Missed chances lead to defeat for Arthington at West Tanfield

 

Arthington 1st XI’s recent run of victories came to an end on Saturday when they travelled to West Tanfield and suffered defeat due to a poor batting display and a disastrous outing in the field. Captain Naveed Andrabi lost the toss and Arthington were put in to bat, with Sajid Hussain and Umar Farooq opening the away side’s innings.

After a cagey start from the first four overs, calamity struck in the fifth when both openers fell, bowled, to West Tanfield’s Jonny Luty; Hussain was particularly unfortunate having played onto his pads only for the ball to roll back onto the stumps. Andrabi anchored the Arthington innings but while he remained at the crease and scored impressively, his fellow batsmen had no such luck as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.

Rahul Khode went the way of the openers without scoring and Luty completed his near-rout of the Arthington top order when Umer Khan was caught behind to take the score to just 29/4 in the thirteenth over. Ahmer Sadiq defended while Andrabi’s arms extended, though it was the former that fell victim to West Tanfield’s spin bowler and captain for the first of his three middle-order dismissals, this time with an LBW.

Naveed Piran joined Andrabi and though the pair stuck around for nine overs, they could only add 23 runs as the home side’s bowlers kept things tight. After 33 balls and having scored only ten, the usually free-scoring Piran tried to break the shackles but succeeded only in being caught at deep mid-wicket to deepen Arthington’s woes. When Kamrosh Khan had also been caught for a duck, it seemed that the Arthington Innings was in danger of subsiding completely.

However, Akash Hazra’s gutsy performance brought some respectability back to proceedings and he was able to support Andrabi as he moved past 50 and onto an excellent 70, which included 10 fours and a six. It couldn’t last, however, and the Arthington captain’s innings was ended following a catch behind off the bowling of the home side’s fifth and final bowling option, a decision Andrabi was not happy with.

Not all hope was lost though, and when Alex O’Neil joined Akash Hazra, the hosts may not have envisaged the ninth-wicket partnership being the highest of the innings but that is exactly what transpired. The pair batted together until the penultimate ball to add 41 valuable runs before a run-out by the West Tanfield wicketkeeper ended O’Neil’s vigil for 21, having struck two sixes and a four. The instructions given to Andrew Dowson were to swing at the remaining ball of the innings and get what he could. Sadly, he swung, missed, and was bowled out for a golden duck. The Arthington innings finished, therefore, on 156 all out from their 45 overs.

A required run-rate of just over three runs per over was never likely to strike fear into the hosts, but the bowling innings started perfectly for the away side with a wicket for Naveed Piran from the very first ball; the home side’s opener was given out LBW. A 49-run partnership for the second wicket, which came at nearly five runs per over, shifted the match back in favour of West Tanfield until Piran’s second LBW ended the remaining opener’s innings.

The wicket had little effect on the run-rate, however, and the batsmen progressed quickly towards Arthington’s total. Once spin was introduced in the form of Rahul Khode, the run-rate eased and though Naveed Andrabi was quite expensive at the other end, he at least brought about a wicket after a catch from Umar Farooq at mid-on.

At the end of the 25th over, it seemed that the home side were cruising to victory with the score on 115/3 and the number three batsman, Sam Abel, going well on 68, including 10 fours and 2 sixes. However, Rahul Khode soon reaped the rewards of his economic bowling and took wickets in all of his next three overs to make things interesting. Abel was first to fall as Khode finally beat his defences and disturbed the stumps before the Arthington spinner claimed two more victims via an LBW and a catch by Naveed Andrabi at cover.

Unfortunately, for the visitors, that was to be the last of the catches and indeed the wickets though West Tanfield were not shy in giving chances. Depending on who you ask, between six and eight straightforward chances were dropped by Arthington in the field, mostly in the latter stages, which could have changed the eventual outcome. Even usually reliable fielders spilled simple chances that would ordinarily have been held and when the innings came to a close with a six in the 39th over, West Tanfield were only six wickets down, the score on 160.

It is definitely not the first time that Arthington can blame poor fielding for a defeat but the batting must also take some criticism as only one of the top eight made it past ten runs in the first innings. Having made it to a defendable total only to have a victory fall repeatedly from the grasp of Arthington fielders is disappointing. The 1st XI had to hope that their game improved when they faced West Tanfield again the following day in the Atkinson-Swires cup.

Arthington now sit in seventh place in the division one table following three wins and three losses. Next week, they take on last placed Blubberhouses at the ACG.

 

 

 

Arthington hit the summit after 137-run triumph

Arthington 2nd XI continued their winning start to the season and in doing so reached top spot in the division six table after a convincing victory against Burnt Yates at the ACG. The win came about largely thanks to an outstanding individual display from Vince Greaves-Newall with both bat and ball though with the support of other contributions throughout the team as well.

In a break from tradition, Martin Hings elected to bat having won the toss and a fifth new opening partnership of the season for Arthington began their innings. Andrew Stoddart played out several maidens in his cautious approach to the opening bowlers, but Luke Seaborne added some impetus by picking off any bad balls and reaching the boundary on six occasions until a tame shot into the leg side ended his 26-run innings with the score on 33.

Shortly after, Stoddart also departed having played over the top of a yorker to be bowled. This left Vince Greaves-Newall and Martin Hings at the crease and the pair combined wonderfully for a 97-run stand for the third wicket. The runs flowed and both men found the boundary with regularity. Hings reached the 50-run milestone first but moments later was given out after a bizarre stumping. The Arthington captain missed the ball which went through to the wicketkeeper who half-heartedly lobbed the ball back towards the stumps. Hings put his bat down behind the line in good time but before the ball had reached its target, he had overbalanced, the bat came back up, the bails fell down and he was out; an unfortunate end to a good innings.

Greaves-Newall continued the onslaught and added the majority of the runs in a 32-run partnership for the fourth wicket, but could only look on as his new partner, Mohammad Faiyazuddin was given out LBW. The Arthington all-rounder had passed 50 by this point but showed no signs of slowing down until Burnt Yates shut down nearly all boundary options by placing every fielder on the rope.

When new batsman Malcolm Barraclough was on strike, the field came in again, but Arthington’s seasoned campaigner would not stand for this approach, and bludgeoned several shots over the infield, adjusting to the situation superbly. In no time at all, he reached 23 including 3 fours and a six. At the other end, Greaves-Newall took the easy runs that were on offer and at the end of the 40 overs, the pair had added an unbeaten 41 runs, taking the score to 210/4. Greaves-Newall finished on 81 not out, his highest score of the season so far, which included 12 fours and 2 sixes. After several weeks of looking a little out of sorts, Arthington’s number three was back to his best with this innings and hopefully, full of confidence for the matches to come.

In reply, Burnt Yates’ openers got off to a very good start and though the asking rate of more than five runs per over was slowly getting away from them, they handled the usually destructive opening spells of Joe Seaborne and Martin Finn with relative ease; neither pace bowler was able to make a breakthrough in the early stages.

A change of plan was needed and after suggestions that the pitch would take turn, Martin Hings turned to his two spin bowling options of Andrew Stoddart and Vince Greaves-Newall. After a barrage of shots into the covers that mostly picked out a single Arthington fielder, Stoddart made the first breakthrough when another shot in that direction went aerial allowing Luke Seaborne to take a low catch.

The remaining opener soon followed, after Greaves-Newall unseated the bails before repeating the feat only two balls later to massively increase the odds of an away victory; 46/0 had become 46/3 in the space of just two overs. The next batting pair rallied slightly before Greaves-Newall struck again, beating the defences, and striking the stumps once more.

With the score on 72/4, there followed one of the more spectacular batting collapses in recent memory, as the away side were reduced from a reasonable position to all out, adding only one run in the process. Greaves-Newall was at the heart of the destruction and had a role in the first three of the final six dismissals. He claimed his fourth wicket in normal fashion, rocking back the stumps as he beat the bat yet again but the next wicket required the assistance of Gareth Meredith at long-off, who took a good catch as the ball descended from a fair height. This completed the first five-wicket haul of the season for an Arthington 2nd XI player. In the same over, the Burnt Yates batsmen attempted a very risky single. Luke Seaborne scampered to his left from mid-on, missed the throw at the stumps but was rescued by Greaves-Newall who gathered the ball cleanly and completed the run out.

Stoddart, the 2nd XI’s leading wicket taker at the other end was clearly a bit miffed that he was not taking all the poles himself but managed one more in his next over to bowl out the Burnt Yates captain. Arthington captain Hings then made bowling changes at both ends with the victory seemingly sealed but the new bowlers did not take any pressure off the away side’s tailenders. Fahad Ahmad completed a stunning caught and bowled in his first over when he stretched a long arm above his head and plucked the ball out of the sky. Mohammad Faiyazuddin then needed just three balls to produce the match-ending wicket via another catch from Gareth Meredith, who is swiftly becoming the 2nd XI’s most reliable fielder.

Incredibly, with six wickets falling for just one run, Burnt Yates were bowled out for 73 in the 26th over, meaning Arthington secured a 20-point victory. A stunning upset elsewhere saw a rampant Wath & Melmerby side take down Upper Wharfedale, with the former division six league leaders unable to muster a single point in defeat. This means that Arthington, the only division six side yet to be beaten, are now 16 points clear at the top of the table.

Next week, the 2nd XI travel to North Stainley who sit just outside the relegation zone. Special thanks to Elizabeth Nash for providing the 2nd XI teas at the interval.