A strong looking Bramhall side arrived at recently promoted Brooklands intent on continuing the excellent form of the past week, where an emphatic league victory over Davenham was followed by an even bigger winning margin over Mobberley in the T20 competition on Thursday.
Arriving to see a soft and greenish looking wicket spooked the visiting captain to the extent that he forgot to call when the coin was tossed, and then offered the home skipper the choice after realising his mistake! When the re-toss came down in favour of the home side, they had no hesitation in asking Bramhall to have first use of what was sure to be a tricky pitch to score runs on.
The Wilde West combination at the top of the order has not yet clicked this season, and got the innings off to a bad start when Ashley West was run out after an injudicious call by his opening partner in the fourth over. When Australian Jevon Kett soon followed, a period of consolidation was needed, and fortunately this is the type of role that captain Nick Cantello specialises in. It was this third wicket partnership that proved the bedrock of the innings, while Adam Wilde looked in fluent touch despite a couple of games off with injury, and Cantello battled hard to lay a solid foundation for a proposed onslaught in the later overs.
Cantello fell for a solid 47, accelerating after drinks following a watchful start. This dismissal, however, changed the complexion of the innings, as Jack Clarke, Matt Higginbottom and Alex Hunt all followed their skipper back to the pavilion within the space of 6 balls! The in-form Chris Sanders then joined Wilde, and although he was able to strike a massive six, he also found the wicket tough going, and was caught attempting another maximum for 21.
All the while, Wilde continued to accumulate, and with immaculate timing he reached a fantastic first century for the Beavers in the last over of the innings to take his side to a very competitive 203 for 7 at the break. Given the conditions with a slow, low wicket and slow outfield, it was an excellent innings, and just what his team needed to post a competitive score for the second Saturday in a row.
After tea, the new ball attack of Sanders and Higginbottom once again combined pace with guile and accuracy. Sanders found little joy in the pace of the wicket despite his best efforts, but Higginbottom was rewarded for a probing spell with the first wicket.
Change bowlers Simon Wilkinson and Ollie Latter were then introduced, and the home team found run scoring particularly difficult in the face of accurate bowling and keen fielding. Bowling in tandem, the two then shared the next 6 wickets between them, as well as a run out expertly effected by Latter with a direct hit. This left Brooklands in disarray at 8 wickets down and way off the pace once Wilkinson’s spell of 15 overs 4 for 39 was completed. Latter chipped in with an excellent 2 for 14 from his 7 overs, once again confirming his promise with a clinical spell.
It was then left to the returning Sanders to mop up the innings with the final two wickets, which he duly did in his first over back with some devastating death bowling. It was a happy, victorious Bramhall team who celebrated moving up to third place in the table with their hard earned but ultimately comfortable victory, and will look to continue their good form at Sale away next weekend.