At Didsbury CC, Sunday 30 May 2021
Cheshire CCC 172 (46.2 overs), Cumbria 175-5 (33.2 overs). Cumbria won by 5 wickets
Cheshire's first outing since September 2019 saw Will Evans' side lose out by five wickets against a strong Cumbria outfit.
Although restructured since 2019, Gary Pratt's side had featured in the KO Trophy Final last time it was played and were comnfortable victors at sun-blessed Didsbury.
Playing at the Wilmslow Road Ground for the first time and in front of a sizeable crowd, Evans' chose to bat first but saw his top order quickly fall with opening quickie Mike Slack causing havoc, taking all five wickets as Cheshire slipped to 45-5. David Wainwright then teamed up with local hero Nick Anderson to build a crucial 38 run sixth wicket partnership.
With Wainwright back in the pavilion, Anderson then upped the ante with Simon Normantion, the Stockport Georgians' man displaying a fine range of sweeps and reverse sweeps.
By the time Normanton had departed, the pair had added 66 and Cheshire were looking at posting a more competitive total than had looked likely.
Anderson was clearly enjoying himself, finally falling for 67, Cheshire closing on 172 and Slack turning in remarkable figures of 7-22.
Any chance of early pressure slipped by as a positive start from Cumbria saw an 88 run partnership for the opening wicket before Slack - now impressing with the bat - fell for 19, leaving partner Sam Dutton to score an exquisite 102.
In truth the visitors won at a canter but there was still time for Anderson to impress his admiring locals again, taking a wicket with his first ball and finishing with 3-22.
Mike Finan, Chris Sanders and Ben Gibbon looked a useful quick trio and there was plenty of effort but for many it was just good to get a Cheshire side together on the field again.
Skipper Evans' was disappointed with the overall result but pointed to Anderson's fine contribution and plenty of effort across the side. "Well beaten," he said, "but plenty of positives to take into the game at Northumberland in a couple of weeks time."