On a cloudy day at the Moss Road ground, Mossley 1st XI took on the might of Westminster Park. Mossley took to the field with a depleted bowling attack due to injury and further misfortune struck as regular bowler, Mark Butler limped off having suffered a hamstring injury early in the innings. Butler remained off the field for rest of the innings.
The Westminster Park openers, Tirumala Dayama and Vikas Reddy Gundarapa were steady but unable to force the bowling of Rob Mellor and Ryan Speak. Mellor was in fine form and was for the most part of his opening spell, completely unplayable. It was Speak who made the breakthrough however taking the wicket of Dayama for 3 runs magnificently caught in covers by the diving Cresswell. This brought Praveen Govind to the crease and he and Gundarapa steadied the ship. Mossley were in a good position and Speak soon added a second wicket to his tally bowling Gundarapa for 17.
Govind began to take charge of proceedings and started to score runs at an ever-accelerating rate. He passed 50, ably supported by Madhuraj Muddiyavar who went on to score 25 before being bowled by Joe Richards. In came the next Westminster Park batsman and together with Govind, they started to smash anything loose to the boundary. The Mossley bowlers had no answer to the onslaught and several dropped catches added to the misery. Govind passed 100 and his partner passed 50 and still they continued to amass was beginning to look like a very high score. Eventually, they declared after 40 overs having scored 303-3 with Govind not out on 158 and his partner also not out on 75.
During the tea interval the umpires asked for the covers to be rolled out as rain started to fall but it soon stopped, and the covers were trundled off. Mossley openers Tom Pearson and Ryan Speak made a steady start until Pearson was trapped lbw for 16. Skipper Cresswell was in next and with two consecutive centuries behind him expectations were high. It came as some surprise to see Cresswell’s stumps demolished having only scored 4 runs. The mood changed and Mossley were set to dig in. Ben Chudleigh replaced Cresswell but he too was out cheaply for just a single with the Mossley total on 62-3. Ryan Speak kept the scoring ticking over while the wickets fell and was joined at the crease by Barry Carney. The pair steadied the ship and Speak continued his onslaught on the Park bowlers. Speak was on 47 when he attempted to hit the ball back over the bowler’s head but got underneath it too early and was caught at mid off.
Carney was joined by Alfie Tideswell and the pair began to build what was to become a match saving partnership. Loose deliveries were despatched with great timing and the Park bowlers started to bowl erratically. Carney and Tideswell took advantage and capitalised on several byes, running quickly and adding to the Mossley total. Carney looked in fine form and it took a decent delivery from Venteddu to dismiss him for 37. Rob Mellor was next in but struggled to fend off the bowling of Venteddu and was bowled for 4. Carl Nancollas replaced him but became Venteddu’s fifth victim, lbw first ball. Tideswell continued to bat with defiance against the Park bowling but was eventually bowled for 17 by Chalasani. The Mossley team were a little shaken being so close to fending off defeat but 8 wickets down and an injured Butler as batsman number 11 nervously waiting to play his part but secretly hoping to remain in the pavilion. Joe Richards and Adam Petznick were in no mood to accept defeat and saw off the remaining overs with Richards smashing two fantastic cover drives to complete the Mossley innings at 178-8. Mossley earned a thoroughly deserved draw showing great character in a game played in good spirit.