Hale Barns First XI continued their march up the Cheshire County Cricket League Division 2 table with an emphatic nine-wicket victory over bottom-club Northwich CC.
Joe Cooper maintained his exceptional recent form with another six wickets, while Khurram Hussain scored his first league half century of the season to help Barns cruise to the target in just 15 overs.
The hosts took the early ascendancy when both openers were removed with just 26 runs on the board, with James Guest (1-22) taking the wicket of Nicholas Verma (10) before Phil Dodd’s sharp work in the field led to the run out of Glinoj Cherian (13).
Zenol Jayasena, fresh from striking a century the week before, showed warning signs of his ability with two fours and a six shortly after arriving at the crease, but Cooper produced a superb delivery to end his innings on 19.
Northwich were still in a reasonable position at 76-3 heading into the 20th over, but that soon became 82-6 as Cooper added two more victims to his tally, including Gladwin Cherian for 20, while Christian Dodson (1-16) also struck.
Joby Mathew (13) and Joe Beckett (10) provided brief resistance to nudge the visitors into triple figures, but both departed to seal Cooper’s sixth five-wicket haul of the campaign.
And Barns quickly wrapped things up as Dodd (1-4) took his first wicket of the year before Cooper (6-42) claimed his sixth dismissal to bowl out Northwich for 111 inside 30 overs.
Barns’ reply got off to a slow start as Cooper was sent back to the pavilion in the third over with the score on 13. However, that was as good as it got for the away side as Hussain and Mike Hunter raced to the total.
Hussain was particularly aggressive, smashing the ball over the ropes on multiple occasions on his way to an unbeaten 67, while Hunter also peppered the boundary during his 38 not out to steer HBCC to a comfortable win that moves them up to seventh, just five points adrift of the top half.