By Karl Chadwick
IT was another disappointing Saturday afternoon for the home faithful at the SCG as Stand went down by 17 runs to Cheetham Hill.
Bowling first, the home side made a superb start as Matt Curphey and Jack Walmsley removed both the Hill openers with just two runs on the board.
Hassan then made 18 before falling to Pete Walters, before a fourth-wicket stand of 65 between the patient Mirza and the more attacking Raza rescued the situation for the visitors.
Mirza made 27, with Raza hitting his way to 73 after being dropped on four and sharing a sixth-wicket partnership of 49 with Saleem.
Saleem (21) fell to Chris Marlor thanks to an excellent catch by Walters, before Maqsood went for 22, falling to the pick of Stand’s bowlers, Walmsley.
A quick 13 from Rather pushed the visitors towards 200, before Abdul was run out by a direct hit from Alex Bell with one ball to go.
Hill finished on 198, with Walmsley picking up 4-34 from 15 overs.
Bell and Sean Brookes opened the reply for Stand and the pair put on 29 before the latter was caught behind for eight.
Bell was looking in good nick until Aleem generated some extra bounce out of the wicket and he was caught at cover for 19.
Stand then suffered a middle-order malfunction, losing four quick wickets to the bowling of Aleem to leave them on 58-6.
Curphey and Oliver Beirne produced a fine rearguard action to add some respectability to the scoreline and bring Stand back into the contest.
The pair added 47 before Curphey was given lbw for a determined 23.
Although Stand had lost a number of wickets, their run rate was still up with the asking rate, largely thanks to the wides and no balls being sent down.
Matt Holt joined Beirne and the pair continued the good work to put the home side back in with a serious shout, adding 67 in no time.
But, with the score on 171-7, captain Rather brought himself on to bowl and in the space of nine balls picked up the three remaining wickets with a clinical spell of bowling.
Holt went for 29 caught off a full toss, before Beirne nicked off for a fine 36 with Marlor the last to go as Stand finished 181 all out.
It could have been a lot worse, having been 58-6, but after such a gutsy lower-order comeback it was one that got away for the hosts.
Aleem finished with 5-62 from his 22 overs.
Stand travel to Denton on Saturday, before returning to the SCG to host Denton St Lawrence on Sunday.