Hew, what a scorcher to help promotion bid
WIDNES Cricket Club’s first XI moved back into second place in the Vivio Cheshire County League Division One with a two-wicket victory at bottom placed Weaverham.
The visitors were weakened by the absence of Danny Naughton, Ben Hewitt and Danny Moore and brought in Daniel Wearden and Tom Keen who were entrusted with the new ball in conjunction with Alex Hewitt when the hosts won the toss and elected to bat.
Weaverham skipper Alex Nash and Jake Lightfoot put on 43 for the first wicket, Nash caught at cover by Mike Byrne for 18 off Wearden, who had replaced Hewitt after four steady overs.
One run later Lightfoot departed, caught at midwicket by Rajiv Singh for 16 off Marcus Fourie who had replaced Keen.
Rob Dickinson and Ryan Simm added 19 for the third wicket, Simm caught by Tom Evans off Fourie for eight.
Eight runs later, Dickinson was caught at extra cover by Sean Moore for 20, a second wicket for Wearden.
James Fascione and James Bell put on 50 for the fifth wicket, captain Chris Kirby stumping the aggressive Fascione for 29, a third wicket for Fourie.
It became 135-6 when the Kirby-Fourie combination accounted for Tom Hulse for eight.
Bell and Kevin Douglas added a further 40 runs for the seventh wicket, Bell caught at backward point by Keen for 35, a first wicket for Hewitt.
On 193, Hewitt claimed a second wicket when he induced Douglas into a rash shot and he was caught, again by Keen having made 39 off just 27 balls including half a dozen boundaries and a six. George McCormick (10 not out) and Josh Adamson (five not out) took the score on to 207 at the end of the allotted 50 overs.
Widnes opened their innings with skipper Kirby and Mike Byrne, but neither lasted long.
The captain was bowled by McCormick without scoring and Byrne went lbw to Douglas for two.
Fourie and Matty Burns took the score ● on to 35 at which point Fourie was lbw to McCormick.
With the score on 67, Burns (34) became a third lbw victim and a second wicket for Douglas.
Enter Alex Hewitt and he and Sean Moore took the score on to 104 before Moore was caught by Dickinson off Nash for 22. Hewitt now took charge and he found able partners in Wearden with 14 in a partnership of 48 and Evans with six in a partnership of 32.
Widnes were 12 runs from victory when Hewitt was caught at cover by Simm off McCormick for a brilliant 89 off 87 balls, an innings that included 13 boundaries.
With the game finely balanced, Tom Keen with an unbeaten five and Will Myers with four not out saw the visitors to victory with seven overs to spare.
The 25 points gained sees Widnes move 14 clear of Macclesfield in third place.
Reflecting on last Saturday’s victory, Widnes vice-captain Sean Moore, said: “We had a few players missing. Even though we were playing bottom of the league, it can be difficult regardless of what position the opposition are in when you don’t have a full strength side.
“It was a good win then, really. We lost the toss too and they went into bat first.
“We bowled well in the first half though, and got off to a really good start so that gave us a bit confidence boost.
“A couple of the young lads opened the bowling and did really well. In the first half of the innings, we managed to restrain them.
“We took our foot off the gas a little though towards the end of the innings and they ended up on 207 which was a bit too much from the position they were in. When we went into bat, we batted really well and we were always ahead of the run rate. Their bowling was a little illdisciplined too. We lost a few wickets quite quickly which was a slight concern but we did enough with the bat to ensure we got the win.
“Matty Burns did well as our number four batsman and Alex Hewitt came in at number six and did brilliantly.
“I think if it wasn’t for Hewitt’s batting performance, we wouldn’t have won the game as he took us over the line.”
Widnes return to action on Saturday when they take on Marple in their latest league fixture and it will be another tough game.
Their opponents have lost just one game in their last five matches and are one of the teams challenging for the title.
Moore knows it won’t be an easy task but he hopes if Widnes are able to get a win over Marple, their chances of promotion will be greatly enhanced.
“They are a good team, Marple. They got relegated recently and dropped down from the Premier League so they play some good cricket,” said Moore.
“They always have experience in their team. It will be tough. We have a few tricky games in the next couple of weeks.
“They will be crucial in our quest to get promoted. A win could be massive for us but we just need to do our best and see what we can get from these games.
“I’m not playing the last three games but I think we should have a strong enough side for this game and to get a win.” ● WIDNES’S second-team entertain Bowdon this Saturday following a dismal showing against Grappenhall. They were bowled out for just 40 and lost by 10 wickets. The third XI bring their 2017 season to a close on Sunday afternoon when they entertain Alvanley.
A superb knock of 89 by Alex Hewitt helped Widnes record a victory over Weaverham last Saturday and keep alive their hopes of winning promotion.