A superb spell of swing bowling by Adam Schogger could not prevent a Salford Blue Jays loss in their first outing of the new season.
Schogger’s 3-25 was Salford’s highlight on a day that promised much but, eventually, saw them fall short.
Salford lost the toss and Ashton Allstars chose to bat. Schogger, Jonny Wineberg (2-36), and debutante off-spinner Ross Bloomberg (1-29) showed good control and were clearly on top with Ashton six wickets down for 79.
However, Salford’s other bowlers struggled in the blustery conditions and the wides count stacking up. Only four Ashton players reached double figures with their Captain, Sajid, top-scoring with 24, before they were all out for 159 in the 39th over.
In reply, after two quick wickets, a 40-run third wicket partnership between Joshua Dansky (11) and Jeremy Korn (18) put Salford in a strong position. However, with the wicket drying, Ashton’s young leg-spinner, Mubasher Nadeem, devastated the batting with a brilliant spell of 6-5. Salford collapsed to 66 all out in the 30th over.
Salford captain Jonny Wineberg was full of praise for both the leg-spinner and his own side. He said: "Mubasher is clearly a talent and will undo many teams this season. However, I am extremely proud of the way our players kept their spirit up, both in the field and as we faced tough batting conditions.
"This augurs well for the season and shows that this would be a great team for anyone else wishing to play with us."