Match Reports

1st XI Match Report v Birstwith 2 (H)


On the final day of the 2019 cricket season, even an unlikely league title for the Arthington 1st XI was still a possibility and the team did all they could to make the dream of a third successive promotion a reality by comfortably beating Birstwith to earn a 20-point victory.

Birstwith, who had their own agenda to consider at the opposite end of the table, decided to bowl first upon winning the toss, seeing that as their best chance to accumulate the most batting and bowling points, in the event of a defeat. This allowed last week’s successful 133-run opening partnership of Sajid Hussain and Naveed Andrabi to carry on where they left off. Things did start positively in this innings as well, though neither batsman played quite as fluently on this occasion, which may have had something to do with a pitch that was doing a little bit, including some inconsistent bounce; evident throughout the match.

Andrabi soon hit his stride though, with Hussain starting more sedately, and the score had reached 74 before the fall of the first wicket; a disastrous run out where the two batsmen were in complete disagreement over the possibility of a single. Andrabi set off and was two thirds of the way down the pitch before being sent back, with Hussain unmoved at the striker’s end. The resulting throw was taken at the stumps to leave Andrabi well-short of his ground. His 44 came in just 40 balls and included 5 fours and 2 sixes.

Hussain adopted the role of the aggressor once Andrabi had departed and began playing some more attacking shots to all areas of the ground. The fifth Birstwith player to bowl proved most effective and took the wickets of Matt Moss and Ahmer Sadiq, both of whom struggled to get going. Despite the pair being dismissed for 7 apiece, they formed healthy partnerships with Hussain as he swung the willow from the other end. However, just two deliveries after Sadiq’s dismissal, Hussain lost his wicket, finally missing the ball having come down the wicket to meet it. His efforts to get back in his crease were in vain, as he was easily stumped by the second of Birstwith’s wicket keepers on the day. Hussain made an important 71 in the context of the match from 101 balls, including 6 fours and 4 sixes.

Khamrosh Khan took over the mantle from Hussain and played excellently to remain not out, scoring at over a run a ball. With the overs running out and wickets in hand, the remaining Arthington batsmen did the right thing in wasting little time to get themselves in and instead trying to score runs in as quick a manner as possible. Andrew Dowson, Wasim Malik and Dave Cleasby all hit boundaries in their short cameos and there was even time for Akash Hazra to hit his only ball, the final one of the innings, for four over cover. Khan finished 38 not out from 30 balls, hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes in the process. Arthington’s final first innings score: 215-7.

After a bountiful tea interval, Birstwith began their innings and lost one of their opening batsmen in only the second over. In fairness to the batsman, he did his best to fend off a short-pitched ball from Naveed Andrabi, but it bounced more than anticipated and looped off his gloves straight into the waiting mits of wicket keeper Andrew Dowson behind the stumps. Having regained a little control of a free-flowing start with Andrabi, Luke Seaborne took the second Birstwith wicket. The batsman was induced into a straight drive that he did not really get hold of and Umer Khan took a straightforward catch at mid-off.

The third wicket partnership proved a tough nut to crack. In the end, the 71-run stand was broken by Wasim Malik in his first over, after several other bowlers had tried and failed. Having already hit two boundaries in the over and being one run short of an excellent fifty, the number four batsman clearly had visions of striking another one to the rope. However, his attempted drive only went upwards and after a long time in the air, the ball was well held by Malik himself, running across the square and catching as the ball came over his shoulder.

The innings had reached the 33rd over before the fourth wicket fell. In seemingly a final attempt to make a breakthrough, knowing that every wicket and bowling point was vital, captain Andrabi threw the ball to Umer Khan. Despite turning up on time and in the right place earlier in the day, Khan had somehow forgotten all his kit except his whites and so ran in to bowl wearing black trainers and his now customary headband, in a magnificent contrast, perhaps looking to emulate Arthington’s veteran hair specialist, Ahmer Sadiq. However daft he may have looked, what followed was nothing short of spectacular and surely one of the most remarkable spells of bowling ever seen at the ACG.

His first wicket came from only his third ball when the batsman lofted a drive to long-off and was caught by Khamrosh Khan. At the other end, Malik (7-0-31-2) took his second wicket with a full-toss that smashed into middle stump. Umer Khan then took two wickets in his second over, the first was a full delivery that clattered into the poles and the second an unfortunate inside edge that brought about the same result. A further two wickets fell in Khan’s third over. Having batted through the entire innings at this point, reaching 52, the remaining opening batsman took a swing at a ball that was full and wide outside off-stump. The ball skewed off the outside edge and somehow carried all the way to Matt Moss at deep point, who made his way across the undulating Arthington outfield to take a smart catch. Four balls later and Moss’ big brain struck again, having moved himself to backward square leg, where he felt sure a catch would come his way. Sure enough, the batsman flicked a leg-side full-toss straight to Moss, who didn’t have to move to take a simple catch and give Khan his fifth wicket.

In his fourth and final over, the 39th of the innings, Khan wrapped up the match, forcing an edge behind to wicket keeper Dowson, who took a fine diving catch at the second attempt. Birstwith all out for 169. Arthington won the match by 46 runs, with Umer Khan finishing with extraordinary bowling figures of 3.3-0-14-6, the 19th best ever set of bowling figures in the history of Arthington cricket club but surely the best in terms of strike rate; a wicket every 3.5 balls.

Having done all they could to give themselves a chance at going up, Arthington were ultimately left disappointed as both teams above them managed to win, meaning that they finish the season in third place. They will look back at several games earlier in the season where they suffered defeat, most notably perhaps the reverse fixture against Birstwith, where they were thoroughly outplayed. However, Arthington 1st XI can take pride in how they ended their season, winning their last 6 games played and not losing a match since mid-July.

Sadly, the Arthington 2nd XI suffered another defeat against their favourite opponents, North Stainley, who they faced for the fourth time this season. This match was a much closer encounter than their most recent clash, with North Stainley needing until the final over to clinch victory. Batting first, Arthington posted 141-7 from their 40 overs, Martin Dickinson 45. North Stainley reached 144-5 after 39.3 overs. Vince Greaves-Newall and Martin Hings with two wickets apiece and a special mention to Zameer Ahmed, in what could be his final game for Arthington, for bowling six maidens from his ten overs. Because division seven is a complicated one, splitting in two halfway through, it’s difficult to say exactly how well the second XI fared over the season as a whole. However, after a promising start with five wins from their first six games, they ended the season in disappointing fashion with eleven consecutive defeats, including two concessions, which is very unfortunate.

Arthington Cricket Club thanks the match ball sponsors for the final fixtures of the season:
1st XI match ball sponsor: Colin Seaborne
2nd XI match ball sponsor: Moortown Councillors

Thanks to everyone in and outside of the club for your kind words during the season regarding the match reports, I hope that you have enjoyed them and that I could paint a picture for those not playing or in attendance of the Arthington 1st XI’s experiences throughout the season.


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1st XI Match Report v Whixley (A)


The 2018 season was a special one for Arthington 1st XI; going the entire campaign without a single defeat. The 1st XI’s most recent opponents, Whixley, were looking to pull off exactly the same feat having won all of their games to date, with only two fixtures remaining. Arthington, however, had other ideas and produced a superb all-round performance to claim a stunning victory and ensure that their achievement remains all the more unique. Perhaps more importantly, it means that there are still three teams vying for two promotion places with only one more match still to play.

The reverse fixture at Arthington had been a run-fest, when Arthington posted their highest total of the season, 269, only to see it chased down by Whixley with overs to spare. The same result occurred in the Cup Final, with Arthington failing to defend their first innings total. It was for this reason that Arthington captain, Naveed Andrabi opted to bowl first, having won the toss, to let Whixley set the first innings target on this occasion.

Although the opening bowlers Luke Seaborne and Andrabi were unable to make an early breakthrough, both managed to keep the scoring to a minimum and after 10 overs, Whixley had only reached 28-0. The change bowling of Ahmer Sadiq and Wasim Malik proved slightly more expensive, yet it was Sadiq that made the first two breakthroughs in the 17th and 19th overs. The first wicket was a well-caught effort by Malik at cover and the second saw a top-edged full-toss rise high into the air, which gave Luke Seaborne enough time to run from mid-wicket towards mid-on and make the catch his.

Shortly after drinks, Seaborne returned for his second spell and struck straight away. The remaining opening batsman failed to clear Dave Cleasby at long-on, despite the strong breeze assisting the attempt, and was well caught to give Seaborne his only wicket of the match in an economical effort: 10-0-31-1. At the other end, Sajid Hussain had replaced the impressive Malik (6-0-23-0) and took a wicket in his very first over, caught behind by Andrew Dowson.

There was then a period of relative calm as Seaborne and Hussain took the game into the 32nd over, with no further loss of wickets, before perhaps one of the more significant moments. After a short discussion, Hussain, who had been due to be replaced, convinced the Arthington captain to allow him to keep bowling and proceeded to take a wicket in each of his next four overs, one of which being the key wicket of the Whixley number 4, who holed out against the wind to Seaborne at long-on for 38. The other catches went to Akash Hazra back-pedalling to grab a lofted shot at cover, a second for Wasim Malik, this time at long-off and a third for Seaborne, running in from the long-on boundary once more to take a low catch. Hussain finished the innings as the star-performer with figures of 9-0-31-5. Sadiq also impressed with his second spell, but was unable to do further damage to the Whixley tail, finishing on 8-0-46-2. The Whixley final first innings score: 175-8.

Knowing that the target was almost 100 runs fewer than the losing total in the home fixture might have prompted some opening pairs to opt for early caution, but Sajid Hussain and Naveed Andrabi chose a more aggressive approach and started the chase going at almost six runs per over, dismissing the early Whixley pace-bowling to all parts. With the score at 65-0 from the first 12 overs, pace was taken off the ball and the rate dropped slightly, yet the two batsmen remained untroubled. In fact, they combined for a first wicket partnership of 133 before Hussain finally fell, charging down the wicket and missing the ball to be easily stumped by the wicket-keeper for an elegant 56. His half-century included 7 fours and 1 six. Ahmer Sadiq’s stay at the crease was brief, as he attempted a suicidal single to mid-wicket and was comfortably run-out by a direct hit at the non-striker’s end. The debate regarding whose fault it was has yet to be settled.

After reaching another chanceless fifty, Andrabi flirted with danger on several occasions, firstly  mishitting a couple of shots skyward that landed safely and finally serving up a simple chance to the deep mid-wicket fielder, who inexplicably dropped the ball, having had all the time in the world to steady himself underneath it. As a result, there were some jubilant cries of relief from the sidelines. Andrabi and Kevin Braithwaite saw the match to its conclusion in the 35th over, with Braithwaite striking the winning runs over mid-wicket when the scores were level, to finish on 21 not out. Andrabi also ended up unbeaten, for the second match running, making 86, including 12 fours and 1 six.

Arthington 1st XI produced arguably their best performance of the season in this victory against the strongest side in the third division. Unfortunately, their fellow promotion chasers North Stainley were awarded a 20-point victory thanks to a concession, which brings the chase for promotion and potentially even the league title to the final round of fixtures. Both Whixley and North Stainley sit level on points, 14 ahead of Arthington, who must win their final match against Birstwith comprehensively and hope that either of the other two teams lose badly. Despite the equation looking less than favourable for Arthington, to still be in the hunt for a third successive promotion at this late stage is a great achievement that seemed unlikely two months ago.

Arthington 2nd XI were also in action away against Studley Royal. Bowling first, Vince Greaves-Newall (3), Abdul Bhatti (2), Zameer Ahmed (1) and Mohammed Faiyazuddin (1) were all in the wickets, restricting their opponents to 145-7 from the 40 overs. However, the 9 men of Arthington were not able to reach the target, falling an agonising 14 runs short in the 39th over. Ayoub Khan top scored with 51 and both Dudley Rawlings and wicket-keeper batsman Dave Howard scored 16 in reply. 131 all out. In their final game of the season, the 2nd XI take on North Stainley for the fourth time in a very strange summer, looking to square things up as they currently trail 2-1.

Arthington Cricket Club thanks the match ball sponsors for both teams this week: Hunslet Councillors

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1st XI Match Report v Markington (A)


Arthington travelled to Markington for their latest fixture in division three to try and complete a match, having seen the earlier match between the two sides abandoned halfway through. The weather threatened before the match and there were several light showers throughout, but not enough to call a halt to proceedings. Arthington 1st XI used nine bowlers, the most that they have used all season, who were able to keep Markington at bay to allow for what turned out to be a comfortable chase.

Markington won the toss and elected to bat first but their innings could not have started in worse fashion, as Sajid Hussain took a wicket with the very first ball. It was somewhat fortunate that the wide half-volley ended up stinging the palms of Dave Cleasby at short extra-cover, rather than being dispatched to the cover boundary. Not to be outdone, fellow opening bowler Luke Seaborne also took a wicket in his first over, bowling a yorker to the remaining opening batsman who was unable to get his bat down in time and giving the scoreline more of a football feel to it, albeit briefly, at 3-2. Two overs later, it had turned into a rugby union score as Seaborne’s second over, a wicket maiden, made it 10-3. This time, the number three batsman, in trying to be positive, misjudged the bounce from a length delivery and hit the ball high in the air, eventually falling into the waiting hands of Ahmer Sadiq at mid-off. With no further wickets in the next three overs, Seaborne’s spell ended at 5-1-16-2.

Hussain (4-0-17-1) also ended his spell and was replaced by Sadiq. In keeping with the tradition of the day, he struck in his very first over as well. Having set up the batsman beautifully with variety in both pace and line and finally serving up an irresistible half-volley on the stumps, the batsman could only deposit the ball straight down a deliberately placed Umer Khan’s throat at long-off, who gobbled up an excellent catch. And Sadiq did not stop there, also taking wickets in his second and third overs, both bowled, to bring the score to 47-6 after only 13 overs. The second of these wickets was particularly noteworthy, as Sadiq was busy appealing for an LBW and looked most upset that the umpire had given nothing, whilst the rest of the team had seen the ball hit the stumps off the pads and had begun celebrating the dismissal. Sadiq finished with another set of excellent figures: 5-1-17-3.

With the scoreboard finally resembling a cricket match, or a very one-sided netball contest and with both Naveed Andrabi and Akash Hazra sadly bucking the trend and being unable to take a wicket in their short spells, the skipper turned to Umer Khan, whose 3-over spell was very eventful. Khan broke the 26-run partnership for the seventh wicket, the highest of the innings, when the batsman got an inside edge, which diverted the ball onto the stumps. He struck again in his very next over, when a short delivery bounced more than the batsman anticipated and his pull shot came off the top edge of the bat, ballooning to Mohammed Adil at square leg. Ahmer Sadiq did his best to put Adil off, by charging at him from mid-wicket screaming ‘Mine!’, but he sensibly stopped prior to a collision and allowed the catch to be taken. Khan’s spell of 3-0-6-2 could have been even better, as there were a further two wickets from no-balls; one correctly awarded for being above waist-height leading to a catch at gulley and a catch at mid-off ruled out for overstepping the popping crease; not an uncommon occurrence for Khan and his complicated run-up. Nevertheless, it was pleasing to see last season’s player’s player of the year back in the wickets.

Arthington captain Naveed Andrabi opted to use his seventh and eighth bowling options towards the end of the innings; Mohsin Ali and Mohammed Adil. The former took a wicket in the third and final over of his economical spell (3-1-2-1) and there was even time for a ninth bowler, as debutant Dave Cleasby, signed just before the transfer deadline, was able to end the innings with the final ball of his second over by trapping the batsman LBW. The final score in the Markington innings: 103 all out, from 30 overs.

Despite the pitch appearing to be more of a batting surface than a bowler’s playground, Arthington made hard work of the reply to begin with, as they lost four wickets in the first nine overs. The score reached first 10-3 and then 21-4 and all four dismissals came from the bowling of the same Markington bowler. However, despite the frailty at one end, Naveed Andrabi, together with Andrew Dowson, was able to steady the ship and ultimately steer it home. The two combined for an excellent 75-run partnership, with Andrabi scoring the bulk of the runs. Dowson’s contribution of 17 was important, not so much for the runs scored but for the time spent at the crease, which allowed Andrabi to settle into his innings, before accelerating towards the finish line.

It was unfortunate that Dowson was dismissed with only 8 runs required for victory, edging to slip, but fitting that Andrabi should hit the winning runs with one of many fine boundaries in his unbeaten innings of 66, which included 10 fours and a six. In contrast to many of his high-scoring efforts in recent history, this was a chanceless knock and with him at the crease, the result was never in doubt, provided that the Arthington middle order batsmen could stem the early flow of wickets at the other end. Arthington completed their 20-point victory from 21.2 overs: 104-5.

This result sees Arthington creep a further two points closer to their second place rivals, North Stainley and more or less see off the charge of Bolton Abbey, from fourth place, who suffered defeat. Realistically, Arthington 1st XI need to win their remaining two fixtures, extending their recent unbeaten run, and hope that North Stainley fail to win one of theirs. There is just the small matter of unbeaten Whixley at the top of the table to contend with next week.

At the ACG, Arthington 2nd XI were unable to end their recent run of defeats, as they lost to Darley. Batting first, they posted a total of 137-6 from the 40 overs. Mohammed Faiyazuddin acted as the glue to hold the innings together with his 57 and there was a 23-run cameo from Trevor Lobley at the end. Darley reached the total at the end of the 22nd over for the loss of only one wicket; a stunning catch by Gareth Meredith, by all accounts, from the bowling of Nitin Jain.

Arthington CC thanks the match ball sponsors for this round of fixtures.


1st XI match ball sponsor: Reward Financial Group

2nd XI match ball sponsor: John Darnbrook

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1st XI Match Report v Sessay 3 (H)


Arthington 1st XI’s latest match was against familiar opposition. Sessay, who they had faced twice in the lower division last season, had proven tough opposition and provided some close encounters. However, a very different picture was painted in this fixture, as the away side were blown away by the Arthington bowling display in a ruthless performance.

Sessay won the toss and opted to bat first on what seemed a decent pitch. Their innings started in the best possible fashion as the opening batsman struck the very first ball for six. However, that was about as good as it got for Sessay, as they proceeded to lose a wicket in the second over, a catch at point by Khamrosh Khan from the bowling of Naveen Ali, and never really recovered. Ali went on to take the second wicket as well and if the first ball was poor the second was arguably worse and yet somehow the result was two wickets, the second, a caught and bowled from a top edge, in an otherwise excellent spell of bowling. With his job done, Ali finished his spell with incredible figures of 6-4-4-2. Unfortunately, the remaining opening batsman for Sessay was struck at the top of his back by a throw from the field in attempting a quick single. Despite playing on for a couple of overs, he decided he was not fit to continue and retired hurt, not to return until the very end of the innings.

In contrast to the previous game, Arthington’s bowling options were seemingly endless, as the opening bowlers were replaced by the leading wicket takers for the club this season in Ahmer Sadiq and Naveed Andrabi. What followed were two devastating spells of pace bowling from the pair. Sadiq took a couple of overs to find his rhythm, but in his third bowled a double wicket maiden. The first wicket came via a catch by Andrabi and the second was a wickedly fast inswinger that the batsman failed to prevent hitting the stumps. Andrabi, at the other end, took no time at all to settle into his rhythm and after conceding no runs from his first over repeated the feat with his second but with the added bonus of a wicket. The ball looped up over the batsman’s head after he had top-edged a short ball and although wicketkeeper Andrew Dowson did his best to give the slip cordon a scare by juggling the ball in his gloves, he eventually took the catch.

Sajid Hussain replaced Sadiq (4-1-21-2) after four overs and continued the trend, bowling with incredible consistency and giving nothing away. His persistence was eventually rewarded in his third over, yet to concede a run, by hitting the top of the off-stump with a beautiful ball that jagged away slightly off the pitch. Andrabi then took a wicket in consecutive overs, both bowled by full and straight deliveries, to more or less end the Sessay resistance. Their score had gone from a respectable 34-2 after 14 overs to 44-8 after 22. Hussain ended his 5-over spell with superb figures of 5-4-2-1 but Andrabi was the stand-out performer in the Arthington bowling innings finishing with three wickets from five overs for the concession of only one run.

Umer Khan and Mohsin Ali then came on to bowl at what turned out to be the end of the Sessay innings. Ali took a wicket in his second over when the ball lobbed up to Sadiq at short mid-wicket before the opening batsman returned to the crease for the last wicket. However, after swinging at a few balls he was once again unable to carry on on a hot day and opted to retire hurt once more and thus end the innings. 77 all out.

The batting reply for Arthington, whilst brief, was not without incident. Andrabi wasted no time getting his scoring going and hit his second ball for six behind square leg with the first over going for 12 runs. But off the very first ball of the next over, he top-edged the promising female opening bowler to be caught straightforwardly by the wicketkeeper. Sajid Hussain was flying along at the other end and could only watch on as another wicket fell. However, no more would fall after that as Khamrosh Khan, following his fifty in the previous game, along with Hussain, saw the match to its conclusion. Hussain hit the final ball for six to not only win the match but also bring up his fifty, finishing on 52 not out, which also included 10 fours. The winning total was 79-2 from only 11.2 overs.

With this latest victory, Arthington continued their unbeaten run of good form. The Sessay team was barely recognisable from last season, where they finished runners-up and joined Arthington in being promoted to the third division, but they still needed to be beaten and Arthington accomplished that in excellent style, with the obvious highlights being the bowling performances of Ali, Sadiq, Hussain and Andrabi. Only three fixtures remain in the season and Arthington still have an outside chance of securing second place and their third consecutive promotion.

The Arthington 2nd XI were away at Pannal Ash. The match was their first for over a month, for various reasons, and saw the return of some familiar faces amongst this season’s regulars. Pannal Ash managed 223-9 from their 40 overs. Gareth Meridith starred with the ball with figures of 6-0-19-5 and Zameer Ahmed also bowled well for his 10-2-25-2. However, the total was too much for the 2nd XI as only two batsmen managed double figures in their 137 all out. Meredith scored 21 and Vince Greaves-Newall, on his return, a magnificent 84, including 7 fours and 7 sixes.

As ever, Arthington Cricket Club thanks the match ball sponsors for this week’s matches.
1st XI match ball sponsor: Moortown Councillors
2nd XI match ball sponsor: Mohammed Faiyazuddin

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1st XI Match Report v Bishop Monkton (A)


Arthington 1st XI saw their most recent match go right down to the wire against bottom of the table Bishop Monkton, but they managed to keep the opposition at bay and came out victorious in an exciting match where both teams ended up fielding only ten players.

With an almost unrecognisable 1st XI side taking the field, including only five regular first team players, Arthington were up against it from the beginning as they were put in to bat on a bowler-friendly surface. However, an unfamiliar opening partnership of Ahmer Sadiq and Kamrosh Khan got the innings off to an excellent start. The two combined for an opening stand of 84 before Sadiq finally fell for 32; playing around a straight delivery and therefore unable to protect his stumps. Arthington captain Naveed Andrabi’s stay at the crease was unusually short-lived, making only 14, but in-form batsman Andrew Dowson continued where he left off in the previous match a fortnight ago, this time in the number four spot, but could only look on as Khan did his very best impression of Sadiq and watched his stumps get toppled, having made an excellent 55, including 5 fours and a six.

Matthew Moss had missed the last few matches, although he showed no signs of being out of practice, forming a 37-run partnership with Dowson. The latter eventually succumbed to his favourite form of dismissal, bowled, for a well-made 33, which included 3 boundaries. Having ticked the score onto 175-4 and in doing so, securing maximum batting bonus points, Arthington proceeded to lose three wickets in quick succession, including that of Moss for 26, to leave the innings at a much more perilous 177-7. But David Howard, in as a replacement wicketkeeper turned batsman for this match provided a late surge in the run-scoring and his 22-run cameo, including 3 fours and one huge six, proved vital in pushing the final score to a tricky 206-8.

With only two regular first team bowlers available, the fielding innings looked like it may pose some issues and it began to look ominous with the score at 74-1; Andrabi having taken the only wicket up to that point. But Martin Dickinson and Matthew Moss proved themselves to be more than capable with the ball and made the next breakthroughs; Dickinson forcing the remaining opener to play the ball aerially to the hands of a grateful fielder and Moss sending the stumps backwards with a fiery, straight delivery.

At the halfway stage, Bishop Monkton were 83-3 with the game still very much in the balance. Moss (9-0-35-2) struck again via a catch from Andrabi, but the real damage was yet to be done as Ahmer Sadiq returned for what turned out to be a devastating second spell, crucially removing the Bishop Monkton number four for a well-constructed 46 runs, before taking the scalps of a further two opposition players. All three wickets came in familiar fashion for Sadiq, who required no outside assistance with his inswingers, unseating the bails on all three occasions. Whilst expensive, Sadiq’s bowling proved pivotal and he finished with figures of 10-1-57-3. The final wicket to fall was an inspirational run-out from Arthington newcomer Will Sparling, who retrieved the ball from just outside the circle and launched an accurate throw to a waiting fielder behind the stumps who took off the bails, with the batsman well short of their ground. Although Arthington were unable to take the final wicket, Bishop Monkton were also unable to reach the target, finishing an agonising 7 runs short. Final score, 199-8.

Despite not being quite as big an achievement as it first sounds due to bad weather putting pay to two recent fixtures, it has been a month since the 1st XI’s last defeat. Rather unexpectedly, both teams above them in the promotion race failed to win, meaning the hunt for an unlikely third successive promotion is still very much a possibility. Arthington will simply need to play as well as they can in their remaining games, to give themselves every chance.

Unfortunately, for the second week running, the 2nd XI were unable to field a side and were forced to concede their match against Whixley. With player availability being a rather key issue for the club at this time, it is hoped that both teams will be able to field a full side for their next matches.

Arthington Cricket Club thanks Moortown Councillors for their sponsorship of the 1st XI match ball.

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1st XI Match Report v Ripley (A)


Following back-to-back defeats in both league and cup two weeks prior and a rainy weekend of no cricket at all, winning a cricket match was becoming somewhat of a distant memory for the Arthington 1st XI. However, the team got back to winning ways in convincing fashion in their latest league match away at Ripley.

The pitch was easily the largest that the 1st XI have played on this season and the weather was excellent, which made for a pleasant but slightly draining affair in the middle. Word had obviously not reached the Ripley captain, prior to winning the toss, of Arthington’s fondness of batting first, as he decided to field.

Arthington’s opening pair of Sajid Hussain and Naveed Andrabi started tentatively against the Ripley opening bowlers, but soon found their rhythm. They combined for a good opening stand of 110 for the first wicket, before Hussain was eventually bowled for 33. Having found his scoring form in the previous overs, Andrabi finally hit the ball to the wrong fielder and was well caught for 78 runs from 74 balls, including 6 fours and 3 huge sixes, considering the distance to the boundary rope from the square. From the ashes of the previous partnership was born the next run-scoring effort from Andrew Dowson, promoted up the order to number three for this match, and the ever-effective Ahmer Sadiq. The latter played in his usual flamboyant fashion and was the main contributor in the 47-run partnership for the third wicket, scoring 39, including 4 fours and a six.

With wickets in hand towards the back end of the innings, the remaining Arthington batsmen played freely and, despite losing Khamrosh Khan for a quickfire 17, the total was eventually moved to its final resting place of 251-4. The innings showcased some fine running between the wickets, including several all-run fours and some excellent hitting. Andrew Dowson finished unbeaten on a well-made, although exhausting, 54 not out, including 5 fours; his first fifty of the season.

The Ripley innings never really got going due to wickets falling at regular intervals. Luke Seaborne took the first, following a good catch from Mohsin Ali at point and the change bowling of Sajid Hussain unsettled the wickets to dismiss the other opener with the score on only 25. Star fielder Ali proved pivotal in the third dismissal as well, holding on to a catch at short cover from the bowling of Umer Khan. Khan (5-0-26-2) struck again shortly afterwards, as the Ripley batsman took a swing at a wide one and edged to first slip, Seaborne, who took a good, head-high catch.

After a brief lull, the wickets tumbled suddenly as Ripley went from 67-4 to 69-7 in the space of two overs as Arthington captain Andrabi took his first wicket before some fantastic bowling from Ahmer Sadiq took the sixth and seventh scalps in the same over. The first was a slower paced ball that started well outside off-stump, so much so that the batsman went to leave it, only for it to swing violently back in towards him and unseat the bails. In contrast, Sadiq’s second wicket two balls later was an express delivery that beat the new batsman for pace, producing the same result.

The next two partnerships provided more resistance. Andrabi eventually broke the eighth-wicket stand of 38, once more hitting the timbers, before the spin bowling options of Matthew Clough and Mohsin Ali were employed to take pace off the ball. Unfortunately, this proved ineffective for Arthington, yet fruitful for the 9th wicket pairing, who played sensibly for their 30 runs, before Seaborne returned and struck from the third over of his second spell to finish with figures of 7-1-16-2. Having played in such a disciplined manner up to that point, the number ten batsman clearly had no confidence in the number eleven, and proceeded to slash at a ball outside off-stump from Sadiq (5.3-0-17-3), taking the faintest of edges and carrying through to Dowson behind the stumps to end the innings. Ripley all out for 137, resulting in a 114-run win for Arthington.

With the previously third-placed team’s defeat to Whixley, the 20-point victory moved Arthington back up to third place in the league table, still with a slim chance of promotion, provided some other results go their way in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately, there was no game to report on for the Arthington 2nd XI this week, as they were unable to field enough players.

Arthington CC would like to thank the match ball sponsor for this fixture: Moortown Councillors.

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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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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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