Just what we wanted, says Ashwell skipper
ASHWELL maintained their early unbeaten start to the season thanks to the narrowest of victories over Cokenach. Cokenach s last wicket pair failed to score the six runs they needed from the final three balls of the match, which left Ashwell winners by ju
ASHWELL maintained their early unbeaten start to the season thanks to the narrowest of victories over Cokenach.
Cokenach's last wicket pair failed to score the six runs they needed from the final three balls of the match, which left Ashwell winners by just two runs.
Ashwell captain Jonathan Merrell said: "I think we've made a solid start to the season - and the game that we played against Cokenach is exactly the type of cricket we want to play.
"Win or lose, a game that goes to the last ball is a good game.
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"It should be a good season for us, and hopefully we've got the depth of squad that can cope with an 18 game league season. Consolidation of our league status is the first priority - anything more at this stage will be a bonus."
It was a game that ebbed and flowed all afternoon, and after Cokenach had elected to field first, Ashwell's top order struggled with a sluggish pitch and the new ball bowling of Keel and Field.
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Gary Simmons (23) and Steve Parkhouse put on a patient stand for the third wicket, but with the scoring rate slow and wickets falling at regular intervals, Ashwell limped to the second drinks break at 72 for 5 from 30 overs.
However, there must have been something in the water, as Tim Moynihan and Matt Skelding suddenly cut loose - racking up 53 runs in three overs.
Skelding's 28 was a great contribution in a generally low scoring affair, while Moynihan swung three sixes out of the ground on his way to a quickfire 56.
Ashwell ran out of wickets in the last of the 40 overs, but the addition of 91 runs in the final 10 overs was to prove crucial as Ashwell finished on 163.
In reply, it looked as if Cokenach were likely to make short work of the target - with Keel particularly severe on anything overpitched. Having put on 44 by the 11th over, however, both openers fell in quick succession, leaving skipper Field to marshal Cokenach from the position of 45 for 2.
Partners came and went at the other end as Gary Simmons (1-30) and Tim Moynihan (2-26) applied pressure during the middle overs. After Field's innings of 34 was ended by Moynihan, Cokenach slipped to 115-8, two wickets going to Alex Griffin.
The twist in the tail was provided by Cokenach's Stone who rattled up 26 not out in no time at all, to leave his team needing eight from the final over.
However, the experienced Martin Talks took his second and the innings' ninth wicket, and from there the task was beyond the visitors and as a result it is now two out of two for Ashwell.