Cheshire cruise past Wales
Cheshire took less than two days to crush Wales by an innings and 19 runs in their MCCA Championship match at Nantwich.
Without unavailable long-time skipper Andy Hall, who was replaced by debutant Ollie Law, Cheshire never looked back after posting a formidable 405 for nine in their 90 overs on the first day.
The innings was underpinned by a superb century from Warren Goodwin. The opener made 107 and put on 69 for the second wicket with Richard Wilkinson and 101 for the third with Lee Dixon.
Dixon went on to make 75 and added a further 78 runs for the fourth wicket with stand-in skipper James Duffy, who contributed 46.
There were also useful contributions down the order from Richard Logan and Jimmy Warrington as Cheshire piled on the agony for the men from the principality.
Already weakened by the loss of Dion Holden, who could not bat, Wales then suffered at the hands of left-arm seamer Adam Syddall.
He claimed two early scalps to leave the visitors precariously placed at 64 for three at the end of the first day.
Syddall carried on in the same vein on day two, finishing with 4-65, as Wales collapsed to 159 all out, 246 runs in arrears. He was ably supported by Richard Logan and Danny Woods with two wickets apiece.
Skipper Duffy enforced the follow on and Wales were soon in trouble again as Logan dispatched openers Rhodri Evans and Tim Baker with just eight runs on the board.
They did, however, make a better fist of their second innings, mainly thanks to a superb century from Sam Davies. He received some good support from Andrew Salter in a partnership of 86 for sixth wicket, which briefly delayed the inevitable in the afternoon sun.
Left-arm spinner Danny Woods claimed the wickets of both Davies and Salter and a further three to finish with the excellent figures of 5-53 from 15 overs and match figures of 7-68.
Jimmy Warrington also added two scalps to the one he took in the first innings as Wales were bowled out for 227 in their second innings shortly after tea on the second day.
Duffy was delighted with his players after his first game in charge, saying: “It was great to put such a big score on the board on the first day. Warren (Goodwin) and Lee (Dixon) batted beautifully, and there were good contributions all down the order.”
“Adam (Syddall) bowled particularly well on the first evening, Richard made his usual contribution and Jimmy Warrington chipped in with a few, but Danny (Woods) was magnificent. He kept plugging away and got his just rewards.”
Despite this convincing victory, news from elsewhere was not good for Cheshire’s chances of reaching the MCCA Championship final, as Western Division leaders Berkshire scored an impressive innings and 44 run triumph over Herefordshire at Finchampstead and are still 40 points ahead of Cheshire with two championship matches left to play.