Nantwich 184 Toft 188

TOFT sit third in the Cheshire County ECB Premier League after a narrow victory at Nantwich on Saturday.

Winning the toss and choosing to bat on what proved to be a difficult wicket, opener Jake Hancock battled his way to 40 before the wickets fell regularly.

It was not until Atif Bajwa (55) and skipper Toby Drummond (23) came together that a stand of substance ensured that Toft posted a competitive 188 all out.

In response, Nantwich started brightly with openers Frank Farrington (38) and young Lancashire batsman Haseeb Hameed (44) scoring freely.

The introduction of spinners Jimmy Lomas and Rob Jones stemmed the tide and as the pressure built the wickets started to fall.

With 10 overs left, Nantwich needed 30 with plenty of wickets remaining.

But Lomas was bowling tightly at one end and Drummond brought on Tufail Ahmed to bowl accurate pace from the other.

Nantwich continued to lose wickets and ended up four short of the total at 184 all out. Lomas was in superb form with 7-60 and Ahmed contrbuted with 2-7.

Toft were also awarded a rare five penalty runs during their innings at the crease when the ball hit a helmet behind the wicket keeper. Those five runs eventually proved the difference between the sides.

Toft seconds dominated the return fixture against their Nantwich counterparts to go 57 points clear at the top of the league.

Nantwich were restricted to 134-8 off their 50 overs as skipper Ashley led the way with 11 tight overs capturing 2 -12.

He was ably supported by spinner Jake Dickinson, who took 3-20.

Toft only needed 28 overs to pass the Nantwich total, reaching 140-1 with openers Dave Blackburn (63) and Chris Drummond (61 no) doing the majority of the damage.

Toft’s Rob Jones is part of the Cheshire side who face Devon in Sidmouth this week in the Unicorns County Championship match.

Toft thirds fared less well and a run of disappointing results leaves them in the relegation zone.

They batted first at Cheadle and slumped to 53 all out with A Khan taking 7-12. Cheadle knocked the runs of in 12 overs finishing on 55-4.