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Sale Secure 2nd League Title

Sale Secure 2nd League Title
 
2nd XI (back L-R): Viraj Sorathia, Grant Whittaker, Will Radcliffe, Mohammed Rizvi, Syan Siraj, Zikria Nadeem, Abas Rizvi, Tom Riley; (front L-R): Lionel Thompson, James Hall (Captain), Dan Newton
 
Sale secured their second league title of 2017 as the 2nd XI were crowned champions of Vivio Cheshire County League division two on Saturday, securing a return to division one at the first attempt after relegation a year ago.
 
After confirming promotion last week, Search sponsored Sale needed just 4 points to wrap up the divisional title at relegated Weaverham, and did so in style with a 218 run victory.
 
Opener Grant Whittaker set the tone, smashing 57 of just 36 balls at the top of the order in a 74 run opening stand with Zikria Nadeem (14).
 
When both openers fell within 7 runs of each other Jamal Benzafar continued the scoring rate, passing 50 as Sale reached the 4 bonus points they needed to secure the league title.
 
Banzafar scored 54 out of a stand of 66 with Siyan Siraj (11) for the 3rd wicket, and a further 33 in a stand of 50 with Dan Newton for the 4th.  Benzafar eventually falling for 89 off 59 balls, including 10 fours and three sixes.
 
Newton then went on to post 58 not out off a relatively pedestrian 42 balls as Sale declared on 259-5 from 34 overs.
 
Sale made short work of the reply against bottom of the table Weaverham, dismissing the home side for just 41 inside 18 overs to start the celebrations.
 
Very occasional bowler Lionel Thompson took 2 early wickets, as did Newton and Mo Rizvi as Sale secured their 16th win from 22 games and finished 21 points clear of 2nd placed Stockport Georgians.
 
Sale 4th XI were prevented from winning a third league title by the weather as their final game at Heaton Mersey was cancelled, leaving Lindow to pip them by 10 points.
 
Sale 1st XI enjoyed a comfortable win to end their season in the reverse fixture over Weaverham at Dane Road.  With the visitors relegated and Sale safe the game had an end of season feel about it.
 
Weaverham were dismissed for 146 in the 35th over, Jeremey McFarlane leading the way with 4-31, backed up by Mal Clarke and Greg Gyves would took two wickets each.
 
A rain interruption came at the right time, with Sale reeling at 34-5 off 20 overs.  The break gave the home side time to regroup, as Sale went on the reach their target without losing a further wicket.
 
Australian McFarlane showing his all-round qualities finishing unbeaten on 68, well supported by Joe Cannon (48 not out).
 
Sale were left to celebrate a very successful season securing two league titles, the 3rd XI being crowned overall Sunday premier league champions and the 2nd XI winning division two. The 1st XI achieved their aim of staying in division one and the 4th XI progressed from finishing bottom of the league to just missing out on their own league title.
 
The full scorecards can be found here.

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