Disappointing defeat for Arthington against Bolton Abbey
A poor all-round display from Arthington’s 1st XI saw them soundly beaten away at Bolton Abbey. An under-par score with the bat, combined with some inconsistent bowling and poor fielding resulted in the home side sealing victory with over a third of their overs remaining and eight wickets to spare.
Following their success in their previous game, it would have been easy to name Arthington as the favourites in this fixture, having also finished above Bolton Abbey in the past two seasons in division three. Once again, Arthington lost the toss and were put in to bat. Through no fault of his own, Umar Farooq was unable to continue his fine partnership from the previous week at the top of the order with Sajid Hussain and captain Naveed Andrabi opened the batting.
Sajid Hussain and Umar Farooq in the early stages of the Arthington innings at Bolton Abbey
The pitch did seem to have a few demons in it in the opening overs and these proved the undoing of Andrabi, who mistimed a shot into the off-side to be well caught by the opposition captain. Farooq showed glimpses of last week’s class until he was clean bowled by Bolton Abbey’s opening bowler and Rahul Khode followed him back to the pavilion shortly after, following the thinnest of edges through to the wicketkeeper.
At 44-3, setting an imposing total looked an uphill task, but Kamrosh Khan provided some stability to the innings, combining with Hussain for a 35-run partnership until the latter was caught for a gritty 16. A further stand of 42 between the two Khans, Kamrosh and Rafiullah, breathed life into the batting display but when the fifth wicket fell the wickets tumbled; the score quickly moving from 122-4 to 158-9, with Kamrosh Khan’s fine innings of 48, including 7 fours, the only real positive. However, Arthington do pride themselves on batting all the way down the order and a stubborn, late rally from Akash Hazra and Luke Seaborne took the innings into the penultimate as both hit a brace of boundaries to reach double figures before Hazra played back to the bowler, who took a good, low catch. Arthington all out for 185.
The second innings could not have started in much better fashion for the visitors, as Luke Seaborne began with a maiden, before a run out in the second over; the Bolton Abbey openers failing to turn a two into a three and being undone by an incredible throw from the boundary by Hamza Mahmood. Yet second and third wicket partnerships of 93 and 88 took Bolton Abbey to a convincing victory over the 1st XI, who will rue a multitude of missed opportunities in the field, particulary to dismiss the Bolton Abbey skipper at number three, who was dropped as early as the fifth over and went on to reach an excellent, unbeaten 87. Akash Hazra took the only bowling wicket to fall via a straightforward catch behind the stumps by wicketkeeper Andrew Dowson.
It was a disappointing way to follow-up the success of the opening weekend of the season for the 1st XI, yet they hope to bounce back next week with a league game against early front-runners Killinghall at the ACG, followed by a cup match away against Masham the following day.
Thriller at the ACG results in dramatic, final-over victory for Arthington
In contrast, the 2nd XI were in euphoric mood after they recorded an excellent, last-ditch win against a tough Whixley side. Arthington found themselves bowling first again having lost the toss and unlike in recent performances the opening bowling pair of Martin Hings and Joe Seaborne were unable to make an early breakthrough. When Hings did finally strike the score had already reached 76.
Despite the good batting, all bowlers on the day did pick up at least one wicket; Dougie Jones with a clean bowled on debut, Joe Seaborne finally trapping the Whixley opener LBW in his second spell after he had batted nearly the entire innings for his 88 and Vince Greaves-Newall with a couple of middle order scalps. Whixley finished their innings on 191-5 from their 40 overs.
The 57-run partnership of Vince Greaves-Newall and Martin Hings helped Arthington to victory.
Arthington lost wickets in bunches in their pursuit of the target. Openers Jo Nash and Umer Khan hung around for a little while before both being bowled. This brought Vince Greaves-Newall to the crease along with the welcome return of Wasim Malik. Everyone at Arthington will be happy to see Malik back in his whites, however, his return with the bat could not have been more brief as a catch at gully saw him depart for a golden duck.
From 48-3, Greaves-Newall with the help of captain Martin Dickinson (16) and Martin Hings (37) were able to steer the Arthington ship home with only two balls to spare. With seven wickets down, Greaves-Newall, whose 10-over spell and long batting innings had sapped his energy, took the game into the final over with Joe Seaborne. There was still some controversy to come, however, when Greaves-Newall was judged to be not out, scampering to make his ground following a quick single. He then struck the ball to the boundary to win the game, finishing on 85 unbeaten, including 12 fours and a six.
Arthington 2nd XI, following their narrow victory over Whixley 2nd XI
Next week, the 2nd XI play away at Little Ribston, hoping to continue their winning start to the 2021 season.
The club is once again indebted to Malcolm Barraclough and Ken Clayton for scoring both matches this weekend.
Arthington Cricket Club would also like to thank the match ball sponsors for their support.
1st XI match ball sponsor: Malcolm Barraclough
2nd XI match ball sponsor: David Howard