Bramhall 1st XI vs Toft 14/07/18

Andrew Reynolds Senior Match Reports

Bramhall won the toss on another hot and sunny day at Church Lane, with captain Nick Cantello inviting third placed Toft to make first use of the pitch.
The Beavers got off to a good start keeping the scoring rate in check with a brand new opening bowling partnership of Chris Sanders and Oliver Latter. The pair bowled well and had chances early on to make a breakthrough. The first Toft wicket fell to Latter who removed Drummond for 18, claiming his first Premiership wicket at the age of 16. Bramhall continued to pick up regular wickets throughout the Toft innings, never letting the visitors get away as they reached 112-5 mid-way through the innings.
Toft’s lower order, however, offered some resistance with Jackson in particular looking a likely candidate to clear the ropes and Scott who managed to hit a couple of lusty blows off Ryan Macciocchi. The away side were eventually bowled out off the final ball of their innings, in turn setting Bramhall a target of 210 to win. The pick of the Bramhall bowling attack were Macciocchi and Iftikhar Naseer, sharing seven wickets between them. Despite a last wicket Toft partnership exceeding thirty, Bramhall felt confident about the run chase – particularly as the previous week had seen them chase down a total of 250.

This confidence looked ill-placed as Bramhall got off to a terrible start in losing West for a duck, leaving the score 0-1. Fellow opener Alex Hunt continued his form from the previous week, finding the middle of the bat with regularity, until he became Toft’s second breakthrough came with the score on 59. The Beavers’ number three, Liam Banthorpe was looking good at the crease, and he was able to combine with Adam Wilde to bring the required runs down to 100 before Wilde was caught for a well-made 25. His dismissal brought the often-destructive Naseer to the crease, who calmly knocked the ball around the ground for singles as well as hitting the bad ball to the boundary. Banthorpe had passed his fifty before being bowled for 58, leaving the score on 138 – 4 and the game far from over. Cantello came to the crease knowing a captain’s innings was required to take the Beavers to victory, and he was able to support the increasingly aggressive Naseer to add a crucial 70 run stand. Iftikhar finished the game unbeaten on 57 and Cantello not out on 23, as Bramhall won by a healthy six wickets and win 3 overs to spare.
Bramhall have now picked up a crucial 50 points in the last two weeks, and face Marple away this Saturday, a team now only three points ahead.