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Here’s how our senior sides got on last week

Saturday 14th May

3rd XI v Rishton CC – Evolve Document Solutions Cliffe Park

Report by Richard Law-Riding

The 3rd XI got back to winning ways with what turned out to be a comfortable win against what on paper was a strong Rishton 4th XI team.

The weekend off the previous week had given time to think about the two losses over the bank holiday weekend that had stalled a very positive start to the season, and nothing better than a derby against our local rivals to get the team back on track.

A boost in selection had been the option to select Caleb Greenhalgh for a rehab game on return from a serious knee injury suffered in Barbados before the season. Caleb would only bat, and was told to use the game to regain some confidence in the knee and not overdo anything.

One other change was Nathan Sheridan coming into the team at the last minute to keep wicket, replacing the bus driving Chris Oddie.

Captain Richard Law-Riding lost the toss for the first time this season, but it didn’t matter, as Rishton elected ti bat first which is what we were going to ask them to do anyway.

Opening the bowling was Bilaal Zamir, who bowled a very accurate opening spell moving the ball around off the seam, and a returning Zeain Ali, who caused early problems to Rishton’s openers with his left arm spin.

Bilaal got the early wicket of Proctor, who succumbed to the collectors item of a catch by Ammar Malik. Not that it was a particularly special catch, it was the fact he caught it that was the collectors item.

Halleron followed soon after, pulling a ball that Zeain dropped short straight at Bilaal who made the catch look easy. When former GHCC player Clifford was trapped LBW on the back leg by Zeain just after he looked to get going, Rishton were 41/3 and wobbling.

But a swipey 48 from Burondker, and equally aggressive 43 from Rayando Stewart saw Rishton somehow get to a score of 170/9. Ammar Malik the pick of the bowlers with 3/30 from his 8 overs.

At tea we felt that we had let Rishton off the hook, and that they had got 30 or 40 runs more than we should have let them. But we felt we had a good batting side and enough to chase down at just over 4 an over.

Geoff and Hamza opened the batting, and got us off to a steady start, Geoff cutting for 4 before being the first to fall, unluckily getting a leading edge and being caught at midwicket.

This brought in Caleb on return, and it soon became clear that his injury has not greatly affected his ability to bat. After getting used to the pace of the game, Caleb set about Rishton’s bowlers like a fish to water, hitting 10 fours and 4 sixes, including 2 sixes in a row out of the ground off Clifford, on his way to 80 from 61 balls.

Caleb was being ably supported by a frustrated Hamza at the other end who made his way to 37 in a partnership of 113 for the second wicket. Both batsmen would be out caught, only for Andy Brown to come in and whack 36 not out to lead us to the point where our now reputable finisher Dave Holt could yet again hit the winning runs.

An enjoyable 7 wicket win, on a nice day, and we maintain our 100% record against the noisy neighbours in the league this season, with 2 of the 4 games gone.

4th XI v Burnley CC – Away

Report by Allan Armer

So off I went with Gemma, Joseph and a well-stocked picnic hamper, to Burnley CC to watch the Development XI continue their domination in the league.

It was a beautiful day, no clouds in the sky, hottest day of the year (20 + degrees, so too hot for me) and we were looking forward to watching some great cricket. Burnley CC is a decent ground, unfortunately marred by that monstrosity of a football ground…Turd Moor, I think it’s called.

I have no idea who won the toss, however, I deduced only “The Count” would field first in this heat on a rock hard deck!

Fishy (??) and Tommy Newts (??) opened the bowling and immediately put the opening batters under pressure. 2 quick wickets for Fishy in an opening spell of 5-2-7-2 and we were already in the driving seat with Burnley on 13-2. Tommy beat the bat countless times and was very unlucky not to open his acCOUNT (that’s the last wrestling pun). The skipper decided to turn to youth (as opposed to the two 18 year olds that opened the bowling) and invited Billy Armer to bowl. Will’s first two overs were tight, his only bad ball was one of Newy’s specials that pitched half way down the track, was toed and caught by Tommy at midwicket (17-3). Will’s last over was hit for 3 boundaries and he finished with figures of 3-1-17-1.

So many of the lads bowled that it would take me half an hour to write a report on each individual bowler (plus play cricket crashed so I don’t know when the rest of the wickets fell) so here are the figures:

Tommy 7-1-12-1
Shaabaz 4-2-7-1
Marcus 5.2-0-11-1
Kasim 2-0-9-0
Ethan 6-2-7-2
Ishy 4-1-13-1

Oh, and Newy bowled 2 overs and got a wicket (but you probably already know that). Another great victim stumped by the skipper (a kid with 3 ducks in 5 innings and a batting average of 0.8).

Burnley limped to 95 all out (only two batters making double figures).

TEA: good spread, plenty of choice, Umpire Paul Houldsworth calling my 9 year old a soft t**t for not opting for the spicy pasta was the highlight for me.

I asked Will at tea what number he was batting and he said 4. My first remark was that he wouldn’t get a bat. How wrong I was!

Alex and Tommy to open:

Tommy big stride in, inside edge, given out LBW by the home umpire (ridiculous decision), (out for 1).
Alex decided to give midwicket some catching practice (out for 1).
Ishy caught behind (out for 1).
Ethan run out (he still insists it wasn’t his fault but the whole of Burnley heard Will twice shout no and he decided to stand in the middle of the wicket and take on the throw like a game of “chicken”. The ball won! (out for 0)
William hit what I thought was a no ball (I would, I’m his dad!) straight to midwicket (out for 4).

Then enter Kasim and the skipper. They both built their innings very well, Kasim eventually falling for 24.

Siraj came in next and my only comment was “if he stays in for 5 or so overs the game will be over”.

It pretty much was, though took a little longer than 5 overs! He swung and smashed the ball to all parts, he swung and missed quite a few aswell (and apparently took a bit of stick from the Burnley fielders in the process).

Captain Noon out next for a good 24, probably disappointed not to lead his team home.

Shaabaz came in next and batted with patience and responsibility above his years. His 7no and Siraj 29no got us over the line.

And it was a good job because after Marcus, who would surely have been in next, there was no batting to come (see scorecard below).

Another win and another 12 points.

Well done boys!

Saturday 14th May

2nd XI v Todmorden CC – Away

Report by Paul Houldsworth

This weekend saw the 2s make the trip to Todmorden

Making his senior cricketing debut was young Max Cocken, fresh from his Lancashire call and in as a late replacement for Phil Allen.

Having once again ignored Russell’s advice and called tails, I lost the toss and we were bowling first.

Todmorden got off to a decent start before Joel removed both openers again. Tod made steady progress losing an occasional wicket before finishing on 199 for 7, a decent but getable total on a good batting track.

Harwood got off to a good start with Big Shak and Hamza before Shak was out LBW, quickly followed by Hamza cleaned bowled. Thomas didn’t last long so Chris and Jack had to rebuild the innings.

A loose shot saw Jack depart for 14 quickly followed by Russ leaving us 114 for 5, but Chris batted superbly, aided by the skipper to see us home with 7 overs to spare and 10 points; Chris finishing 78 not out

1st XI v Enfield CC – Evolve Document Solutions Cliffe Park

Sunday saw our 1st XI entertain Enfield at the Evolve Document Solutions Cliffe Park.

On arrival at the ground, the forecast rain was nowhere to be seen. Bright sunshine hit the immaculate looking ground as the players warmed up. In to the GHCC side came Kasim Masood, replacing Jake Peake, who tried catching a firmly hit shot at Bacup last week with his ballsack (not recommended) and is recovering. Get well soon Jake.

Enfield included former GHCC players Anthony Steele and Faheem Basharat in their lineup, and had former Church pro Zain Abbas standing in as sub-professional for the day.

We lost the toss and were asked to field first. On a warm day with what looked a belter of a track, I’d imagine we’d have batted too.

We got off to a decent start, Thikshila de Silva first removing Lewis Wright caught behind for 7 and then Jack Cook for 6, but this brought together Abbas and Alfie Cook. The pair of them batted impeccably through the majority of the remainder of the innings. Both reached 100, with Abbas’ ability to find a gap to drop any kind of delivery away for a single, the driving force and a source of much frustration. By the time he was out, caught behind off Ethan Houldsworth for 127, Enfield were 235-3. Cook went on to reach his first Lancashire League 100, and with Yasir Ali took the Enfield total to 300-3.

A large score, but talking to a couple of our players at tea, not one that daunted them (‘On this wicket, if we play well and get a bit of luck, it’s manageable’)

Opening our response would be Alex Kennedy and Ismheel Shakeel. Both coped well with the early overs, perhaps aided by Enfield opting to open with a spinner. Alex was out for 30, the team having made a solid start butting on 49 for the opening wicket.

Matt Oddie moving to bat 3 has been a positive step it seems, as he followed up last week’s 81 with 77 here today and looked as good as ever. Ish was bowled by Jackson for a well earned 18, and Oddie was joined by Thikshila de Silva, the pair building on the start to set about forming a run chase. Having got themselves in, disaster struck as, just as the pair started to open up and play more aggressively, de Silva miscued and was caught remarkably by a running, over the shoulder sliding catch. With the score at 128, the target seemed a long way away.

But we stuck at it, Oddie playing his shots, putting on 35 with Reece Willets (10). The rate was increasing and hit 10 per over required. Reece was out bowled by the returning opening spinner, but Kasir Masood replaced him and was not going to let the innings fizzle out. His 45 came off just 24 balls, including 29 off the same Lewis Wright over. By the time he was out we were 233-5 needing 68 from 8 overs.

But it wasn’t to be. The returning Basharat took the key wicket of Oddie, then Allan Armer, Ethan Houldsworth and Stuart Maher, all who were looking to score quick runs without the chance to get settled.

Kasim Masood and Marcus Hamer held out though, taking our score up to 261-9 and ensuring we came out of the afternoon with a couple of points.

So defeat, but again one with positives. The two Enfield batsmen won the game for them with their respective hundreds, neither giving so much as a chance all afternoon. We made a pretty good attempt at what was always going to be a tough chase, with all batsmen contributing.

Rishton away next week. Looking forward to it.

On to the next one

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