Stafford CC firsts picked up their first win of the season as they bested Norton in Hales firsts on their travels on Saturday. Norton elected to bat first but could only muster 102 all out as in-form Ramiz Patel (5-42) and Sabah Ghaus (5-57) capitalized on some poor shot selection and a bowler-friendly wicket. Despite the best efforts of the home side, Stafford reached their target for the loss of seven wickets with Ethan Sheriff (25) and Salman Hanif (24) top contributors. There were two wickets apiece for Kashif Ali Moon (2-34), Chris Dyer (2-44), and Michael Dyer (2-9). Stafford have now moved off the bottom of the table and entertain table-toppers Kidsgrove at home on Saturday with a 12:30 start.
The seconds remain in the promotion places in Division 6 after a winning draw in a rain affected game against Burslem at Riverway. The visitors batted first and hit 205-6 in their 45 overs thanks to Sam Rowley’s aggressive 70. Stafford’s bowling pulled it back well after a difficult start. The rain meant Stafford only had 35 overs in the reply and they reached their target of 160 in the last over to claim the winning draw with a better run rate. Dave Cartlidge hit 28 at the top of the order and then Skipper Terry Jones 28 Sanjaya Gurung 35 and Craig Mertins 24 all chipped in. They closed on 160-7 and now travel to Woore this Saturday as they continue their promotion push.
The thirds also had to settle for a winning draw after having Kidsgrove 2nds frustratingly 9 wickets down at close at Riverway. Batting first Stafford hit 214-5 declared in 43 overs thanks to Bob Masters quality 107 and he was ably supported by Iain Atherton 32 and Bob Singh 30. In the reply Kieran Duggal almost lead Stafford to victory with 4-11 before the final pair hung on for the last couple of overs. Kidsgrove closed on 163-9 in 47 overs with Tom Coppenhall hitting 84.
The fourths lost out by 5 wickets at Oakamoor. Stafford lost early wickets before late hitting from Faisil Khan 21 and James Peate 25 lead them to 105 all out. Phil Stacey and Matthew Turner picked up a couple of wickets each but James Wright with 24 not out steered Oakamoor to victory in 23.1 overs closing on 106-5.