Monday 1 May, Nantwich CC
Game 1: Abandoned
Game 2: Staffordshire 176-5 (20), Cheshire 166-9 (20). Staffordshire won by 10 runs
Cheshire finally got their 2023 T20 campaign underway, only to slip out of the tournament after just one game.
With double headers washed out at Chester (v Northumberland) and at Shifnal (v Shropshire), a further washout of the first match on Monday left Cheshire having to win to stay in the competition.
Staffordshire had had better luck with the weather and went into the match with seven points against Cheshire's five and a tight ten run win left them at the top of the table.
Cheshire face a trip to Cumbria next weekend who, if they beat Cheshire twice, can also challenge for a place at Final's Day. Northumberland too can have a say.
It's tough luck on Nick Anderson's side who've been kicking their heels since the early season start and have lost players to first class county calls - Charlie Barnard being pulled out of this one by Lancashire and Chris Sanders by Leicestershire.
It was a frustrating morning at Nantwich with a decent crowd enjoying patches of sunshine but no cricket.
Eventually the umpires deemed the pitch playable but the first game was scrapped and the second game resheduled for 2.45pm.
Nick Anderson won the toss and not surprisingly chose to bowl but his side were left scratching their heads as the visitors raced to 65 after just four overs.
However, wickets were falling as Cheshire pulled things round despite 65 from Michael Hill and 36 from Liam Banks.
Matt Morris hit 26 and although a final tally of 176-5 felt perhaps over par, Cheshire's bowlers fought back well. Rob Lord impressed with 2-28, Luke Young took 1-14 and Jack Williams 1-29.
The Cheshire reply started more sedately but with a game plan to chip away and vice captain Sam Perry continued on from where he left off last year with a sparkling 72 (two 6s, seven 4s). With Perry gone at 115-4 in the fifteenth over, the skipper was leading the onslaught - hitting 4 sixes in his 34.
Although Cheshire were always just below the rate, it was a valiant effort, particularly for a side starved of any cricket to date, playing together for the first time.
Alas though, the weather, the early season start and the lack of games all transpired to thwart Cheshire who will hope to learn more from a trip to Cumbria ahead of the 50 over KO Trophy competition.
The Cumbria T20 double header is at Netherfield next Sunday (7 May) at 11am and 2.30pm.
(Photo: Alfie Shenton)