force the rate with a quick but cultured 39, but with the wicket creating so many problems for both teams the game was concluded early with David Moss and Matt Sharp in agreement that whatever we did a result could not be achieved.

Afterwards Matt gave his summary of the game " It's frustrating but with the wicket playing how it did it created lots of chances for the bowlers but the odds were stacked against the batsman from the first ball. I have to say though credit goes to both sides for trying to create a game even with two rain delays. Jimmy bowled superb and I had no hesitation in recommending him to represent Worcestershire on Friday. Simon did well in his first outing as captain and supported Jimmy superbly with the ball. Danny and Luke played well for their knocks but Jake Warner is now a player to be relied on regardless of the circumstances, he creates platforms and that is all I can ask of him. Pat did well behind the sticks and though not one of the seamers really got going it is unlikely we will play on a wicket of this nature again. Kay is a real find and with Warner could be a great partnership. Davies and Ward will have other days but I am proud of the guys for their performance on day two when at one stage it looked as though Lancashire were going to build a big lead, on a different day we would have beaten them"

The team can be seen here.