DARRON Cruikshank brought a taste of calypso cricket to Filkins Lane on Saturday as he blasted Christleton to a famous victory against Chester Boughton Hall.
The young Trinidadian starred in the two-runs win in their first Premier Division match against their city rivals with a hard-hitting 62.
Said Christleton's sidelined skip-per Matt Parkinson: 'It was a massive disappointment that injury prevented me from playing. We had been looking forward to this fixture for years and it was a fantastic team performance. But one victory doesn't make a season and we need to focus on our next match.'
The weather was a far cry from Cruikshank's native Caribbean when the visitors batted first on a rain-affected wicket and made a good start with 40 for the first wicket.
Dave Atkin was undeterred and swung the game Chester's way with 4-31. And at 59-6 the game was there to be won. But Cruikshank then played a wonderful counterattacking innings.
Driving powerfully, he crashed 62, including 11 boundaries, and boosted Christleton to an above-par 131. Clive Gie finished with 2-19 while Alex Kegg and Rob Fisher also bagged a brace.
Chester's reply was a disaster. Wickets fell regularly as Warren Goodwin stood alone. Only Jack Yates (24) offered support and when Goodwin fell for a stylish 40, a heavy defeat looked imminent.
Atkin, Fisher and Kegg then dug in to ensure a tight finish, but with the win just two runs away, Fisher found the fielder and a tense game was brought to a losing end.
Cruikshank also gave a fine dis-play in the field and Maroof Khan was Christleton's top performer with the ball, with a return of 5-51 from an unchanged spell of 29.5 overs.
Chester bounced back on Sunday when they beat a well-supported Farnworth in the second round of the National KO Cup.
Chester batted first on a flat and firmer wicket but soon lost opener Ed Roberts. Goodwin was cover-driving serenely at the other end and it was a surprise to see him trudging off, having pulled to square leg.
Steve Ogilby, Andy Bennion and Matt Griffiths made only minor contributions and against a quick, enthusiastic opposition, the writing was on the wall at 57-5.
Yates is enjoying a positive start to the season and, with Atkin, turned the innings round. His mature 31 complemented Atkin's busy 45 in a vital 64-run partnership, although 158 was considered slightly below par at tea.
Every bowler hit excellent lengths and troubled the visiting batsmen from ball one. Atkin secured his man-of-the-match award with a dazzling 3-12 from nine overs, while new-ball partner Kegg conjured 4-14 off his nine.
Fisher (1-22) and Goodwin (2-14) finished the job, backed up by some great keeping from Ogilby and a masterclass of fielding from Kristian Rogers and Atkins.
Chester visit Bolton in the next round and tomorrow go to champions Bowdon, and Christleton are at home to Oxton.
Christleton seconds (63) were beaten in a low-scoring game at home to Cheadle (98), but the thirds (192-8, Willy Lamb 85) beat Congleton (156, Andy Sissons 5-32).
The Chester thirds were bowled out for 108 by Oxton in reply to the visitors' 196. The seconds and fourths were rained off.
Oulton Park's game at Toft was cancelled and the seconds (224-5 dec, Jonny Kettle 70, Jimmy Guest 76) drew with Heaton Mersey (179-8).
Neston's game at Poynton was also lost to the weather.
Tattenhall held on for a draw at home to Irby in Division Two. They won the toss and decided to field, and at 70-4 after 25 overs, the visitors' innings was in the balance. Cox took the prize wicket of Jamshed, the overseas professional, and skipper Gary Forster the other three.
The wicketkeeper Heap (41), coming in at five, proceeded to play an innings-saving knock, batting sensibly while others were playing injudicious shots.
A few dropped catches enabled Burnage to scramble to 150 all out off the last ball of the innings. Forster took 5-37 and Mel Dobson and Simon Carruthers each collected a well-deserved brace.
The hosts' innings, curtailed to 46 overs because of rain, got off to a bad start with opener John Hope falling to the second ball.
Further quick wickets fell and Tattenhall were soon 24-4 off 11 overs. A repair job was needed and former captain Graham Harper (27) and Forster were happy to oblige. But once Forster was out, for a top score of 37, there appeared little chance of salvaging anything from the game.
But Mel Dobson (29no) showed his batting class and wicket-keeper Roy Sandford (1no) displayed immaculate defence against a good medium pace to survive eight overs.
The innings closed with nine wickets down, but only eight short of victory. This was another case of batting fragility in the top order, preventing Tattenhall making a serious push towards the top of the league.