Bramhall 2nd XI vs Tattenhall 21/7/18

Andrew Reynolds Senior Match Reports

Bramhall’s 2nds hosted Tattenhall at Church Lane on Saturday, knowing that a win was required to keep up pressure on Division One’s top two sides. Despite Friday’s not-insubstantial rain, the pitch and outfield were once again so dry & dusty that when asked to bat first by the visitors, the Beavers did not feel disadvantaged.
The home side made a positive start, with openers Tom Mason and Andy Reynolds looking fairly comfortable as they brought up a 50-run opening stand. Reynolds then survived a straightforward chance before he brought up his own half-century in good time. However, he fell immediately after, when inexplicably hitting a full toss straight to mid-on. Somehow, though, Bramhall contrived to slide from 80-1 to 80-4 in the space of 2 overs. Mason was caught on the leg side for 29, and batters then 4 and 5 departed in consecutive balls, with stand-in skipper Stuart Stoneman then negotiating the hat trick delivery.
Stoneman looked in good touch from the off, quickly seizing on any over-pitched deliveries, but his issue soon became one of partners. None of his team mates seemed able to bat long enough to put on more than 40 runs with him, as they fell to a series of ill-judged strokes. Trying to balance ensuring that all allotted overs were used, whilst aiming for maximum bonus batting points was tricky for the skipper. He passed his own 50, and had reached 60 with the score at 190-9. Again, a full toss became the perfect weapon for the visiting attack, and Stoneman was caught & bowled to leave Bramhall all out for 190 with more than 3 of their overs unused.
It was a somewhat disappointing & naive performance with the bat after a solid start at the top of the innings, but despite being a little short of regular bowlers, the Beavers felt confident of a victory after tea.
Once the second half was underway, the hosts made exactly the start they craved, as Gavin Tomlinson struck second ball and James Davenport again 8 balls later to leave Tattenhall in tatters at 2-2. However, a mini-recovery followed, aided by some wayward deliveries on a wicket where anything short and wide was almost certainly sent to the boundary. The away side had reached 84-3, at a healthy run rate, when the returning Matt Madeira struck with his left arm spin to break a useful partnership. Seven more runs followed before Madeira struck again to have Harper well caught at mid-off by James Oliver and suddenly Tattenhall looked in trouble at 91-5. Madeira’s flighted spin at one end was well supported by the cunning of Stoneman’s flatter off-breaks at the other, and the away side were soon on the canvas at 113-8. To their credit, with 20 overs remaining, Tattenhall refused to try and block out and were rewarded with a further batting point before their last wicket fell to Madeira – clutched in the deep between Tomlinson’s hand and knee – on 144.
Madeira’s return of 4-32 was well supported by Stoneman’s 3-24.
It was a performance that leaves some room for the whole team to improve, both with bat and ball, but other results going their way saw the Beavers climb to second – and a promotion spot – in a relatively tight top four.
Next Saturday’s game at Bowdon will further test the Beavers’ promotion credentials.