After a disappointing and close loss to Timperley last week, Hyde were looking to bounce back against toft, a team against whom we pulled off an unlikely win earlier in the year. The dark clouds overhead threatened rain, and the green wicket ensured that whoever won the toss was going to bowl first. Which is exactly what Toft skipper Lomas did.
Partridge and Young opened up Hyde’s account, and the pair looked to be positive playing a plethora of shots. They added 61 for the first wicket, being denied many more runs by a very slow outfield which prevented certain boundaries from making it to the rope. They were prized apart when Luke was trapped plum LBW to Forster for 30. Partridge looked a lot better than he has for a number of weeks, and was powering towards his 50, when he snicked Forster through to Sehmi for 38. Whittaker and Fisher were now batting together and were fending off some nagging and accurate bowling from an array of Toft seamers. They added a steady 24, but were separated when Dunkerley snuck one through Whittaker to bowl him. Elliot Young joined Fisher and they began to add runs at a decent kilter, scoring freely as the Toft seamers loosened their line. Fisher was finally dismissed for a very well made 32, bowled once more by Dunkerley. Hyde were now 133/4 and were in a solid position with just under 20 overs remaining in the innings, and they looked to expand the score with Fitzsimmons joining Young, and the free scoring mentality continued. Young, one of the more devastating hitters in the side, played an innings with an uncommonly small number of boundaries with just a pair of 4s and a solitary 6 to his name. However, despite the low boundary count, Young played a brilliant innings supported well by Fitzsimmons. It was the Toft captain who broke the partnership, bringing himself on late in the innings, he trapped Fitzsimmons LBW. 2 balls later he also had Turner LBW with one that turned the other way, after 2 quick wickets, Hyde were looking a bit worried. Fortunately, Young continued to score, looking to take Hyde towards full batting points, but he departed on 36, going for a big shot over mid-wicket he was well caught by Hodgson, who chased it down from Mid-On and took a good grab over his shoulder. Once more, 1 brought 2 when Allcock chased a wide one next ball, snicking it to Sehmi who caught it at the second time of asking, giving Forster his 3rd and 4th wicket on consecutive balls. 182/8, and Ebbrell and Cranmer were left with the task of getting Hyde to a defendable total. Cranmer aimed a big slog sweep toward the car park, but didn’t middle it and was caught well in the deep by Lord off Lomas. Ebbrell crashed a couple of 4s, but the innings was over when he was beaten by a Jaffa from Lomas that clipped the top of off. 197 all out, which looked a defendable target, especially since before the game, Craig Young and I thought that 200 would be around par. Hyde would have to bowl well to defend it/
Drummond and Forster came out to face the Hyde opening pair of Hannah and Whittaker, and looked to have problems right away. Hannah looked dangerous, but the day was designed for the bowling of Whittaker, which he proved first ball when he had Forster caught at slip by Partridge. Whittaker struck again in his next over when he removed the dangerous Sehmi, caught behind by his opposite number in Allcock. Hughes attempted to stick with Drummond, but was comprehensively bowled by Whittaker, leaving Toft in the lurch at 12/3. Williams and Drummond were forced to dig in at this point. Scoring almost became non-existent and the pair battled to stay in the middle, as both Whittaker and Hannah beat the bat. I must make special mention of Hannah’s spell of bowling, as it is perhaps one of the best unrewarded spells I have ever seen. He had a drop in the slips and the batsmen couldn’t get him away, leading to 5 maidens. The introduction of Turner, who took 6/19 at Toft, saw Hyde make the breakthrough having Williams caught and bowled, after he and Drummond had added 39 for the 4th wicket. Lord didn’t occupy the crease for long, attempting a slog sweep off Cranmer, it went straight up, prompting Allcock to have to move about half a yard to take the catch. Lomas couldn’t stick with Drummond for too long either, becoming Luke Young’s first Premier League scalp when he was bowled for 2, prompting a loud celebration from the youngster. 81/6, and Hyde looked to be in a position to win comfortably, with just the tail to go. But, as happens very often in this league, the tail wagged. Scott joined Drummond and the pair went on the attack, adding 50 for the 7th wicket at just under a run a ball. In this time, Drummond became the only player in the match to raise his bat in a very sensible innings that was vital for Toft’s chances of a positive result. Scott hit 5 4s and 2 6s in his quickfire 39, before he played Turner straight to Fitzsimmons in a very soft dismissal. Jackson entered the crease with the game in the balance. If he could stick with Drummond, the game would go to Toft, but, in the opinion of Simon Burley, a wicket would swing the game for Hyde. Jackson has explosive potential, demonstrated by a T20 ton earlier in the season. His innings was more restrained however, adding 35 for the 8th wicket, before Whittaker comeback spelled the end for him, clean bowled. Upon the loss of Jackson, Drummond decided that he had to go for it as soon as possible, planting Turner for 6 over Mid-On, before digging out a Yorker next ball. Unfortunately for Drummond, backspin took the ball onto the stump, dislodging a bail removing him for an excellent 78 which almost saw his side home. 3 balls later, Turner drew a bottom edge from Hodgson which was caught down low by Allcock leaving Toft 172 all out, Hyde winning by 25 runs. Whittaker and Turner ending up with 4 apiece.
This game was the polar opposite of our performance against Timperley. At Timperley, we had a couple of big innings with no support from the rest of the line-up. Here we didn’t have any massive scores, but everybody contributed which is vital for our success. Next week we travel to Widnes, where hopefully we can begin to string together some wins as we are more than capable of climbing up the table.
By James Howe