Hale Barns First XI’s batting troubles continued as they suffered a 37-run defeat at Stockport CC, meaning they are still without a league win in June.
Stockport took the ascendancy from the off as Zafar Jatoi and Noman Ghous built a solid partnership, seeing off opening bowlers Hicks and Dave Saddington.
It took the introduction of Cooper to break the pairing, with the spinner removing Jatoi for 39. That breakthrough led to a flurry of wickets, with Alex Ross (1-33) taking one and Cooper (3-33) adding two more to his tally, while Hicks pulled off a run out to send back top-scorer N Ghous for 61.
Tom Saddington (1-19) was rewarded for a tidy spell with the dismissal of Mark Green (12) as Barns continued their resurgence. And despite contributions from Danny Barber (13) and Adam Porter (17), Hicks (3-46) struck three times in the latter stages to restrict Stockport to 173-9 from their allotted overs.
HBCC’s reply got off to a disastrous start as four of the top five batters failed to reach double figures. N Ghous (1-23) took an early dismissal, while it was Mike Eley who did most of the damage by claiming four victims, including opener Khurram Hussain for 15.
Hicks and Cooper led the Barns recovery and built a solid partnership until the former was bowled by Green having added 24. Christian Dodson joined Cooper at the crease and looked assured as Barns threatened to pull themselves back in contention, but Green claimed a second scalp as Cooper departed (28).
Dodson’s impressive knock was eventually halted by Green (26) and any remaining hopes of an unlikely turnaround were doused when Eley returned to finish off the innings in the 35th over, taking the final two wickets to end with terrific figures of 6-42.