Calum Rowe receives his cap
from President David Sharp.
Ed Fluck on his way to 80 on debut.
Lee Dixon scored 118*.

Late flurry of wickets sees Cheshire home

By Jim Law

Unicorns Championship - Western Division
Sunday - Tuesday 16-18 July 2017, Alderley Edge CC
Cheshire 313 & 353-5, Wales Minor Counties 316 & 323.
Cheshire won by 27 runs.

Three days in the sunshine went down to the wire as Cheshire clinched a dramatic victory over Wales Minor Counties at Alderley Edge.

Wayne White took a running catch on the mid-wicket boundary to give Cheshire the honours as they overcame a brave challenge from Wales Minor Counties to win by 27 runs with five overs remaining.

Lee Dixon added an unbeaten 118 to his first innings 67 while Ed Fluck impressed on debut scoring 20 and 80.

Cheshire were invited to bat first on a flat wicket and mustered 313, Rick Moore supporting Dixon with 44. The Welsh bowlers restricted the home side well with Ollie Pike taking 4-91.

Wales total of 316 meant the game effectively became a one innings match after Joe Voke hit 79, Tom Bevan debuting 64 and Steff Roberts 65*. Pick of the Cheshire bowlers first time round was White with 3-72.

From there onwards it was about Lee Dixon timing his declaration and 353-5 set a target of 351. After Calum Rowe had made 54 and Moore 66, Dixon and the impressive youngster Fluck, on his home ground added 124 for the fourth wicket.

The Welsh chase got off to a fine start as Voke hit 73 and skipper Sean Griffiths 83. At tea, all results were possible as Wales upped the ante.

But Dixon's bowlers stuck to their guns with White taking 4-67 and Jack Williams 3-115. The toil paid off as the visitor's charge fell 27 runs short as the pressure mounted.

Skipper Dixon paid tribute to the three debutants - Rob Sehmi behind the stumps, quickie Chris Sanders and Fluck.

"Young Ed batted really well on debut. His 80 helped us set up the declaration. It was a mature and sensible knock. Chris (Sanders) and Rob (Sehmi) slipped into the side effortlessly too to show our strength in depth," said Dixon.

Modestly he overlooked his own contribution which shaped the match. His second innings century was vintage Dixon, picking his shots and playing positively from the off.

Cheshire's next game is at Devizes against Wiltshire on 30 July - 1 August.

(Footnote: Calum Rowe received his county cap at lunchtime on day one of the match).

Cheshire v Wales scorecard