Toft finally turn tables
It was a Red Letter Day for Toft when they won by 10 wickets at Widnes, breaking a run of 14 ECB Premier League games without a victory since July 30 last season.
Nor were there any half-measures, Widnes being routed for 76 in 37 overs by the contrasting spin of club chairman Nigel Muirhead, with 5-19 off 18 overs and England Under 15 cap Robin Jones, 4-19 off 14.
Toft openers knocked off the runs at 76 without loss in 16 overs, Toby Drummond 41, Jake Hancock 36 to complete the whitewash. It was Widnes’ third defeat in a row after a bright start.
Otherwise it was a day of high scoring, seven teams topping 200 runs as the sun shone brightly and the bowlers laboured.
Champions Nantwich continued their modest start to the campaign with a 41 runs defeat at Neston who ran up 206, Luke Camden 52, Jimmy Warrington 5-73.
Chris Finegan again turned up trumps with a return of 6-41 off 13 lethal overs in the Dabbers’ reply of 165 all out, Ray Doyle scoring a fighting 60. These are worrying times for the Dabbers with three defeats and only two wins in their first six outings.
Oxton enjoyed a winning draw (13 – 7) at Chester Boughton Hall where many ex-players met up.
Former Kiwi Test star Lou Vincent scored an unbeaten 103 and Guyan Fernando 43 in Oxton’s formidable 226 for nine, Mark Rowland 4-40. Chester hung on at 167 for eight, Lee Dixon 44. Oxton staying 19 points clear at the top of the table.
Reviving Alderley Edge did well to outplay Hyde at Werneth Low, although they had to be content with a draw after posting 266 for six, Calum Rowe 81, Tom Young 4-86.
Hyde were indebted to skipper Danny Berry, 103 and wicket-keeper Mark Makin, 50 not out for a reply of 231 for eight, Jason Whittaker taking 3-58.
Possibly the best innings played in the League so far this season – in the eyes of delighted skipper Barney Cutbill, at least - came from Macclesfield’s Khalid Sawas in a notable 68 runs home victory over Didsbury.
In the form of his life, Sawas followed knocks of 98 and 63 with a superb 142 not out, pasting the ball to all corners of the ground in a tally of 221 for six, reaching his century with a fabulous reverse sweep for six.
Nick Anderson did his best to contain with 3-41. Didsbury mustered only 153, their innings being notable for another fine individual effort, from their hard-hitting South African Johan van Schalkwyk, who scored 69. before Rob Porter, 4-32 and Ian Tait, 4-55 ensured full home points.
Highest team tally of the season so far came from Urmston who piled up 291 for five in a drawn match at Marple.
Chris Watson scored 108 and Nick Fawcett 74 in an opening stand worth 170, while teenager Joe Cash toiled away for an admirable 3-83 from 27 unchanged overs in the sunshine. Marple replied decently, reaching 230 for five, Andy McGuinness 62, James Crisall 52.