DRIZZLE DAMPENS SPIRITS AS ARTHINGTON SUFFER DEFEAT
In a match that was once again heavily influenced by bad weather, Arthington 1st XI suffered their second defeat of the season in their ‘rematch’ against last week’s opponents, Bolton Abbey. It was very much cricket weather for this fixture, after a week of glorious sunshine and high temperatures, it could not hold out for the weekend and the two teams braved the overcast and later damp conditions to complete a close match, where most other matches in the division and indeed the league were abandoned.
Arthington skipper Naveed Andrabi won the toss and elected to bat first, which had proved to be successful in the previous week. The opening pair of Andrabi and Sajid Hussain started strongly once again, creating a strong platform and reaching 99-0 at drinks, after 20 overs. In an attempt to increase the scoring rate, which had started to drop, Andrabi began to play more expansively and played some sublime shots on both the off and on side, before he was stumped in the 25th over by what can best be described as an enthusiastic wicketkeeper, having reached 77, including 12 fours and 1 six. Hussain, who was struggling to score against a good and much changed bowling attack, was eventually trapped LBW for 45 from 83 balls. A risky single proved costly for Ahmer Sadiq and the third wicket, but Matthew Moss played well for his 19, including 3 nice boundaries. He too was run out, as he was unable to make his ground trying to complete a second run. Alex O’Neil was unable to add to the score and was caught on the boundary in the same over, with the score at 153-5, which soon became 157-6. Khamrosh Khan (36) and Andrew Dowson (20 not out) combined well in the final overs for a partnership of 58, displaying some good running between the wickets and nicely struck boundaries. Khan had clearly not understood Dowson’s plan to run on the last ball and was run out, shortly after setting off for a leg-bye. The final score from the 40 overs: 216-7.
The very first over of the Bolton Abbey reply was dramatic. Luke Seaborne bowled it and had his second ball dropped at cover. Thankfully, the opening batsman played the same shot three balls later and this time, Ahmer Sadiq held on to arguably a more difficult catch than the one that he put down. Seaborne and Andrabi bowled well in their first spells and the latter struck in the 8th over to make the score 40-2.
As the change bowlers came on, the rain began to fall and it would continue to do so for most of the remaining overs. Umer Khan and Ahmer Sadiq began well, both only conceding two runs from their first two overs, but the conditions became more and more difficult and the sodden ball prevented any chance of swing. The batsmen were playing well and a few fielding errors also kept the score ticking over. In an effort to change things, captain Andrabi brought on the spin of Mohsin Ali, who produced probably the most telling moment of the game; the remaining opener playing the ball onto his legs and back onto the stumps. Although the bail reportedly moved out of its groove, it did not fall and the batsman survived, going on to make an unbeaten 96. Seaborne and Andrabi returned for the final overs, but they were not able to repeat the heroics of the victory at Spofforth from two weeks prior. Bolton Abbey ultimately reaching the target with 15 balls to spare with the score 217-2.
The weather summed up Arthington’s mood quite accurately at the end of the game, as the disappointed and now damp 1st XI headed to the dressing room. However, there were still many positives to take from the game, which was very close in the end, going down to the last three overs. It is difficult to say whether the game would have turned out differently had it been played in glorious sunshine and 25 degree heat throughout, or if Arthington had fielded first. The 1st XI’s next game is against Bishop Monkton at the ACG, where they will aim to get back to winning ways with an improved performance.
Unfortunately, the 2nd XI’s home match against Wath & Melmerby did not take place, as the opposition conceded. This leaves the 2nd XI second in the table with a game in hand. They face Dacre Banks next week, away from home.
Arthington CC would like to thank the match ball sponsor this week: Headingley Councillors