Stafford picked up their first win of the season under new skipper Rob James to move out of the bottom two after an inspired club record run chase at Rode Park and Lawton. The historic chase saw Stafford’s batting fire to knock off 288 in 53.3 overs with 9 balls to spare. They closed on 292-6 to claim a 4 wicket victory. Earlier in the day the home side set up their total thanks to Cosmos Cupid who smashed 105 not out in only 88 balls. George Johnson 73 and skipper Andrew Marshall 45 also contributed well. In the chase Ashley Lunn 42 and Aqib Afzaal 55 laid the foundations for the historic chase before debutant left hander Osama Alam turned the game with a hard hitting 90 in 75 balls which included 5 sixes. Skipper James then came in to complete the job and hit the winning runs with an unbeaten 23. This unlikely victory will have raised the confidence in the dressing room and Stafford will look to take that into Saturday’s home game with Barlaston at Riverway 1pm start.
In division 4 the seconds slumped to a heavy defeat at home to Audley after being dismissed for 77. Mike Bostock top scored with 22 in as Gary Latham claimed 3-12. The visitors eased to their target without losing a wicket with Gary Boyles hitting 51 not out. Stafford travel to Newcastle and Hartshill on Saturday looking for an improved performance.
The third XI had a similar story at Norton In Hales after being 90 all out. Bob Masters top scored with 33 as Kasim Abbas’ 6-22 did the damage. The home side eased to a nine wicket win with skipper Dan Howe claiming the only wicket of James Ruscoe who hit 49.
The academy XI had a narrow 18 run defeat at Riverway against Newcastle and Hartshill 4ths. They did really well in the field restricting the visitors to 138-5 in 50 overs. Chris Bell claimed 3-39 with the ball. Skipper Ali Martin 71 not out lead from the front carrying his bat in the reply but ran out of partners as they fell just short. Alexander Ellerton’s 4-12 was crucial for the visitors.