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Brooklands Cricket Club
10:07am Tuesday 19th June 2012 in Sport
BROOKLANDS CC 1st XI produced a much improved batting performance to record their first league victory in six attempts at Oulton Park on Saturday. Long periods of the game were played in persistent drizzle, and it was remarkable that a full game took place, on a day when most of the matches around Cheshire were curtailed by the rain.
There appeared little hope of a Brooklands win when, after being asked to bat, the hosts declared early at 243-5 from 48 overs, with both Danny Leech and Martin East scoring exactly 100. AJ Hart was the pick of the Brooklands bowlers, taking 3-71 from 18 accurate overs.
Brooklands' reply started spectacularly, as first John Birchall (23 from nine balls), then Nafees Din (34 from 27 balls), cashed in on some wayward bowling. The hosts' bowlers struggled to cope with a ball that rapidly became soaked, much as their Brooklands counterparts had earlier in the day, and it soon became clear that the target of 244 from 52 overs was a very realistic possibility on the small Little Budworth ground.
However, at 69-3 Brooklands needed a big partnership, and that came as Alex Edwards (27) and AJ Hart (94 from 89 balls) added a superb 108 to put the visitors on top. Hart's innings was highlighted by some remarkably clean hitting, containing eight 4s and six 6s, while Edwards showed excellent maturity to play a supporting role.
Getting across the line in run chases has often proved a struggle for Brooklands over the last couple of seasons, and when AJ Hart's brilliant innings ended at 198-5 in fading light, the nerves were jangling again. But the experienced pairing of Chris Hart (39*) and captain Dave Madden, both moved down the order to provide extra stability in such circumstances, saw the visitors home with three overs to spare.
The victory moves Brooklands up three places to seventh in CCCL Division 1. They'll hope to build on this next Saturday when they host sixth-placed Bredbury St. Marks, 1pm at Georges Road.