Arthington bounce back in dominant display

The 1st XI managed their first victory in three matches as they overcame Goldsborough in convincing fashion largely thanks to a fantastic batting performance, which has been lacking since the start of the new campaign.

Arthington captain Naveed Andrabi trusted his usual formula when he won the toss and opted to bat first. Unlike previous weeks, the opening partnership of Sajid Hussain and Umar Farooq endured and saw off the home side’s opening bowlers completely unscathed. In fact, apart from a few lusty blows from Farooq’s bat to the boundary, there was little incident in the early stages and the pair reached the 24-over mark and drinks at 77/0.

During the short interval, a switch was clearly flipped, as the earlier cautious approach gave way to outright aggression, especially where Farooq was concerned, as he bludgeoned his way to a fantastic 85. It was a great way to return to form after a run-shy start to the season. The Arthington opener struck 8 fours and 5 sixes on his way to the total with blows all around the ground; his striking into the leg-side and down the ground was particularly brutal. He fell to a quicker ball from the left-arm off-spinner which he failed to keep out. The score had reached 115 at the fall of the first wicket.

Hussain and new batsman Andrabi were determined to keep the increase in tempo going but the former was unfortunate to be caught on the long-on boundary after playing his first real shot in anger. The Arthington skipper made a quickfire 31 runs including 2 fours and 3 sixes, batting selflessly for his side in their pursuit of a large total. He was caught in the following over after a top edge pull shot only found its way into the covers.

Nathan Smith has been an impressive addition to Arthington despite their lacklustre start to the season and looked good again for his 24 but it was Naveed Piran that shone the brightest in Arthington’s middle order, making 50 runs in very quick time to continue the Arthington charge. Favouring boundaries over the arduous task of running from one end of the wicket to the other, Piran managed 5 fours and 3 sixes to reach his half-century including one colossal strike into the leg-side that cleared the car park and ended up on the road beyond.

It would not be an Arthington batting card without significant loss of wickets and amid the run-scoring, wickets did fall at regular intervals. Alex O’Neil lasted one ball in his pad first approach to keeping the ball away from his stumps, Kamrosh Khan’s blistering 28-run cameo ended with a huge blow into the leg-side that would have been perfect but for the well-placed fielder underneath it and Piran finally fell immediately after reaching the 50-run milestone to a stumping.

Some poorly judged running between the wickets was the cause of the final two wickets to fall when neither Akash Hazra nor Rahul Khode were able to make their ground in trying to turn a single into a two. Thankfully, Umer Khan and Andrew Dowson saw out the remainder of the innings to leave Arthington on a mammoth 276/9 after the 45 overs.

The away side were delighted to add more than 100 runs to their previous high score of the season of 168 in a commanding innings. The foundations were laid early on by the two openers allowing the middle order to capitalise on the Goldsborough change bowling and play without fear of another early tea with wickets in hand throughout.

The hosts adopted a similar approach to Arthington in their innings and started cautiously. Other than profiting from several byes and wides that reached the rope, the scoring was sedate and the already formidable required run-rate climbed higher still as both Naveed Piran and Umar Farooq kept things tight in their opening spells. However, they were unable to make a breakthrough and made way to Rahul Khode and Naveed Andrabi.

Khode struck in his first over, responding fantastically well to being smacked for six. His very next ball bypassed the bat and cannoned into the off-stump. One over later, Arthington’s captain got in on the act, scoring a bullseye on the remaining Goldsborough opener’s middle stump to expose the middle order.

The next Goldsborough pair added 31 runs for the third wicket, surviving six overs in the process, but it was Khode, once again, who turned up trumps to take his second wicket of the match, this time disturbing the middle and leg stumps. The home side plundered some more boundaries from the next few overs to take the score to 107 and force a change from the Arthington skipper.

The move proved an important one, when Kamrosh Khan, who has recently used his off-spin to great effect, took a wicket in his first over. Though partly responsible, Khan also had the batsman to thank for stepping back into his crease and removing his own bails with his bat. More painful still, he had batted very well up to that point in reaching 36, the highest individual Goldsborough score on the day.

After that, the floodgates opened. Two more wickets fell to Andrabi in the next over via catches from Kamrosh Khan and Nathan Smith and, after a brief pause in the wicket-taking, Andrabi added a fourth scalp, this time following a catch by Naveed Piran. An Umer Farooq run out interrupted the Arthington captains streak to leave the opposition eight down before Andrabi wrapped up his five-wicket haul, Arthington’s first of the season, with an LBW.

Unfortunately, an earlier incident in the Arthington batting innings meant that the Goldsborough number eleven was taken to A & E rather than taking to the field. We hope that the injury was not as bad as it first looked and that the player makes a speedy recovery.

With their batting depleted, the home side were bowled out for 119 to give Arthington their first 20-point win of the season and reignite their belief in their own abilities. Despite some good performances with the ball, particularly from Andrabi, it was the earlier batting that won this match for the away side, setting a total that quickly became out of reach for the hosts. The victory sees Arthington move out of the relegation zone and into mid-table.

In their next fixture the 1st XI host Harrogate at the ACG. Like Arthington, next week’s opponents have managed two wins and two losses to begin their season and sit just behind them in the table.





2nd XI brush aside nine-man opposition in bowling masterclass

Arthington 2nd XI’s opponents travelled to the ACG with only nine players, but if the home side’s last match against a team two men down taught them anything, it’s that a depleted team should never be underestimated, after nine-man Crakehall nearly managed a victory in Arthington’s previous home game.

However, on this occasion, Wath & Melmerby were put to the sword in clinical fashion by an excellent first innings display with the ball by the hosts. The visitors opted to bat first after winning the toss, a decision which no doubt pleased Arthington skipper Martin Hings.

The score had only reached 12 by the time the first wicket was taken, when Martin Finn rearranged the furniture. Eight runs later and the Wath & Melmerby top order pressed the self-destruct button as 20/1 became 20/4. First Joe Seaborne effected an unusual run out when he deflected a straight drive with his foot back onto the stumps to run out the non-striker. Seaborne followed that up with a wicket via a superb diving catch from wicketkeeper Dave Howard. Finn completed the trio of upper order wickets by bowling the opposition number five for a duck.

A revival, of sorts, doubled the score to 40 before the next wicket fell. The change bowling of Fahad Ahmad did the trick by means of a stunning caught and bowled that he somehow managed to cling to despite the ball being hit back at him with impressive force. Andrew Stoddart, Arthington’s leading wicket-taker this season, then made short work of the tail, clean bowling his first two victims before being ably assisted by Martin Finn for his third wicket in only his fourth over.

With two missing from their batting line-up, Wath & Melmerby finished on 53 all out after a great bowling performance from the 2nd XI. Captain Hings even opted not to bowl himself, trusting his new roster to deliver the goods, which they did extremely effectively.

There was a slight wobble for Arthington in reply, as two wickets fell before the opposition total was reached. Andrew Stoddart was caught off a leading edge for 14 before the other opening batsman, Akhil Adulla, decided to leave the straightest ball ever bowled and watched it clatter into his pads for a clear LBW. Vince Greaves-Newall and Martin Dickinson saw the home side over the line with no further drama.

A short and sweet fixture for the 2nd XI, which allowed several members to make their way to Goldsborough to watch the end of the first innings there. Unfortunately, Arthington dropped a point by virtue of losing two wickets in the chase, but they continue their winning start to the season having won all four of their opening encounters. Next weekend, the 2nd XI face Ripley away.

Thank you to Malcolm Barraclough for scoring the first half of the 1st XI game, to Ken Clayton for scoring the other half in addition to the entire 2nd XI game and to Elizabeth Nash for providing teas at the ACG.

The club would also like to offer its thanks to this week’s match ball sponsors for their support and generosity.

1st XI match ball sponsor: Nathan Smith

2nd XI match ball sponsor: Mohammad Faiyazuddin