Batting Collapse Leads To First XI Loss

Batting Collapse Leads To First XI Loss

Hale Barns First XI slumped to their first defeat of the 2021 season after a late batting collapse helped Stockport Georgians seal a 40-run victory at Brooks Drive.

Ben Hicks continued his superb bowling form with four dismissals, while Joe Cooper top-scored with 39, but Barns lost their final six batsmen for just 13 runs thanks to spinners Jordan Richards and Simon Normanton.

The hosts got off to a flying start with the ball as Hicks (4-22) ran riot yet again, removing both openers without scoring and claiming two more scalps to restrict Georgians to 19-4 from nine overs.

Samuel Bailey (22) and Daniel Box 17) managed to see off the onslaught and steered the visitors away from embarrassment, adding 38 together during their 12-over stint as a pairing.

But the tandem of Cooper and Sam Smith (2-21) put Barns in complete control, registering four consecutive maidens and sending three batters back to the pavilion, leaving Georgians in a precarious position on 59-7.

The home side appeared to be sailing to a convincing win when Cooper (3-49) struck twice more with the score on 75-9 with 15 overs remaining, but a magnificent last stand between Richards and James Locke turned the game on its head.

The duo frustrated the hosts, with Locke taking the more aggressive approach by hitting four boundaries and a maximum in his unbeaten 32 off 38 deliveries, while Richards patiently accumulated 33 not out.

With the partnership remaining unbroken, worth 69 runs, Georgians posted a competitive 144-9 and went into the second innings with all the momentum. However, a solid start from Cooper and Smith steadied the ship for HBCC, with 46 on the board by the time the latter departed for 14.

Two wickets for Normanton, including Cooper 11 runs short of a half century, kept the away team in the mix 66-3 from 19 overs. Hicks (10) and Tom Saddington (16) both made brief contributions, and a home win was looking increasingly likely with Barns progressing to 91-4 at the halfway stage.

But there was time for another twist in the tale as Barns collapsed to 99-9 just seven overs later having been overwhelmed by the spin of Normanton (4-28) and Richards.

With both securing four victims each, it was Richards (5-12) who won the bragging rights by sealing his five-wicket haul and bowling out HBCC for a disappointing 104.

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