Winning Premier League Start For Hyde
By Mike Karpinsky
Whittaker and Allcock steer Hyde home at Oulton Park on Premier League Return
Hyde CC, back in the prem. It seems right, and after a relatively easy campaign in Division 1 last year, the step up in class wasn’t going to be easy. We travelled to Little Budworth to face Oulton Park on a gorgeous Saturday in April. For all the sunshine that had been around for the past week, the wicket itself was strangely damp and soft, leaving for a very easy decision for the winner of the toss. Tom Partridge won his first toss as Hyde Captain, and elected to bowl first.
Whittaker and Hannah started Hyde off for the 2019 season, and the pair got Hyde off to a great start. Their tight bowling leaving very little for the batsmen to pounce on. It was the height of Hannah that helped Hyde secure their first wicket, taking a caught and bowled that was off limits to all but the 6”8 opening bowler, removing Leech for an 18-ball duck. Ward, Oulton Park’s other opening batsman, struggled along for another 8 low scoring overs, looking to pounce on any loose deliveries, which Whittaker and Hannah rarely provided. Ward eventually fell victim to Hyde’s Aussie as well, clipping the top of his off stump.
Oulton Park’s skipper, East, looked to push on with the scoring, picking up a few boundaries, before he became Whittaker’s first victim, adjudged to be LBW, which felt like just rewards for Whittaker’s miserly bowling. This left Oulton Park 56/3, not a brilliant position to be in, but not fatal. Especially with Hyslop at the other end, who had sped out of the blocks, punishing a couple of loose overs from Balderson. He sped to 33, before some quick glove work by Allcock gave Cranmer his first wicket.
Having changed ends at the drinks break, Balderson steamed into the attack with a new lease of life, trapping Latham LBW with his first ball, and having Gibbon caught behind with his third to complete a double wicket maiden. Kettle and Jamieson added a very valuable 33 for the 7th wicket, taking them from 82/6 to 115/6 when Kettle picked out Fitzsimmons at deep square leg off the bowling of Cranmer. Jamieson fell the next ball when a Cranmer quicker ball pinned him LBW, and Oulton Park were once again wobbling at 115/8. It wasn’t too much longer before Cranmer had his 4th victim, when a slightly slower delivery enticed Dufty out of his crease and Allcock whipped the bails off, after a good take. Cranmer wrapped up his innings, and his 5fer, when he had Hards trapped LBW first ball, leaving Oulton Park 125 all out.
While the total of 125 seemed easily chaseable, it was clear from the Oulton Park innings that the pitch had some demons in it. Hyde’s Captain opened the batting, along with Fitzsimmons, for a run chase that seemed like a formality. Taking full advantage of the small boundaries at Oulton Park, Partridge sped out of the blocks, looking to end the game early. He added 22 quick runs at well over a run a ball, before a lofted drive was chipped towards mid-off, and the opposite skipper was required to make a very difficult catch. Hyde’s start worsened a few balls later when Fitzsimmons was caught in the Gully off of Gibbon. Balderson and Duffy tried to steady the ship, adding valuable runs to the chase. Balderson was caught and bowled by Gibbon and Duffy was LBW to Dufty, leaving Hyde 61/4. Fisher fell in the same fashion to the same bowler a couple of overs later and Hyde appeared to wobbling, and it got even worse when Elliot Young went for a big shot, and got a little snick on it, being well held by Ward. A few balls later, Luke Young received an unplayable ball that misbehaved off the pitch, which he was only able to steer to the wicketkeeper. Hyde were now 78/7 and staring down the barrel of a defeat. Cranmer and Whittaker were now together at the crease and added a very valuable 14 runs. Dufty had seemingly tied down his end, and Cranmer fell victim to him, trying to relieve pressure by going for a big shot, only to be bowled. Allcock joined Whittaker, and the pair wrestled back control of the game. They did not take undue risks, but scored when they could, chipping away at the total. A beautiful lofted drive for 4 brought the scores level, and it was won with a single. Hyde finishing 126/8.
This was a close game. The pitch wasn’t perfect, but we did not help ourselves, with many unnecessary risks. With that being said, a win is a win, and we open up the Tom Partridge era with 25 points. We can take many positives from this match, all 4 bowlers looked good and took wickets, and our lower order did well under difficult circumstances. We move on to Timperley next weekend, and hopefully we can take the confidence a win inspires with us.