Toft vs Bramhall 1st XI – 12/08/17

Andrew Reynolds Senior Match Reports

Bramhall captain Nick Cantello incorrectly called the toss on a dry wicket at Toft, with the home skipper asking Bramhall to bowl first.
Toft got off to a quick start, racing to 22 from the first couple of overs, before Matt Higginbottom brought about the first wicket. A second followed quickly followed suit, leaving Toft faltering on 27-2, but with the dangerous pair of Lancashire’s Rob Jones and wicketkeeper-batsman Robert Sehmi at the crease.
The combination had added almost 70 runs, before Simon Wilkinson got greedy and bowled his “variation” ball, picking up the key wicket of Jones with Toft 101-3. Bramhall continued to pick up regular wickets through the first innings as the wickets were shared around the attack. Standout bowler, however, being Iftikhar Naseer with figures of 4-47. A strong Bramhall finish saw the hosts all out for 238 inside 52 overs. The Beavers went in to tea with high hopes of chasing down the score on the flat Toft wicket, with up to 57 overs to do it.

The Beavers began the run chase in similar fashion to the home side, scoring quickly off the opening overs before losing the first wicket with the score on 22. Bramhall continued to stay at the required rate through the innings, aided by 40 from Adam Wilde and Cantello hitting a six with his first scoring shot of the game. However, Toft continued to pick up wickets – including that of Danny Lamb for 69 – and Bramhall found themselves starting the last 10 overs needing 60 runs. An excellent partnership between Chris Sanders and Ashley West took Bramhall within 20 runs of the target, but a couple of quick wickets saw Bramhall’s hitting power reduced and they opted to take the extra draw point by closing out the innings on 220–9.
Bramhall picked up 9 points compared to Toft’s 15, and sees them remain in eighth place on a day when some of the other bottom half teams picked up victories. Bramhall host 9th place Hyde at Church Lane next week in what could be a gripping game.