Nim & Perry Go Large
By Richard Fennah
A batting masterclass from the two openers saw Oxton cruise to a 10 wicket victory against Widnes
Following on from a fantastic performance in an away performance at Bowdon resulting in a comprehensive 8 wickets, the 2s faced a Widnes side at home looking to make it 2 on the trot and continue to build up some momentum. Widnes elected to bat after winning the toss, a decision that suited the Oxton skipper.
Just before moving on, update thanks to Lewis Knowles that Tranmere Won 2-1.
Opening from the box end, Steve Williams bowled well and was somewhat unfortunate to finish with only 1 wicket in his opening spell of 7 overs, as he removed Wearden LBW for 5. At the pavilion end, Sanjeev plugged away on a length producing multiple false shots and beating the bat with multiple late swinging deliveries, and deserved more from his opening spell.
Following good work from the two Oxton openers in the earlier parts of their spells, the pressure somewhat released, and Gauntlett introduced Alex McIntosh and Rhino just prior to the drinks break. Widnes reached drinks 71 for 1 after 19 overs and looked to be well set.
Drinks break normally don't work out as well, as this one did, but first ball after drinks, Rhino, known for his ability to bowl pies, and place his team mates in danger, dragged down a long hop, that nearly sent poor Alex McIntosh into the tennis courts. However, Alex, Body on the Line, Feet in the Way, McIntosh, clung on, and the well set Webb departed for a brisk 36.
What followed was 12 overs of sustained pressure as Widnes starting losing wickets whilst the score was going nowhere. Rhino struck with another of those infamous pies (steak and kidney by all accounts) as Culett was LBW and following multiple fantastic touches from Macca preventing boundaries, the Widnes skipper tried to force one too many and drove the ball to a rather accepting Steve Williams at Mid Off for 32. 71-1 at drinks became 73-3 and then 81-4. Widnes started to rebuild before Buckley chipped a skier just after drinks to the man who holds the title for Oxton's greatest moustache, one G Kumar. 107-5
Sanjeev replaced the fantastic Alex McIntosh who finished with excellent figures of 9 overs, 4 maidens 0-26. And following the revaluation of overs remaining, Steve Williams replaced Sanjeev and both continued the excellent pressure from the Box End.
What followed was a patient revival from the Widnes pair as they showed they were attempting to protect a youngish tail as they struggle with selection issues. Following Rhinos 15 overs of The Good, The Bad and the Filthy and him requiring large quantities of oxygen, Sanjeev returned and continued his excellent performance alongside new ball partner Steve.
Widnes reached 149-5 when Steve Williams deservedly gained another wicket as an inside edge flew to Nim standing up, ricocheted off his gloves and back onto the stumps with the batsman outside of his crease. Wearden stumped for 42.
That exposed a youngish tale, and left one set batsmen to steer Widnes to a total, and when Sanjeev Bowled Burns for 0 for his first second team wicket and Dean holed out to Jimmy Fraser for 30, Widnes were 154-8 and reached the 50 overs at 156-8.
In reply, Gauntlett opened with the youth and experience as Nim and Jack Perry opened up the home innings.
What ensued was a batting masterclass from the pair as quality shots were combined with lustful blows. Nim survived a close stumping and Jack received a couple of chances but remained calm and maximised his bit of luck with some glorious straight drives.
Both brought up half centuries in style and continued to press on. Jack 78* and Nim 59 steered the boys home after 29 overs with a 10 wicket win.
The 2s now sit 5th in league on 57, 23 points behind 2nd place Upton and 43 points behind leaders Cheadle. The 2s travel away to Warrington next week, hoping to make it 3 in a row.