WHITTAKER AND DAWSON SHINE FOR ON-SONG CHESHIRE
By Neil Goulding
JASON Whittaker and Matthew Dawson led the way as Minor Counties
champions Cheshire extended their winning start to the season
Both batsman hit half centuries as the county beat Shropshire
in the MCCA Knockout Trophy by a faster run rate in a rain-affected
meeting at Neston Cricket Club.
Wicketkeeper Dawson top-scored with an unbeaten 59, while all-rounder
Whittaker weighed in a with an important 52 as Cheshire, having
been put in to bat, recovered from 100-6 to post a respectable
219-7 in their allotted 50 overs in their second group match.
Dawson and Whittaker, who both hit one six and four fours in their
innings, shared in a spirited seventh-wicket stand of 103, before
the latter was dismissed in the penultimate over of the match.
At one stage Cheshire were struggling at 23-3 and then having
been forced to take an early lunch at 60-3 from 19.5 overs, resumed
and lost three more wickets for 40 runs.
However, Danny Leech (35) and Nathan Dumelow (23) chipped in with
useful runs to make sure of defendable target.
In reply Shropshire were struggling at 49-3 when heavy rain brought
an abrupt end to proceedings.
Whittaker the pick of Cheshire's bowlers with 2-8 from 5.4 accurate
overs, while fellow seamer Adam Syddall claimed the other scalp
in a spell of 1-18 from seven overs.
Cheshire's run rate of 4.38 was far superior to their visitors'
2.66, making it two wins out of two for last year's Trophy finalists.
"To recover from 100-6 was a very valiant effort, it just
shows the strength in depth we've got," praised team manager
"We didn't expect to get a game because it rained all the
way to the ground, so credit to Neston for getting the game on.
"It's another good win for us. If we win our next group match
then we should qualify for the quarter-finals."
Cheshire skipper Andy Hall praised his side for the "character"
they showed - and is now willing his ambitious charges to beat
Oxfordshire at Great and Little Tew this Sunday.
And with Bedfordshire and Cumberland rained off in the other match
in Group A, another victory would assure Cheshire qualification
to this year's quarter-final stages.
"We had a mini-batting collapse, but we showed a lot of character
to get back on track," said Hall. "Jason and Daws batted
really well to get us out of trouble.
"It was going well with the ball until the heavens opened!
We can't have asked for a better start, hopefully we can beat
Oxfordshire to qualify for the next stage."
Last season Hall guided his team to the MCCA Knockout Trophy at
Lords, but it was opponents Suffolk who took the crown.
Cheshire 219-7, 50 overs (Dawson 59no, Whittaker 52, Leech 35)
FOW: 5, 12, 23, 66, 99, 100, 203.
Shropshire 48-3, 18.4 overs (Syddall 1-18, Whittaker 2-8)
FOW: 30, 41, 48.
Result: Cheshire (2pts), who lost the toss, beat Shropshire (0pts)
on a faster scoring rate.
Cheshire team: Andy Hall (capt, Bramhall), Danny Leech (Oulton
Park), Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall), Ben Spendlove (Oulton
Park), James Duffy (Hyde), Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park), Jason
Whittaker (Alderley Edge), Matt Dawson (wkt, Bramhall), Danny
Woods (Hyde), Adam Syddall (Bowdon), Daniel Berry (Hyde). 12th
man: David Hurst (Neston). Scorer: Jim Law.
Cheshire are kindly sponsored by AB Nutrition Ltd and therightmoveabroad.com