First game of the season, our 3rd XI took on Haslingden in a friendly.
Skipper Schofield won the toss and decided to have a bat on a glorious warm sunny day.
Zuber Desai (36) and Ethan Houldsworth (7) opened with a 24 stand, Desai batting with great comfort and ease hitting 2 sixes & 3 fours. Houldsworth was the first to go, losing his leg stump from a ball which cut him in two. He walked back, shaking his head in disbelief.
Matt Oddie cancelled his day off to get some early season batting practice, alas he lost his wicket to a ball which again cut sharply, taking his off stump. First ball, golden duck.
Joel Bentham managed to survive 18 balls in testing conditions for 4 runs and Marcus Hamer lasted for 19 balls for his 2. Both looked comfortable but struggled to find the power to get the ball away, with the effect of our middle order looking rather fragile.
With the score on 65, a Newton father and son partnership, cautiously crafted a small partnership, (Paul 20 and Thomas 8), edging Great Harwood carefully to 88, before Schofield, (15) & Niall Holt (11 no) added a positive 27 partnership and Owais Qayoom (10 no), enabled Great Harwood to post 136. Pick of the Haslingden bowlers was Tom Horrocks who took 4-14 runs.
In reply, Great Harwood bowled with great spirit. Alex Kennedy and Marcus Hamer bowled with great determination as did Thomas Newton. Eventually, with all bowlers chipping in nicely, Haslingden reached their target in the 30th over, losing 7 wickets along the way.
Despite defeat, there were lost of positives to take, with some established players representing our opposition (getting match practice for their respective future games). Game over. Work to do. On to the next one.