Rain bringing halt to proceedings only tells half the story

Arthington 1st XI’s batting line-up bounced back in impressive style in their latest league match against early pacesetters Alne in division two, before bad weather once again interrupted proceedings and scuppered any chance of victory.

Having failed in most aspects of their game in recent weeks, the 1st XI will at least be satisfied that any batting demons have been temporarily subdued, as they posted a formidable 300 runs away at high-flying Alne. After losing the toss, Arthington were made to bat first, opening for the second consecutive occasion with Sajid Hussain and Zain Ul Abdin. Ul Abdin’s first salvo of boundaries set the tone as he dispatched anything wide of his off-stump to the backward point boundary with disdain and the score raced on to 45 before the loss of Hussain’s wicket. Naveed Andrabi was in need of some runs and Alne is a place of fond memories for the Arthington skipper who had made a memorable century in his only previous appearance at the ground in a chase of just 135 in 2018.

Arthington’s openers at the crease with ominous grey skies in the distance

It was Ul Abdin, however, who did the early leg-work, continuing to strike balls to the boundary at will, before he was finally caught at long-off for 56, including 8 fours and 2 sixes to bring to an end an exciting partnership of 64 with the skipper. Andrabi went on to form small partnerships with Kamrosh Khan (19), Andrew Dowson (14) and Rafiullah Khan (18), all of whom struck at least one boundary, before finally reaching his first century of the season with Ahmer Sadiq (17) watching on from the non-striker’s end.

As with most three-figure knocks, it was not without opportunity for the opposition, who put down a chance at mid-off to dismiss Andrabi early on in his innings, as well as another regulation catch at point, shortly after he had passed fifty. Upon reaching another impressive hundred for Arthington, Andrabi switched into top gear and clattered 22 runs from the first five balls of the next over before being caught at long-on with the sixth. The captain finally dismissed in the 41st over for a brilliant 125; 90 runs of which came in boundaries: 15 fours and 5 sixes.

Naveed Andrabi faces the Alne spinner after reaching his half-century

Despite a greatly improved batting performance, Arthington still managed to use all eleven batsmen for the fourth consecutive week of the season, but the timely arrival of the second heavy shower of the day prevented another early finish to their innings as the 1st XI managed to prevent ‘all out’ appearing on the batting scorecard for the first time in 2021; the innings finishing on 300-9 after 43.4 overs.

Although there was brief optimism from the umpires at the prospect of a 20-over ‘bash’ deciding the contest, ultimately, the weather had the final say; the outfield too wet and the rain too persistent to allow for any further play in the match. The 1st XI will take away renewed belief in their batting ability along with the 13 points for the draw.

Arthington 1st XI were in good spirits during an excellent batting display

Next week they face Whixley away in a resumption of their 2019 rivalry, which saw both teams pick up away victories; Whixley on their way to the title that season but Arthington ruining any chance of an unbeaten campaign for their opponents, with a win on the penultimate weekend.



No clouds dark enough to prevent ruthless 2nd XI display

The 2nd XI have had several impressive victories in the past year but perhaps none more emphatic than their destruction of a Bishop Monkton side who were washed away by Arthington before any rain had even fallen at the ACG.

Arthington captain Martin Dickinson had obviously consulted his barometer in the morning as he had no hesitation in letting the opposition bat first after winning the toss; keen, no doubt, to secure a swift victory with the prospect of rain an ever-present consideration.

The opening bowling pair of Joe Seaborne and Martin Hings have been the catalyst behind many of the 2nd XI’s victories in recent times and so it proved again, as the duo returned incredible bowling figures once more; reducing the opposition to a solitary batting pair before their spells ended. Seaborne, in particular, clearly enjoys this opposition as he achieved his second five-fer against them in as many games; bettering the five for 21 in 2020 and returning extremely impressive figures of 10-5-9-5. Seaborne’s accuracy dislodged the bails on four occasions with a further scalp coming thanks to a smart catch by Vince Greaves-Newall at short cover, described by the bowler as ‘quite athletic’, on an ACG wicket that proved very difficult to bat on.

Hings’ contribution was also hugely significant; forcing an opening by breaking a stubborn first partnership to allow Seaborne to swoop in and dispatch the rest of the top order. Hings then kept up the pressure with a further three wickets, the last of which was again via a catch by the irrepressible Greaves-Newall; this time much more straightforward. Despite already completing his spell, Seaborne still managed to finish off the innings, though this time with a catch at gully from the change bowling of Dougie Jones who took the final Bishop Monkton wicket at the end of his first over. All out for 39.

The sun shone briefly at the ACG prior to the 2nd XI’s decisive win over Bishop Monkton

Though victory seemed a formality, Arthington did lose two wickets in pursuit of the target as the opening batsmen Martin Dickinson and Umer Khan fell for six apiece. However, there is no stopping Vince Greaves-Newall at the moment, who finished unbeaten for the third consecutive game on 14*, taking his tally to 155 for 0 for the season so far. He and Jo Nash were able to see Arthington home in only the sixth over to secure a thumping 19-point win and move to second place in the division seven table.

Next weekend the 2nd XI host Studley Royal 4th XI at the ACG.

Malcolm Barraclough and Ken Clayton were the scorers again for the 1st and 2nd teams respectively. The club hugely appreciates their time and devotion.

Arthington Cricket Club is also grateful for this week’s match ball sponsors.

1st XI match ball sponsor: Armley Councillors

2nd XI match ball sponsor: Luke Seaborne