Andrew Law-Riding 1 Comment

SATURDAY 29th APRIL

3rd XI vs East Lancashire CC (h)
On Saturday our 3rd XI welcomed East Lancs to the Cliffe. Despite 34 from Ammar Malik and 31 from captain Richard Law-Riding, wickets fell at regular intervals and GHCC were dismissed for a mere 112. 
In response, East Lancs set off at a rate, and it appeared they would make light work of the task at hand. However some tight bowling including a spell of 5-23 from Amaar Ali left them 98-8, and with one player injured and seemingly unable to bat, it had become anyone’s game. 
Credit to the final East Lancs batsmen, who stuck at it and put on the 15 runs required to see their side home.

SUNDAY 30th APRIL

1st XI vs Enfield CC (a)
Sunday saw our 1st XI travel to near neighbours Enfield CC for the first time in a league game. Having won the toss, Patrick Swanney asked Enfield to bat.
Enfield got off to a reasonable start, GHCC turning to the spin of Ashen Silva early as the pitch looked reasonable for batting and offered little for the seamers.
The move proved a good one as, Ash bowled Jackson for 4, bringing Enfield professional D. Ravi Teja to the crease. Having just landed in the UK on Friday, he could be forgiven for looking a little uncomfortable early on, particularly against the bowling of Paul Houldsworth, however he persisted, and looked better and better as the innings progressed, finally holing out to Paul Newton at deep midwicket off the bowling of Silva for an impressive 84.
Ash had also taken the wicket of Enfield’s other opener Wright to a sharp stumping by Allan Armer, and finished with figures of 3-58. Paul Newton took the other Wicket to fall, bowling Jackson for 30.
The innings also saw GHCC hand the ball to young spinner Adam Masood for the first time at 1st XI level. He finished with respectable figures of 0-23. Enfield closed on 215-4.
GHCC began the response slowly, with Hamim Miah and Mas Ahmed, returning to the club at which he has played most of his cricket, struggling to get the ball away as the Enfield openers built pressure well.
When Mas fell caught behind for 9, we were 29-1.  Professional Ashen Silva came in and immediately set about building what turned out to be a match-winning innings.
Assisted by Miah (20), Patrick Swanney (22) and Paul Houldsworth, whose quick-fire 26 added much needed impetus to the run chase, Silva passed 50, and GHCC looked to have the upper hand; but two wickets in successive balls removed Houldsworth and Allan Armer, leaving the score at 153-5 and swinging the odds very much back in Enfield’s favour.
A welcome 14 by Matthew Bunn further aided our efforts, as Ash progressed as if undeterred by anything going on around him. Bunn fell with 30 still required, but Yousuf Ali (9*) and Ashen Silva (85*) saw us home with three balls to spare.
So a first Lancashire League victory, to follow last week’s narrow defeat. We now look forward to a League and Cup double header next week, with a trip to Todmorden on Sunday in the Worsley Cup following the small matter of a local derby vs Rishton CC on Saturday
2nd XI vs Enfield CC (h)
Our 2nd XI welcomed Enfield to the Cliffe in the reverse fixture.
Bowling first, GHCC took an early wicket through the bowling of David Kendall, but Enfield then looked set to post a significant target, as they progressed to 144-4 thanks predominantly to 36 from former GHCC player Anthony Steele.
However the wickets then started to tumble, with Aftab Hussain ending with figures of 4-42 as Enfield were all out for 169.
In response, Matthew Oddie (47 ) and Richard Shovelton (50) made light work of the opposition bowling attack, but wickets fell around them and they both eventually succumbed, meaning it was left to captain Sohail Ali (9*) and David Kendall (18*) to see us home.
Two 12 point wins in a row to start the season for our 2nd XI following the opening day washout sees us lie top of the table. We will look to maintain this position next Saturday against Rishton before turning our attention to the cup on Sunday.

MONDAY 1st MAY

3rd XI vs Church CC (a)
Our 3rd XI suffered a second successive defeat, falling short by 5 runs chasing a target of 157 set by a vocal Church side.
Scorecards and performance details will follow as they are made available.
On to the next one.

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