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Grappenhall too strong for newly promoted Brooklands
1:18pm Tuesday 1st May 2012 in Sport
FOLLOWING last season’s promotion to CCCL Division 1, Brooklands 1st XI began their campaign with a difficult fixture against relegated Grappenhall.
On winning the toss, Brooklands captain Dave Madden had no hesitation in asking the visitors to bat first on a wicket that was still wet following the week’s heavy rain.
Opening bowlers AJ Hart (16-4-53-3) and Caleb Jones (14-3-66-4) both produced impressive opening spells, making run-scoring difficult and reducing Grappenhall to 23-3 from 15 overs.
However, Australian Jason Smith set about the Brooklands attack, and with a merciless display of hitting rapidly took the game away from Brooklands. Smith struck eight 4s and six 6s in his brutal 88-ball innings of exactly 100; this allowed the visitors to declare at 208-7 after 45 overs.
The target of 209 from 55 overs always looked a big ask on a wicket that very much favoured the seam bowlers, but Brooklands’ reply started well and they progressed to 28-0 from seven overs. Their opening partnership was then broken in unfortunate fashion, as John Birchall had to retire hurt after being hit on the thumb by a nasty rising delivery from Grappenhall’s left-arm seamer Sam Guest.
By this point, Guest was finding significant swing and seam movement, and he rapidly removed the next five batsmen, reducing the hosts to 52-5, whilst claiming personal figures of 11-3-19-5. Despite some valiant attempts by the lower-order to restore some pride, Brooklands were bowled out for 77, losing by 131 runs.
Although not the start Brooklands had been hoping for, they will take heart from the good starts that they produced in both innings, and the fact that very few sides in this division could have competed with Grappenhall on that form.
It was always likely to take some time to adapt to the higher level, and Brooklands will be looking to get their first victory of the season at Heaton Mersey on Saturday.