Nine-wicket win as batsmen take control

Cowgate (169) v Alnwick (173-1)

Northumberland and Tyneside Senior Cricket League, Division A2

Alnwick were on their travels for the first time this season as they faced Cowgate in what looked to be like the first rain-affected game in 2013.

Following last week’s shock defeat to Whickham, Alnwick needed to bounce back strongly to be at the right end of the table.

With dark skies around and the pitch having been under covers for days, captain Woods had no hesitation in deciding to bowl first after winning the toss.

Opening bowlers Gareth Bateman and Jonathan Roxburgh bowled in consistent areas and caused the opening pair all kinds of problems.

It wasn’t long before Alnwick were celebrating the first wicket with a smart catch by wicket-keeper Armin off the bowling of Bateman. Hapless Roxburgh then thought he had a wicket only for the catch to be dropped in the slips.

Bateman bowled Shenaz first ball as he tried an audacious shot and then completed his hat-trick by having Shah lbw to leave Cowgate reeling on 15-3.

Bateman hadn’t finished there as he picked up two further wickets to complete his five-wicket haul and an excellent spell of bowling, leaving Cowgate on 33-5.

Singh then batted nicely to try to ensure that Cowgate had a competitive score to defend. He manipulated the strike while batting with the tail and finally fell for 67.

After the break, Alnwick set about chasing the 170 runs required for victory and were conscientious about scoring runs after their lack of form.

The newly-formed opening partnership of Graham and Ayre got under way without any alarm bells.

Graham in particular was looking in scintillating form as he took advantage of any loose ball while also hitting the ball very hard and straight.

It wasn’t until the score was on 86 that Cowgate managed to get a break-through as Ayre fell for a well-played 30 from another lbw decision.

The wicket didn’t affect the way Graham was playing as he brought up his 50 with another sumptuous straight drive for four.

Cowgate tried everything they possibly could to get back into to the game with no fewer than eight bowling changes, but Threlfall carried on from where Ayre had left off.

Opening bowler Crawford came back on to try to make inroads, but Threlfall was more than up for the task by taking 16 off the over and leaving Alnwick needing under double figures to win.

The game was fittingly finished by yet another straight drive from Graham who finished unbeaten on 83 with Threlfall on 46 not out.