The 1st team travelled to Rainton for the opening match of the season, following their promotion to division 3 and their unbeaten campaign last year. However, the line-up was almost unrecognisable from the team that played the majority of last season’s games, with 5 of the top 8 in the batting order missing. In glorious sunshine, the Rainton skipper won the toss and put Arthington in to bat.

Having been named Most Valuable Player in the Nidderdale league for his exploits last season and after an encouraging pre-season, Captain Naveed Andrabi retained his place in the side and opened the batting alongside Martin Dickinson. A 1st wicket stand of 59 gave Arthington a strong foundation, however, a flurry of wickets saw the game sway back into Rainton’s favour, when the score reached 77-5; Kevin Braithwaite, Andrew Dowson and Luke Seaborne all being dismissed without scoring and Andrabi eventually being well-caught at long-on after just passing his 50.

Khamrosh Khan and Wasim Malik restored some respectability to the score with a partnership of 30, the former scoring 24 and the latter, an exhilarating 35 that included 6 boundaries. Finally, it was left to the tail to make the score a competitive one. Trevor Lobley, following his return to Arthington after a year’s sabbatical, scored a well-made 30 and was supported ably by numbers 9 and 11. The final score for the innings: 196 all out from 39.3 overs.

The fielding innings began well for Arthington, as both Rainton openers lost their wickets early; Khan (K) taking a fine one-handed catch off the bowling of Seaborne before Umer Khan rearranged the timbers from the other end. The opposition recovered well though and a partnership of 73 for the 3rd wicket kept the forthcoming chase interesting. Wickets began to fall at fairly regular intervals, thanks to a good spell from Andrabi (10-2-24-3), who managed to take the wickets of the Rainton middle order.

Rainton’s number 4 batsman was, unfortunately, forced to retire hurt on 2 occasions. Firstly through injury and finally illness, but played well for his 51. Had he been fully fit, the winning margin may have been smaller. Some tight bowling in the latter stages of the innings meant that the required rate continued to increase, but Arthington failed to hold onto some quite simple catches, which may have seen the contest end sooner than it eventually did. Seaborne (9.1-0-30-3) took the last wicket from the 1st ball of the final over, as Braithwaite held a welcome catch, to leave the opponents all out for 171. Arthington won by 25 runs.

All in all, a very good start to the season. A 20-point win and some excellent performances throughout the team.

At the ACG, the 2nd XI also started with a win against North Stainley. Batting first, they posted 157-8 (Martin Hings 60, Josh Rhodes 41) and restricted the opposition to 139-8 from 40 overs (Martin Hings 4-35, Zameer Ahmed 3-18)

A special thank you to our match ball sponsors this week:

1st XI: Chris Pennington
2nd XI: Josh Rhodes ACC Logo