Month: July 2019

1st XI Match Report v Whixley (N) (Cup)


Arthington 1st XI’s excellent cup campaign reached its climax at Ripon Cricket ground on finals day. Despite the confidence of their previous round and a good all-round performance on the day, their opponents, Whixley, as yet unbeaten in the league and cup this season, proved to be too strong and came away with a well-deserved victory. Several key moments in the match also failed to go Arthington’s way, which proved to be the difference.

Arthington skipper, Naveed Andrabi, won the toss and after the success of setting an unreachable total against tough opposition in the semi-final, opted to bat first once more. The pitch was not the easiest to bat on and, due to the large boundaries, the normal six-hitting approach of opener Alex O’Neil was somewhat stifled. He and Sajid Hussain opened the Arthington innings again and began well, with excellent running between the wickets and some clean boundary hitting. The score had reached 32 before the first wicket fell, as Hussain missed a straight ball, which dislodged the bails. Andrabi joined O’Neil at the crease and had helped move their partnership on to 30 runs, before arguably the game’s moment of greatest controversy occurred. The slow right-arm bowler, on as first change, served up a tempting delivery outside Andrabi’s off-stump. To the batting pair and seemingly most people watching on from the side, there was clear daylight between bat and ball, but a faint sound, later attributed to the bat hitting the ground, caused the bowler and wicketkeeper to appeal as one and the umpire, inexplicably, raised his finger.

Arthington had lost another wicket before another key moment in the match. Alex O’Neil, who had reached 36 runs and was going along nicely, mishit a push into the on-side and was easily caught at mid-on, leaving the score on 72-4. Matt Moss and Khamrosh Khan both tried to add late impetus in the innings, but were dismissed in single figures and only Wasim Malik was able to make any further contribution of significance. His 18-run cameo included an enormous six from a no-ball and an even further blow into cow corner, which somehow only scored four runs, due to the dimensions of the ground, but undoubtedly would have been a six on almost any other pitch in the county. Wickets continued to tumble though, including two in the final over, as Arthington looked to steal a few late runs and at the end of the 20 overs, the score had reached 119-9; a little on the low side and a tough target to defend.

The bowling innings started brightly, with the first wicket falling in only the third over from the bowling of Luke Seaborne. The batsman holed out to Martin Dickinson at deep mid-wicket who held the catch. Seaborne and Andrabi bowled tightly and were putting the batsmen under real pressure, but the 5-over maximum hurt Arthington, as the Whixley batsmen took a liking to the change bowling and began to score more heavily. Wasim Malik, following his exploits with the bat, also impressed with the ball and bowled extremely economically, conceding only 12 runs from his 4 overs. His persistence was rewarded with a wicket as well, when the Whixley number three edged a catch behind to wicketkeeper Andrew Dowson. Shortly afterwards, the Whixley batsmen collided with each other in the middle of the wicket, whilst attempting a second run and allowed for an easy run out by Kevin Braithwaite, following his throw from the deep cover boundary. Thankfully, only the pride of the dismissed Whixley batsman seemed hurt, as he trudged off the pitch.

The fourth wicket partnership was then enough to see Whixley across the line and win the match. The remaining opening batsman carried his bat and made it to his 50 in the later stages of the innings and he was ably supported by the Whixley captain. Despite Seaborne (4-0-18-1) and Andrabi returning towards the end, the task was too much and, with many wickets in hand, the Whixley batsmen could play freely and reached the target set by Arthington with two overs to spare: 122-3.

This was the 1st XI’s second cup final in three seasons and all of the players involved should be extremely proud of their efforts in the previous rounds, as well as in the final itself. Ultimately, the opposition proved too strong in the final and it is no disgrace to lose against them, as they also look set to clinch the third division league title, possibly unbeaten. Having now had a taste of these occasions, it is surely only a matter of time, in the seasons to come, until Arthington can add some silverware to their trophy cabinet. As it is, they will have to wait another year and must now concentrate on their league performances until the end of the season.

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1st XI Match Report v South Kilvington (A)


In their latest league match in division three, Arthington 1st XI travelled to South Kilvington, hoping to secure their second win of the season against the same opposition, following their victory in the home fixture. However, things did not go to plan as, despite a strong bowling display, the Arthington batsmen found it tough going on a difficult pitch and were unable to chase down the target.

Arthington captain Naveed Andrabi won the toss and, owing to the recent poor weather and state of the wicket, opted to field first. Umer Khan opened the bowling and made an early breakthrough with a caught and bowled, but South Kilvington put together several decent partnerships to keep themselves on top, despite none of their batsmen achieving an overly significant score. Andrabi, who had brought himself on as the change bowler, made a huge impact by dismissing the remaining opener and then tearing through the middle order, with his first four wickets being caught by Arthington fielders. Wasim Malik, promoted to the first team due to several absences, also bowled well and made the key breakthrough of the South Kilvington top scorer. Umer Khan then took his second wicket before a 3-over spell from Sajid Hussain all but finished things off, as he took two wickets, the first of which a catch behind by wicketkeeper Andrew Dowson, his third of the match. Off-spin bowler Mohammed Adil must also get a mention for his economical 6 overs, which only went for 11 runs. Ultimately, it was fitting that Andrabi took the final wicket, clean bowled, to complete his 5-for from 9.3 overs, including four maidens for only 18 runs. An outstanding bowling effort. The final score: 155 all out from 37.3 overs.

Spirits were not high for very long though. Having restricted the opposition to what seemed a manageable score, the Arthington reply started disastrously, as the top order proved easy prey for the opening bowler and saw the score reach 10-3 in the early stages. Umer Khan and Naveed Andrabi, in an unfamiliar number five position, provided some resistance for the fourth wicket in a 40-run partnership, before Andrabi was well caught for 27. Alex O’Neil and Akash Hazra then came and went, without ever getting going, to leave the score on a perilous 73-6. But there was still a ray of hope, amongst the gloom, in the form of Wasim Malik, who played in his usual exciting and aggressive manner to push the score quickly in the right direction. Malik struck a solitary four but 4 sixes in his quickfire 30 runs, before finally being caught and bowled and exposing the Arthington tail, with 36 runs still required for victory and only three wickets remaining. Khan, who had remained at the crease for some 30 overs then felt the need to accelerate, with overs running out, but succumbed almost immediately, trying to play a shot over a fielder on the off-side but failing to get the required elevation or power and serving up a simple catching chance. His valuable contribution of 36 was the top score of the Arthington innings and included 6 fours. The number 10 and 11 batsmen did not trouble the scorers, leaving Abdul Bhatti stranded on 5 at the other end. The final score from the innings: 127 all out from 35.4 overs.

With the 28-run defeat, their fifth of the season so far, Arthington slip to fourth place in the table and now must rely on two teams above them slipping up, in addition to winning all of their remaining games, in order to have a realistic chance at promotion. Despite an encouraging bowling and fielding display in this match, the absence of several of this season’s key batsmen for the 1st XI, combined with a difficult batting surface and some good bowling, seemed the main contributors to the outcome of the match.

However, there was hardly any time to reflect as the team needed to pick themselves up in time for their Barrett Cup final match against Whixley the very next day; separate match report to follow. The 1st XI’s next league match is against Spofforth, who helped provide such an entertaining and closely fought contest earlier in the season.

There was further disappointment at the ACG, as the 2nd XI suffered their fifth consecutive defeat at the hands of Thirsk. Batting first, having won the toss, Arthington made 144-9 from their 40 overs. Several players made starts in the innings but none went on to big scores, with the top contributors being Gareth Meredith and Zameer Ahmed, both scoring 22, and Jake Greaves-Newall, 21. Thirsk reached the target in the 30th over for the loss of four wickets. There was a wicket apiece for Dennis Nash, Martin Hings and Mohammed Faiyazuddin, who also got a run out. The 2nd XI look to end their losing streak next week away against Darley.

Arthington Cricket club thanks the match ball sponsors for both teams this week: Reward Financial Group

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Congratulations Ahmer!


Congratulations go to Ahmer Sadiq Baqal, who passed the landmark of 1,000 runs for Arthington in the 1st XI's crucial victory over Rainton at the ACG on Saturday 13th July 2019.

Ahmer was instrumental in the victory, taking the new ball and helping himself to 3 wickets in a return of 3-18 from 8 overs. His 1,000th run for the club then came in the successful run chase where Ahmer batted 3 and scored 27.

One of Arthington's most valuable all-rounders, Ahmer reached his milestone in his 55th match for the club, and he is the 28th man to reach 1,000 runs.

Ahmer has always been one of the first names on the teamsheet since his debut in 2015, and has been instrumental in the 1st XI's rise in the ranks to division 3. He has helped himself to a total of 1,026 runs from his 55 matches at an average of 23.86. He has hit 5 fifties and notched up a high score of 80  not out.

He has also contributed much with the ball, taking 74 wickets at an average of 18.14 and a miserly economy rate of just 3.37 runs per over, with a best return of 4-8.

Congratulations Ahmer from all at Arthington Cricket Club.

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1st XI Match Report v Upper Wharfedale (A) (Cup)


Wind the clock back two years to the summer of 2017, Arthington 1st XI players will remember, not overly fondly, their cup final defeat to Upper Wharfedale. Two seasons later, following back-to-back promotions for both teams, the two clubs met again in the semi-final of this season’s 20-over cup competition. On a sunny Tuesday evening, the team made their way over hill and dale to Grassington, the home of Upper Wharfedale, to give them only their second defeat in three seasons.

Having missed the last two league matches, regular Arthington captain Naveed Andrabi won the toss and elected to bat, opting to use the now familiar cup opening pair of Sajid Hussain and Alex O’Neil. However, things did not start well, as the first over produced no runs and the run out of Hussain from the final ball. O’Neil, who had yet to face a ball, wasted no time playing himself in, striking 2 sixes and a four from the second over, his first, and at the other end, Matthew Moss began what would become a vital innings. 18 runs, including six wides, came from the second over faced by O’Neil. Though he took a liking to the Upper Wharfedale paceman, it was the swing bowling from the other end that eventually doused the fireworks and ended a fine 52-run partnership, just as Moss had begun to get in on the act with some boundaries of his own. O’Neil inadvertently deflected the ball with his pads, onto the stumps, and had to go for 29 runs from only 15 balls including 1 four and 4 sixes, getting the first innings off to an excellent start.

Andrabi joined Moss at the crease and both looked in excellent touch, the highlights of their 54-run stand being Moss’ second six of his innings and Andrabi playing an over of spin expertly, hitting fours through wide mid-off, a vacant fine leg via a sweep and finally cutting through backward point. The partnership was gaining momentum, before a risky second run, following a push into the off-side, led to the run out of Andrabi at the striker’s end for 35 runs from 23 balls. From there, Upper Wharfedale were able to significantly reduce the run rate and continue to take wickets. Moss finally fell for a well-made 41, the top score of the innings, and the final pairing never really got going. Ahmer Sadiq ultimately being bowled out from the last ball of the innings for 12, including an excellent six. After their whirlwind start, Arthington felt they were slightly short of a good score at the end of their innings, finishing on 139-6.

A tight couple of overs, with the exception of a solitary six, from opening bowlers Luke Seaborne and Andrabi, brought about the fall of the first wicket, via a catch by Khamrosh Khan, in his favourite position at point. However, in the next few overs, Arthington’s fielding left a lot to be desired, with several balls finding the boundary that perhaps should have been stopped, as well as a couple of catches being dropped. It was a blessing, therefore, when Andrabi held a caught and bowled chance for the second wicket, which allowed Arthington to get together for a good old-fashioned dressing down from the skipper, which drastically improved the fielding for the remaining overs. Andrabi (5-0-24-3) went on to take a further two wickets, the second of which being a cool catch at long-on by Alex O’Neil, in front of the pavilion, failing to be distracted by the opposition at the side. Ahmer Sadiq replaced Seaborne from the rugby field end and took an over to find his line and length. However, once he had, he proved very difficult to get away, which allowed the final change bowler, Sajid Hussain, to cash in and steal the show. Hussain took four wickets from his four overs at the cost of only 16 runs and removed several key batsmen in the process. He was ably assisted by some great catching from Arthington fielders; Sadiq at cover, Khan at backward point and O’Neil, once more, in the deep, as well as rearranging the woodwork once by himself. Sadiq also chipped in with a wicket before Seaborne (4.1-0-31-2) brought an end to the innings with a yorker on leg-stump, from the first ball of the 19th over. The final score: 106 all out.

Upper Wharfedale never really managed to get a partnership of real substance going throughout their innings, the highest being a 30-run combination for the second wicket, as their wickets fell at key times and at regular intervals. All that means that Arthington will be involved in their 2nd cup final in three seasons, where they hope to go one better than the cup campaign of two seasons ago, when they take on Whixley. Due to the delay of earlier rounds by bad weather, finals day is almost upon us and takes place on Sunday July 21st, only five days after the semi-final success. With the prospect of having a near full-strength team available to them, Arthington are high on confidence going into the final and will aim to avenge the league defeat to Whixley, earlier in the season.

Cup finalists, Arthington 1st XI, including 12th man and scorer

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1st XI Match Report v Rainton (H)


Arthington successfully did the double over Rainton in their latest fixture at the ACG to move themselves within touching distance of second placed North Stainley at the top of division three. A formidable bowling performance, backed up by some sensible batting enabled the 1st XI to win with more than 12 overs to spare.

Heavy rain in the lead up to the match had brought the quality of the wicket into some question before the start of play and stand-in captain Sajid Hussain won the toss and opted to bowl first, something that Arthington had only done once all season up to this point. However, despite misbehaving, it was mainly additional bounce off the surface that was the problem for the batsmen, which reduced the likelihood of a bowled or LBW dismissal significantly. With the captain and usual opening bowler absent once again, an opening bowling pair of Luke Seaborne and Ahmer Sadiq brought back memories of their time together in the 2nd XI and bowled economically to start. Seaborne made an early breakthrough in the 7th over, holding a relatively straightforward caught & bowled opportunity. The change bowling took a little while to get their radar right and were the main contributors to the 15 total wides bowled in the innings. This meant that at the halfway stage, Rainton had pushed the score up to 66 for the loss of only 1 wicket.

Following the drinks break, the scoreboard pressure finally told. Mohsin Ali surprised the batsman with the additional bounce from his very first ball, inducing a simple catching chance at slip, which was gratefully clutched by Matthew Moss, before Hussain got in on the act; a top edge looped up into the air and was taken by Andrew Dowson as he sprinted in from his position behind the stumps. After a mini recovery in the form of a 31-run partnership for the fourth wicket, there was a moment of brilliance in the field. The Rainton number 3 who had been going along nicely on 41 runs smashed the ball down the ground to long-off. Under normal circumstances, an easy single, but Khamrosh Khan, Arthington’s fielding prodigy, had other ideas as he picked up the ball and launched a throw at the non-striker’s end, hitting leg stump halfway up, on the full, with the batsman nowhere in sight. There was much rejoicing.

From there, the fielding side dominated, as Rainton lost their remaining six wickets with overs to spare. Alex O’Neil made up for an earlier drop at long-on, possibly the first of his cricketing career to date, with a second superb run out. This time, the batsmen were attempting a second run, but O’Neil surprised everyone by throwing past the non-striker’s end straight into the stumps at the other, on the third bounce, with the Rainton batsman well short of his ground. Ahmer Sadiq (8-3-18-3) then returned for a devastating second spell, clean bowling two batsmen in consecutive deliveries before Khan took a good catch at point and, as if to prove that his fantastic run out wasn’t a fluke, threw the dismissed batsman’s stumps down as well, for good measure. Seaborne (8.5-3-17-2) then completed the fielding innings sandwich by bowling out the number eleven for the final wicket, having already taken the first. The final score: 149 all out.

After a particularly bountiful tea interval, the Arthington opening pair of Sajid Hussain and Matthew Moss began the second innings sensibly. However, their careful approach was undone by Moss, who invited the cover fielder to take the simplest of catches to end his innings and Hussain followed soon after for 20 runs, as he missed a straight ball, destined for leg stump, that cannoned into his pads for an LBW. Ahmer Sadiq and Khamrosh Khan then combined well in a 47-run stand for the third wicket until Sadiq was caught for 27. Khan was showing signs of his old form with the bat as he was joined by Alex O’Neil at the crease, but he played one aggressive shot too many and clubbed an uppish on-drive to the waiting fielder at long-on, who took a good catch. His 30 runs ended up being the highest score and included 5 fours. New man Andrew Dowson and O’Neil then put on a rapid 51 runs between them to win the match. Dowson scored 5 fours in his 24 not out and Alex O’Neil was delighted that the lowest scoring shot from his score of 29 was a hastily run 3. He also struck 5 fours and one huge six over the tea hut. Arthington reached their final score of 151-4 in the 28th over to win the match.

All eleven players contributed in this victory, whether with ball, bat or in the field, despite being put in the unfamiliar position of batting second. A successful day for the 1st XI was made all the better after learning that second place North Stainley had suffered a heavy defeat to league leaders Whixley, allowing the gap between 2nd and 3rd to be reduced by 16 points to a much more manageable 9.

Away from home, the 2nd XI played their return leg versus North Stainley 2nd XI and completed this season’s bizarre 3-match saga against them. Despite an improved performance with both bat and ball, Arthington’s 190 all out was not enough and North Stainley sealed back-to-back victories in their 29th over with a score of 192-4. Martin Hings (47) and Gareth Meredith (37) were the main contributors with the bat and Hings also took two wickets along with Mohammed Faiyazuddin.

In the next round of matches, the 1st XI hope to extend their latest unbeaten run against South Kilvington, although there is the small matter of the Barrett Cup semi-final against Upper Wharfedale before then. The second team hope to end their losing streak at home against Thirsk.

Arthington CC thanks the match ball sponsors for this week’s matches.
1st XI match ball sponsor: Kirkstall Councillors
2nd XI match ball sponsor: Reward Financial Group

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1st XI Match Report v North Stainley (A)


In a competitive match, which ebbed and flowed, Arthington 1st XI managed to restrict North Stainley’s chase to secure a much-needed victory, despite several key absentees. On a lovely day and a fantastic ground, Arthington stand-in skipper Sajid Hussain won the toss and decided to bat first.

Much had been said in the dressing room, prior to the match, about the need to improve on a very disappointing batting performance in the previous game and the importance of not losing wickets. Despite an early LBW, opener Hussain and number three Matthew Moss set a good example and formed an excellent 55-run partnership displaying good running between the wickets. Unfortunately, Moss was trapped LBW off a grubber that hardly got off the ground for a determined 27, and the third and fourth wickets quickly followed, leaving Arthington on 99-4. Importantly, Hussain was still at the crease and was now joined by Kevin Braithwaite, who had made a great fifty in his previous league innings. The two put on 51 for the fifth wicket, before Hussain holed out to deep mid-wicket 2 runs short of his fifty.

From there, wickets fell at regular intervals, although Nouman Raffique had a brief 14-run cameo. But amidst the tumbling wickets, Braithwaite remained unbeaten and reached a well-deserved fifty in the penultimate over of the innings. In contrast to his previous half-century, which displayed great patience and discipline, this one was full of aggression and attacking shots, including 6 fours and a six. At the end of the innings, he had reached 52 not out and had helped Arthington reach a final total of 205-9.

North Stainley started well in their innings and did not lose a wicket until they had reached 60 runs, as Ahmer Sadiq made the first of his two key breakthroughs in the North Stainley top order, inducing a catch at slip. Further 40-run partnerships followed and took the score to 143-3, with one opener still at the crease and it seemed that North Stainley were favourites to win. But some fine bowling from Mohsin Ali, in his second spell, proved the difference as he perfected his line and length and hit the stumps on four occasions in total, including the key wicket of the opening batsman who was finally dismissed for 86. Still there was hope for North Stainley, but Arthington could afford to have the majority of their fielders on the boundary at this point. As the runs dried up, wickets continued to fall and a run out in the final over brought an end to the chase, with North Stainley 10 runs short of the target. 195 all out.

Following back-to-back defeats, a trip to the league leaders was a daunting prospect for the 1st XI, but even with their two highest run-scorers, leading wicket taker and regular wicketkeeper absent, the team performed well and kept themselves in the hunt for a third successive promotion.

It was an Arthington vs North Stainley double this week too, as Arthington 2nd XI hosted the North Stainley 2nd XI at the ACG. 1st team absences did, unfortunately, have an impact on the 2nd team, who struggled to contain the North Stainley runs in the first innings; knocks of 72 and an unbeaten 105 being the main contributions towards a final score of 251-6, despite the bowling exploits of Mohammed Faiyazuddin (10-2-50-3). In reply, Arthington were bowled out in the 35th over for 127 (Trevor Lobley 27, Faiyazuddin 21, Abdul Bhatti 17*).

Next week, the 2nd XI face North Stainley again, in a reverse fixture. The 1st XI are looking to do the double at home against Rainton, who proved to be tough opposition in the opening match of the season.

Arthington CC extends its gratitude to the match ball sponsors for this week.

1st XI match ball sponsor: Gipton & Harehills Councillors
2nd XI match ball sponsor: Kirkstall Councillors


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1st XI Match Report v Birstwith (A)


A vast improvement in the season’s weather did not have a positive effect on Arthington 1st XI’s performance as they slumped to a heavy defeat against bottom side Birstwith. Albeit with a significantly weaker side to previous weeks, Arthington failed to perform with the bat and subsequently gave themselves too much to do in the field, allowing Birstwith to win at a canter.

Captain Naveed Andrabi won the toss and chose to bat on what seemed a fantastic wicket for batting. However, poor shot selection and the odd moment of misfortune saw Arthington lose wickets at regular intervals to post a very modest total. There were several rays of hope amongst the gloom. Ahmer Sadiq batted well once again, top scoring with 33, and it took a good catch at mid-off to remove him. Matt Moss also showed promise on his league return but was dismissed in bizarre fashion. Having edged a ball that was dropped at second slip, Moss was busy practicing the right shot to have played and failed to notice the slip fielder approaching his stumps with the ball, nor the fact that he was out of his ground. Umer Khan, promoted up the order to number four, also showed great determination in seeing off the majority of arguably the opposition’s best bowler, who strangely ended up without a wicket to his name. Finally, batsmen number nine and ten, Matthew Clough (13) and Luke Seaborne (10), were two of only four players to reach double figures and helped secure an additional batting point, as Arthington were eventually bowled out for only 117 after 30 overs.

In reply, Birstwith only lost their two opening batsmen in reaching the target. Luke Seaborne took the only bowling wicket with a full toss that uprooted the off stump. Ahmer Sadiq also had two wickets correctly ruled out as no balls, as the full toss deliveries were over waist height when the batsman played them to Arthington fielders. The final wicket was a fabulous direct hit run out by Nouman Rafique, who threw from mid-off to the non-striker’s end to dismiss the remaining opener, shortly after he had passed his 50.

The defeat does not alter Arthington’s league position in third, but does widen the gap between them and the top two, who both won. To avoid a third consecutive league defeat, Arthington will need a repeat of their quarter final cup triumph away against top of the table North Stainley.

At the ACG the 2nd XI were involved in a much tighter contest against Whixley. It was left to the tail to score the bulk of the runs for Arthington, who batted first having lost the toss. Gareth Meredith was the top scorer with 32, which included 7 fours, before Zameer Ahmed (21) and David Howard (20) batted out the overs to conclude the innings at 157-8. The wickets were shared around between the Arthington bowlers in the second innings and there were two each for Ahmed, Mohsin Ali, Martin Hings and Vince Greaves-Newall. Unfortunately, it was not quite enough to clinch victory. Whixley reached the target in the penultimate over, finishing on 159-8.

Both teams will look to bounce back from successive defeats next week in their respective fixtures and the 1st XI, in particular, will need to significantly improve their performance if they are to have any hope of catching the top two sides and securing an increasingly unlikely promotion.

The club thanks the match ball sponsors for both of the week’s matches: Gipton & Harehills Councillors

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