RUN records were battered into submission at OULTON PARK on Saturday.
The Little Budworth side built up a skyscraper total of 362-4 dec - the highest ever in the league's 30-year history - and opponents Hyde replied with 277-7, making the match tally of 639 also the biggest ever.
Hyde themselves had set the mark at 332 last season and the previous top aggregate was 623.
Bowlers probably wished they were somewhere else. They were virtually the straight men when the entertainment for a large crowd and Cheshire selectors was provided by the bats.
Cornerstone of the home innings was a splendid 110 from Aussie Andy Robinson, who put on 114 for the first wicket with Danny Leech (49) and 84 for the second with Paul Berry (46).
Steve Selwood (39) picked up the rate and, in an amazing five-over spell, Oulton scored 77 runs, mainly through ex-Derbyshire man Nathan Dimelow, who struck 88no off 33 balls, including seven sixes and 10 fours.
Stewart Eaton and Danny Jones made the breakthrough but Hyde recovered from 18-2 to put victory out of Oulton's reach, despite Chris Jones (4-55). But the winning draw maintains their early title challenge.
Oulton's - and the League's - first Twenty-20 match was a thriller at Chester Boughton Hall in midweek.
With some players having trouble making the 6.30pm start Oulton were understrength for 10 overs and Chester made 160-9.
After three overs, Oulton were 14-3, but a captain's innings from Stewart Eaton (34) and big hitting from Andy Robinson (93) put them back in the game.
The last pair Jimmy Guest and Danny Leech needed seven off the final over and Leech struck a four off the penultimate ball to give the visitors victory at 161-9.
Other results: Oulton 2nds 191-8 dec (Steve Yates 43, George Gay 38) drew at Brooklands 189-9 (Philip Yarwood 4-36); Owen Williamson, 17, scored his first century as Oulton 3rds hit 239-9 dec (Will Thompson 30), Grappenhall 3rds 81-6.
WINNINGTON PARK and Heaton Mersey finished in a dead-heat at the Rec.
Put in on a dream track, Winnington scored 227-8 with Aussie Aidan Baker hitting 72, including 10 fours, to top the batting.
He and James Lewis (30) were building a great partnership when Lewis was stumped, and a similar thing happened with Paul Sinclair. He was at 31, with the aid of a runner after pulling a ham-string, when he was caught on the boundary.
Others came and went until Baker himself was out and captain Stuart Hayes rattled off 24.
The Heaton Mersey opening batsmen soon decided they could reach the Park total and they were 71 before Winnington got a break through Jamie Cowell.
The score moved on to 93-3 and Mersey put on a spurt, so they needed 35 off the last six overs.
Cowell (4-47) then took his third and fourth wickets, leaving Mersey 218-8.
In the last over, Mersey needed two runs to win and Park two wickets. The scores were tied off the last ball, which produced a run and stumping and a Mersey score of 227-9.
The reunion of two veterans enabled Winnington 2nds to knock up 252 in 50 overs.
Ian Johns scored 34 and Jez Casey 79, while Mike Johns added 21, Will Chambres 40 and Jonny Wales 30.
Chambres, Nick-Talbot-Butler and Wales all took two wickets as Mersey 2nds ended on 214-7. nAN inept batting performance saw MIDDLEWICH crash to a second successive defeat in Division Two.
On winning the toss, Middlewich elected to bat first on a dry and already crumbling wicket. An excellent start from stand-in opener Chris Broomfield (16) and the consistent Gavin Tomlinson was broken when Tomlinson (15) tried to accelerate the three-an-over rate.
But 41-1 seemed a basis from which Middlewich could accumulate a big score. Steve Parry was caught off an inside edge for 13 shortly after and then the collapse started. Only Andy Cole showed resistance to what was an ordinary bowling attack. He was unbeaten on 19 and Keith Hallam struck lusty blows in his 20, but Middlewich were all out for 121.
Hallam then made an early breakthrough with the ball and some very tight bowling made life difficult for Irby. Once he came out of the attack, however, runs were a lot easier to come by for Irby, who scored 125-1.