Bramhall welcomed Didsbury to Church Lane, on what would be an eventful day’s cricket for the Beavers against opposition who were also relegated to Division One last season.
Didsbury won the toss and invited the hosts to bowl on a wicket which had a little bit of spice in it, following heavy showers the preceding day. Bramhall progressed well, however, in reaching a score of 36 off 6 overs before the loss of Ashley West who made a quick fire 22. Wilde quickly followed West in being caught, leaving the score at 38-2 with plenty of overs to go innings. Hunt and the overseas Kett combined well together adding a further 20 runs before both again fell in a short space of time. The largest partnership was to come with Matt Higginbottom and captain Nick Cantello combining to add a further 57 runs in good time thanks to some hard hitting from the former. When Higginbottom was out for a well-made 48 Bramhall had progressed to 135-6 and the possibility still existed to post a challenging total. However, the Beavers’ tail was unable to wag this week and four wickets rapidly followed to leave Bramhall bowled out for 137 in just the 40th over. Just two home batters managed to top 20 runs again a Didsbury attack for whom Matthew Gregson took 4-13.
After the tea break Bramhall got off to a dream start taking a wicket with just the second ball of the innings when Chris Sanders trapped Hughes in front.
Sanders and Higginbottom’s new ball partnership reduced the visitors to 24-2, but a promising third wicket partnership took the score to 52-2 before Simon Wilkinson’s spin bowled Steele for a patient 8. The scoreboard then quickly moved to 57-4, 60-5 and then 72-6 as Luke Littlewood and then the left arm spin of Ryan Macciocchi provided crucial breakthroughs to leave the home side in control.
The Beavers knew that a couple more quick wickets would potentially make the difference in a low scoring fixture, and another came to leave Didsbury on 91-7. However, nerves started to jangle at Church Lane when the visitors added 30 runs for the 8th wicket with number six Sam Leech looking strong. Fortunately for Bramhall, the re-introduction of Sanders to the attack proved crucial as he & Simon Wilkinson picked up the remaining wickets for just four additional runs eventually bowling Didsbury for 125, seeing Bramhall win by just 12 runs.
Sanders was instrumental with the ball in picking up figures of 4-33 off 12 overs, aided in no small part by Macciocchi’s 3-26, in a slim win that sees Bramhall rise to joint second in a closely fought Division One.
The Beavers travel to Lindow on Thursday for the start of the T20 fixtures and then travel to new leaders Urmston on Saturday.