It’s all looking good for Arthington Cricket Club at present, as both the 1st and 2nd teams sealed comfortable victories in their respective fixtures in the latest round of matches.
At the ACG, Arthington hosted Bolton Abbey with whom the points were shared last season, following one win apiece. On this occasion, Arthington largely controlled the match and won by 102 runs; their largest margin of victory of the season so far.
Arthington captain Naveed Andrabi won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on a slightly damp wicket and outfield, with clouds in the sky and generally favourable conditions for bowling. The Arthington batting line-up looked quite formidable with batsmen all down the team sheet and the team welcomed back Sajid Hussain to the position of opener.
Kamrosh Khan got the ball rolling with a stylish yet short-lived 14 before being caught and was shortly followed by Hussain who edged behind to the wicketkeeper. This brought Naveed Andrabi to the crease and he immediately got into his groove, losing the new ball in a hedge from a towering six from his very first scoring shot. Having ridden his luck on 25 after a dropped catch in the covers, Andrabi went on to score 81 excellent runs, including 5 fours and 6 sixes.
Things were not going quite so well at the other end, as a couple of Arthington batsmen came and went cheaply. Rafiullah Khan stemmed the flow of wickets with a nice knock of 38 runs. Despite starting slowly to get his eye in, his innings quickly gathered pace and he soon began finding the boundary; five times in total including 2 sixes.
Alex O’Neil also managed two maximums in his 12-ball score of 18 and, with nine wickets down, Andrew Dowson and William Sparling managed to make use of the entire 40 overs, with Dowson scoring 3 fours from the final over to finish on 13 not out from only 8 balls. Arthington’s first innings score: 214-9.
The chase looked well and truly on after six overs and the first sanitiser break; the score having raced onto 43-0. However, in the first over after the break Ahmer Sadiq took a nice catch at cover to dismiss the dangerous opener for 33, from the bowling of Luke Seaborne (6-1-24-1) and from that point onwards, the required rate only ever increased. Naveed Andrabi bowled economically to build the pressure but without reward and was unfortunate to see a catch put down at second slip. Not only did Seaborne fail to take the catch, but, in deflecting the ball, succeeded in damaging a rather tender area of Matt Moss as well.
The change bowling of Rafiullah Khan did the real damage for Arthington. Taking his first wicket in his very first over with a catch behind by Andrew Dowson, Khan proceeded to take a further five and secure the 1st XI’s third consecutive five-wicket haul. Khan’s many middle-order victims were dismissed in a variety of ways including a caught and bowled, a great catch by Khamrosh Khan at backward point, a high ball grabbed by the ever-reliable Alex O’Neil at mid-on and a spectacular, yet completely unnecessary swan dive by Ahmer Sadiq, fielding close in. Khan ended the match with fine figures of 9-3-17-6.
The innings was wrapped up by Sadiq (5.3-1-31-3) with two quick wickets all of his own work; a caught and bowled and a clean bowled to end the Bolton Abbey resistance. All out for 112 in the 30th over.
Given the nervy start to the fielding innings, Arthington fought back well in the middle overs to regain control. There were great performances from several individuals with bat and/or ball and also from every player in the field, which kept things tight and inevitably forced mistakes from the batsmen.
Arthington 1st XI are now sitting pretty at the top of division three after three matches, having secured the maximum 20 points in all of their matches so far. Next week they host South Kilvington at the ACG, in search of a repeat performance.
Fresh from their by-week, the Arthington 2nd XI had a great day out, playing away at Rainton. It is fair to say that they outclassed their opponents; dismissing Rainton for only 49 runs before making short work of the total in 18 overs.
The dangerously consistent Martin Hings (11-7-11-3) reaped the rewards of his economical bowling and was helped by Joe Seaborne (7-2-11-1), Mohammed Faiyazuddin (8.5-4-17-4) and Vince Greaves-Newall (4-1-9-2). Only one wicket fell in the chase with Jo Nash (32) scoring the bulk of the runs. The result takes the 2nd XI well clear at the top of their division. Next week they travel to Spofforth.
Arthington CC thanks the match ball sponsors for this week’s round of matches, Dave Howard and Matt Moss, who will be taking his winning match ball with him to Wales at the end of the season, following his many years at Arthington.