An outstanding spell from 17-year-old fast bowler Jamie Benjamin and off-spinner Ross Bloomberg earned Salford Blue Jays a tremendous victory against Wilmslow at St Paul’s.
The ‘B’s stung Wilmslow, with Benjamin - making his first appearance of the season - and Bloomberg taking four wickets apiece as Salford came back from what looked an under-par first innings score.
Salford captain Jonny Wineberg’s decision to bat having won his first toss of the season looked questionable as the St Paul’s pitch played more tricks than usual with variable bounce and prodigious turn.
Only Lee Olsberg (15) made double figures, including one huge six over mid-on, as everyone struggled on the sticky surface. Salford’s total of 70 all out in just over 25 overs looked easily reachable by Wilmslow.
Things started to look worse for Salford when Josh Henry had Moosa Kazi dropped off his first ball of the Wilmslow innings. After wicketkeeper Rafi Dines pouched Kazi’s opening partner off Benjamin’s bowling, Kazi looked to get after the Salford bowlers, hitting a rapid 19 before Henry bowled him in the sixth over with the score on 25.
From that point, Salford took charge of the game, stifling the run rate and ripping through the Wilmslow line-up. Benjamin’s pace was causing all the Wilmslow batsmen problems and his excellent line kept them honest. His figures of 4-8 in his seven overs are, his captain "hopes", a sign of things to come for the rest of the season.
At the other end, the introduction of Bloomberg paid dividends as he also kept a superb line and generated genuine turn off the wicket. The accurate bowling proved lethal as every other Wilmslow batsman was bowled, five without scoring.
Only a short rain delay, with one wicket remaining, caused concern for Salford, but three balls after that delay, Bloomberg picked up the last wicket to finish with 4-6 off his 4.5 overs.
Wilmslow were bowled out for 35 in just 14.5 overs give a Salford a well-deserved, and welcome, victory.