FOR THE third home game in a row, Ashcombe Park were frustrated by the weather, with their fixture against Blythe ruined by rain.
Just as against Cheadle two weeks ago, Ashcombe were in a strong position when the rain, which had caused a much-delayed start, paid a return visit.
Morning thunderstorms and steady early afternoon rain meant much mopping up, but fantastic efforts by the Park players meant play finally got under way at 4.50pm, with the match reduced to the minimum possible of 25 overs per side.
Ashcombe lost the toss of the coin and were asked to bat first – knowing full well that they needed a decent score on the board in double-quick time.
Dave Proffitt (11) and Tom Boulton (10) sacrificed their wickets as the rush for runs began, both falling to Blythe skipper Peter Finch.
But Ryan Ball joined Rizwan Haider in the middle at 46-2 and their blistering partnership of 102 off just 46 deliveries put Ashcombe firmly in the driving seat.
Haider struck a stunning 83 including five fours and eight sixes and Ball a quick-fire 40 with three fours and three sixes.
After both were out in quick succession – Haider getting a top edge through to the wicket-keeper and Ball caught just inside the long-on boundary – Steve Proffitt (11no) and captain Ian Alcock (2no) pushed Ashcombe Park's final total to 172 -4 off their 25 overs.
It was a tremendous effort which only just missed out on maximum batting points.
Blythe clearly intended to chase hard but their pursuit lasted just four overs and two balls.
Alex Heslop hit a six and a four in a swift 14 before an attempted quick single cost him dearly as Rob Drummond's direct hit ran him out.
Upal Indrasiri departed to Tom Boulton's tremendous diving catch at point off Nathan Ball and Blythe were now 20 -2 .
But that was just about the last meaningful action as a colossal downpour put paid to any hope of further play.