Following last week’s triumph at home to Raskelf, the Arthington 1st XI travelled to Knaresborough Forest; the other side in division 3 that was relegated last season. In an entertaining game at a great location for recreational cricket, Arthington ran out comfortable winners once again.

The 1st XI captain, Naveed Andrabi won the toss and elected to bat first. This decision looked like it may have backfired as both openers, including last week’s star man with the bat Kamrosh Khan fell cheaply. But Andrabi and Hamza Mahmood (15) brought Arthington back into the match with a 37-run partnership and the former would go on to make an excellent 60, including 9 fours and 2 sixes, before missing a sweep and being trapped plumb in front of his stumps; an easy decision for the umpire.

At number five, debutant Rafiullah Khan’s innings was particularly exciting. He started cautiously, but soon found his timing and began dispatching balls all around the ground to the boundary. His score of 72, the highest of the match, came in just 52 balls and featured 7 fours and 3 sixes, before he was deceived by a clever, slower delivery and bowled. Throughout the innings the extras flowed and by the end were the third top score, finishing at 44. There was still time for another late cameo from Luke Seaborne, whose 23 came at more than a run a ball and included 2 fours and 2 sixes. The run out of Will Sparling on the final ball of the innings left the other 1st team debutant Joe Seaborne (7) the not out batsman and meant that Arthington were all out for 241 from exactly 40 overs.

In a slightly changed bowling attack, brothers Joe and Luke Seaborne opened the bowling together for the first time and kept things very tight, conceding only 23 runs from the first 10 overs with the added bonus of a wicket. This allowed Naveed Andrabi to take over the baton with the pressure very much on the home side to up their run rate. However, in a devastating spell of seam bowling, Andrabi dismissed three Knaresborough Forest players in very similar fashion by disturbing the top of the stumps and followed that up with another wicket, this time via a catch taken at mid-on by Luke Seaborne.

After his success with the bat, Rafiullah Khan took a few overs to get into his rhythm but then ended his spell with three consecutive wicket-maidens, finishing with three wickets for 19 runs from his six overs and taking the important wicket of the opposition opener for 49. There was still an opportunity for the tail to wag though, and it did so to great effect before the Knaresborough Forest captain took on one big shot too many to be well caught on the long-on boundary by Alex O’Neil off the bowling of Luke Seaborne (10-2-33-2).

The 10th wicket stand of 39 was the second highest of the innings and took the match into the penultimate over, before Naveed Andrabi wrapped up his five-for by unseating the bails once again to finish with an impressive 9.1-2-42-5 to add to his 60 runs with the bat. Knaresborough Forest all out for 168.

Despite being frustrated at times by mistakes in the field, Arthington’s high-scoring in the first innings and economical bowling in the second saw them achieve victory by a margin of 73 runs. It was particularly pleasing to see some new recruits turning in excellent performances at the start of their respective journeys with the club. The 1st XI’s next match is at home against Bolton Abbey.

The Arthington 2nd XI did not have a fixture this weekend.

Arthington CC would like to thank Andrew Dowson for sponsoring the match ball.

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