DRAMATIC WIN FOR CHESHIRE By Neil Goulding - Day 3

CHESHIRE snatched a dramatic six-runs victory over Wales on the last day of their Minor Counties Championship Western Division tussle in Swansea. All-rounder Nathan Dumelow starred with a five-wicket haul, which included the last two wickets of the innings as Wales nearly grabbed victory for themselves at St Helens CC. Needing 202 for victory, having been 74-1 overnight, Wales slumped to 219-8 thanks to some fine bowling from Dumelow and fellow spinner Danny Woods, who chipped in with three wickets. But a ninth wicket partnership of 61 looked to have swung the game back in Wales' favour - that was until Dumelow wrapped up the innings with two wickets in three balls after a nailbiting finish. Seamers Barney Cutbill and John Farrow also claimed a wicket each as last year's Minor Counties champions registered their second win in a row.

"I was getting really nervous at the end," admitted Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.

"We were well in control when we had them 219-8, but they never gave up and when they got to 280 it was a case of hoping we'd get a breakthrough.

"It was a fantastic game of cricket. Both sides knew they could win on the last day, but to win by just six runs proves how close the match was."

Indeed, and Hall paid special tribute to Dumelow for his match-winning heroics. On Monday the former Derbyshire all-rounder was presented with his county cap and with five wickets in the second innings took his match tally to nine wickets.

"Nathan also had a century for us in the first innings, so he's had a great match," added Hall.

"It's fitting that he was awarded his county cap in this game. He's such an asset to this team and we're all delighted for him."

Spin partner Danny Woods finished the match with seven wickets, in only his second outing for the senior side, while Farrow and Cutbill finished with three and two wickets respectively. Cheshire team manager Sandy Scrimngeour said: "It was a real team effort and all the players stuck at it, right up until the very end.

"I'm very proud of them all. I was getting very nervous when Wales started to get close to winning, so it was great to see us get those last two wickets.

"I'm especially delighted for Nathan. He's such a big asset to this team, on and off the field."

Scorecard - Final day of 3 (Minor Counties 3-day Championship - Western Division)

Cheshire 1st innings: 206 all out, (N Dumelow 127, J Duffy 22)

Wales Minor Counties: 161 all out (D Woods 4-47, N Dumelow 3-35, J Farrow 2-43, B Cutbill 1-19)

Cheshire 2nd innings: 240 all out (A Hall 96, O Sadler 62)

Wales Minor Counties: (74-1 overnight) 280 all out (N Dumelow 5 wickets, D Woods 3 wickets, B Cutbill & J Farrow one wicket each)

Result: Cheshire won by six runs (Cheshire 21pts, Wales 4pts)

 

JW Lees-sponsored Cheshire team: Andy Hall, Nick Cantello, Matt Dawson, Barney Cutbill (Bramhall); Danny Leech, Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Danny Woods (Hyde); Oliver Sadler (Nantwich); Guy Emmett (Bowdon); John Farrow (Heaton Mersey). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton).

HALL AND SADLER GIVE CHESHIRE CHANCE By Neil Goulding - day 2

CAPTAIN Andy Hall and debutant Oliver Sadler were the stars for Cheshire, but the result of their match against Wales Minor Counties at Swansea hangs in the balance. Former England schoolboy Hall top-scored with an excellent innings of 96 at St Helens CC, while Sadler chipped in with a mature 62, as the pair shared a second-wicket stand of 170 runs. However, Wales struck back with quick wickets and last year's Minor Counties champions were dismissed for 240. Leading by 45 runs overnight, that gave Hall's men a lead of 285, before Wales batted for a second time and reached a respectable 74-1 at the close. Left-arm spinner Woods claimed the sole scalp for the JW Lees sponsored side. And although Wales need under 200 to win, with spinners Nathan Dumelow and Woods so successful in routing Wales for just 161 in their first innings, skipper Hall is understandably about the prospect of the same happening on a turning pitch.

"We've given ourselves a great chance of winning the game, but we must take some early wickets," said Hall.

"Nathan and Danny both bowled really well in the first innings, and with the pitch turning I'm sure they can do it again.

"We should have scored more runs after mine and Ollie's partnership, but unfortunately we gave our wickets away to cheaply and that has given Wales a sniff at winning.

"It will be really important to make some really inroads and put Wales under pressure. We know their batting line-up can crumble, just like it did in the first innings."

At lunchtime on the second both Dumelow, now in his second season with Cheshire, and Danny Leech were awarded their county caps. Leech said: "It's a great honour for me. I love playing for Cheshire. I've been living the dream."

Scorecard - Day 2 of 3 (Minor Counties 3-day Championship - Western Division)

Cheshire 1st innings: 206 all out, (N Dumelow 127, J Duffy 22)

Wales Minor Counties: 161 all out (D Woods 4-47, N Dumelow 3-35, J Farrow 2-43, B Cutbill 1-19).

Cheshire 2nd innings: 240 all out (A Hall 96, O Sadler 62)

Wales Minor Counties: 74-1

Cheshire team: Andy Hall, Nick Cantello, Matt Dawson, Barney Cutbill (Bramhall); Danny Leech, Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Danny Woods (Hyde); Oliver Sadler (Nantwich); Guy Emmett (Bowdon); John Farrow (Heaton Mersey). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton).

Cheshire fight back - Day 1
All-rounder Nathan Dumelow was Cheshire's hero after the opening day of their Western Division clash with Wales Minor Counties at St Helens in Swansea. The former Derbyshire player crashed a brilliant century as the defending Minor Counties champions fought back after a first-innings collapse. Cheshire eventually posted 206, with Dumelow's innings the bedrock after the visitors lost their other nine wickets for 79 runs. Some fine bowling, with Dumelow again at the forefront, then saw Andy Hall's men take a lead of 45 runs, which could prove vital in what has been a low-scoring game.

“Nathan batted and bowled really well,” said skipper Hall.

“We really needed someone to stay in and get some runs because we lost a lot of cheap wickets.”

Hall also paid tribute to the rest of his bowlers for a fine effort in the field. Promising left-arm spinner Danny Woods, who made his debut in the fine win over Herefordshire at Alderley Edge at the end of last month, was the pick of the bowlers with 4-47 from 22 overs, while Dumelow returned impressive figures of 3-35 from 14 overs. Pace ace John Farrow (2-43) and Bramhall seamer Barney Cutbill (1-19) were also amongst the wickets.

“Ours was not a great score, so we knew we would have to bowl well first up - and we did that,” added Hall.

“We worked hard as a team in the field and the bowlers really stuck at their tasks. It was never going to be easy, but we never gave up.

“To get a first-innings lead, having not made a big total, is great for us. Now it's up to us to bat better second time around and give ourselves a good chance of winning the game.”

Cheshire 1st innings: 206 all out (N Dumelow 127, J Duffy 22)

Wales Minor Counties first innings: 161 all out (D Woods
4-47, N Dumelow 3-35, J Farrow 2-43, B Cutbill 1-19).