Langley shine on favoured wicket
LANGLEY’S first XI made the long journey to Wirral Cricket Club at the weekend and won their first league game for seven weeks at a venue they have traditionally performed well at.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bowl on a firm but green deck.
Skipper Frame went back to an old and tested theory and elected to open with veteran Gregory and Pattison in an attempt to find a solution to the opening partnership with only eight runs yielded in the last three matches.
Both rode their luck, surviving dropped catches and run out chances.
But in between there were some fine shots from both as the portly duo added 61 in 13 overs before Pattison was caught at mid off for a fine 42.
Hobbs joined Gregory and they continued the good work, pushing the score to 115-1 off 25 overs when the heavens opened. Early tea was taken and eight overs were lost.
The rain had a drastic effect on the pitch and added some serious spice.
Gregory had another moment of madness when play resumed as he hit the ball straight to point and set off for a suicidal run.
He seemed to lose all his senses as he was left stranded in the middle of the pitch. He had scored a valuable 29, but from 120-2 Langley collapsed in an all too familiar fashion.
Luke Cartwright (1) was yet again LBW, Adam Cartwright (2) caught at mid on, Tift (0) chipped a full toss to mid-wicket, Hobbs (62) drove to mid off, Letven (0) was bowled, Patterson (0) was caught and bowled and when Betteridge (8) was caught at mid on, Langley had been reduced to 152-9, losing eight wickets for 32 runs.
Frame (6no) and Berzins (10) restored some order, adding 20 runs for the final wicket before the latter was caught in the deep as Langley were all out for 172.
Slight (5-44) and Gamble (3-31) both bowled well for Wirral.
In reply, the home side got off to a torrid start as Frame had Jones (0) caught at mid-wicket by Tift, Betteridge had Peel (0) caught behind and bowled both Clewes (1) and Henwood (0).
When Frame trapped Sewley (1) LBW, the Wirral were in dire trouble on 9-5.
Slight and Hooks showed some grit, but when the former gloved Betteridge to slip they had fallen to 23-6.
It was to be the last wicket for the little paceman who was asked to stop bowling for safety reasons.
Frame then trapped Johnson (2) LBW, Hooks (16) was caught behind off Berzins, Frame had Peel (2) caught at mid-off and Berzins claimed the final wicket as Garrett was bowled for eight as the Wirral slipped to 59 all out.
For Langley, Frame took 4-12 off nine overs, Betteridge 4-22 off seven overs and Berzins 2-11 off three overs.
On Friday, Langley crashed out of the 20/20 Cup after Heaton Mersey posted 171-5.
Betteridge (2-15) was the pick of the bowlers. In reply, Langley could only muster 89 all out, Hobbs (30) their top scorer.
Skipper Frame was much relieved after a barron spell: “That was a much needed win, I felt confident this morning.
“We have always played well here on a wicket that gives batters and bowlers a chance.
“The toss was crucial, in hindsight it was a good one to lose, Greggers, Chris and Ben gave us a superb platform but the rain had a massive effect on the wicket.
“It was tough but I felt we panicked and again the middle order under performed.
“Betters bowled very well and we both made use of the conditions, the umpires asked me to take him off which was a shame, I think he would have taken six or seven wickets.
“Alex took his chance and claimed a key couple of wickets, credit to the umpires and the Wirral who got the game played, especially the Wirral as we were well on top and they could of asked to come off.
“They are a good set of lads and hope they do well. We have a few missing and are threadbare next week, so this win was vital.”
Langley moved up to seventh place and entertain Alderley Park next week.