Arthington’s bowlers secure emphatic victory despite a

sting in the tail

Arthington’s 1st XI recorded a convincing win against Studley Royal on a glorious day of cricket at the ACG. Though a warm sun was beating down on the ground for the first time this season, the outfield was still slightly damp owing to the sheer volume of recent rain and there was also an ominous patch on the middle of the wicket due to a mishap with the covers. Studley Royal won the toss and elected to bowl first.

Arthington’s opening pair of Sajid Hussain and Zain Muhammad got off to a steady start, Muhammad doing the majority of the scoring with some nice shots as well as a few streaky boundaries through the slips. This proved to be his downfall in the end, upon reaching 24, including 5 fours, as he was well caught at second slip in the ninth over. Hussain then began a new partnership with Naveed Andrabi, putting on 36 with the Arthington captain, mainly in singles, before he became the first unfortunate victim of some uneven bounce offered by the wicket and was trapped LBW by a ball that kept impossibly low.

Umar Farooq got straight into his work with a six as his first scoring shot but it was Andrabi who had begun to accelerate the scoring rate and contributed the majority of the runs in the 81-run partnership for the third wicket. The pair seemed in control as they looked set to complete a back-to-back two after some decent running between the wickets. Farooq appeared to have made his ground and had begun to relax to wait for the next ball only for the bowler to take off the bails and appeal for a run-out. The umpire decided that Farooq’s bat was short of the line and sent him disconsolately back to the pavilion; an unfortunate end to a good innings of 27.

Once again, Andrabi showed his class with the bat and although the unpredictable wicket had curbed his usual, flamboyant style, he still managed to strike 7 fours and 2 sixes on his way to 84 giving only one very difficult chance to cover part-way through the innings. However, he was eventually caught, attempting a straight shot over the ring and failing to connect as cleanly as he would have liked.

Kamrosh Khan survived an early scare when a drive turned into a slice that cleared the infield to land safe. After that, he knuckled down and played a very sensible innings; ably assisted by Rafiullah Khan, who managed to reach a quickfire 17 despite only spending a few overs at the crease. The two sixes that he struck, one to each long boundary, will live fondly in the memories of the Arthington players, perhaps less so for Studley Royal. He was eventually dismissed LBW by another ‘grubber’ that barely left the ground and, with the final ball of the over, Kamrosh Khan also fell, bowled, going for a lofty drive. He made a fine 36, including 3 fours and a six. After 45 overs, Arthington ended their innings on 242/7.

The Studley Royal reply was nearly over before it had begun as they found themselves 0-2 after five overs and 26-9 in the twelfth. A late rally did, however, bring some sense of respectability to their innings.

Once again, it was the opening bowling pair of Naveed Piran and Umar Farooq that did the damage for Arthington. Not only did they make it incredibly difficult for the batsmen to score runs, they aggressively targeted the stumps as well as challenging both edges of the bat.

Farooq struck in his first over, unseating the bails, and Piran repeated the feat in his third, again at the start of his fourth and once more in his fifth: opening the floodgates of the Studley Royal innings. The batsman at number three for the opposition had offered some resistance and reached double figures but his eyes lit up at the prospect of thrashing a rare scoring chance through the off-side to the shorter boundary and he succeeded only in finding Kamrosh Khan at point, who held on to a simple catch. One ball later and Farooq had a hat-trick chance as the new man swiftly departed having been given out LBW.

Though the hat-trick did not materialise, it clearly spurred Piran on at the other end who gave himself his own hat-trick opportunity in his next over. The first wicket, his fourth, came again courtesy of a catch by Kamrosh Khan at point and Piran wrapped up his five-fer in his more traditional fashion: sending one bail halfway back up the wicket as the stumps rocked back once more. Farooq then picked up his fourth wicket in the following over leaving Studley Royal on an incredible 26 for 9; two balls into the twelfth over.

It was perhaps a fault of Arthington’s that they thought the game almost over at this point and relaxed. This turned out not to be the case as a battling and exhilarating final wicket stand of 76 gave the opposition the faintest, slightest glimmer of a chance at an improbable comeback. Though the pair were ultimately unsuccessful, the desire of the number ten batsman not to lose his wicket and the ease with which the number eleven despatched the opening bowlers responsible for his team’s earlier demise to the boundary was a sight to behold.

Indeed, after several overs of punishment for the bowlers the opposition had more than caught up with the required run-rate and Farooq was replaced by Rahul Khode. Yet the Studley Royal all-rounder, sent down the order due to an injury sustained while bowling, it was later discovered, took to the slower bowling like a duck to water. There was, ultimately, an end to the madness as Luke Seaborne replaced Piran following four unsuccessful overs. After four dot balls were fended away, a yorker broke through the defences of the number ten and ended the admirable resistance. Studley Royal all out for 102 and a 20-point win for Arthington.

It was great to be out in the sunshine at the end of a month dominated by rain and pleasing for Arthington to come away with a convincing, if unusual, victory. Once again the captain led from the front with another excellent batting performance before the bowlers took over in emphatic fashion.

Next week the 1st XI faces Bishop Thornton away from home.


Daylight at the summit for table-topping 2nd XI after

another big win

The 2nd XI continued their winning run against Walton Park, a team that had proven tough opposition last season. On this occasion though, a confident 2nd team side were too strong, particularly in the bowling department, and ran out comfortable winners.

A new Arthington opening bowling pair greeted the Walton Park batsmen, after they had won the toss and elected to bat first. Division seven’s leading wicket taker Joe Seaborne bowled in partnership with Ahmer Sadiq in the absence of the bowling maestro Martin Hings and they got the team off to a flier, quickly tucking into the top order to make a footballesque score of 3-3 after five overs; a bowled and an LBW for Seaborne and a bowled for Sadiq.

Sadiq helped himself to seconds soon after via a fine one-handed slip catch by Vince Greaves-Newall to land Walton Park in a spot of bother. A minor recovery saw the home side see off the remainder of the opening spells, but Wasim Malik also had an appetite and grabbed himself a wicket sandwich in his change spell, picking up a wicket in the first and last overs; expertly assisted by a low, diving catch from Alex ‘Buckets’ O’Neil at gully for the first and cartwheeling the bails for the second to dismiss the only Walton Park batsman to reach double figures (29).

While all this was happening at one end, Vince Greaves-Newall was dining out at the other; captain Martin Dickinson at long-off and Joe Seaborne at mid-wicket helping with the first two courses before the all-rounder kept dessert all to himself as ball met stump to leave Walton Park nine down. After an injury caused last week’s man of the match Mohammed Faiyazuddin to stall in the starting gate before bowling a ball, Dickinson, who had been reading the menu with interest, brought himself on to bowl, replacing Malik, and finished off the innings with a regulation nick to the wicketkeeper Dave Howard, who gobbled up the opportunity. Walton Park all out for 62 after 29 overs.

It was not quite all you can eat for Arthington’s batsmen in the second innings as they faltered slightly, losing a total of four wickets in reply. Umer Khan opened the batting with Jo Nash but was soon dismissed LBW for 7. Ahmer Sadiq then made the majority of the runs in a reasonable second wicket stand of 23 before Nash was caught for 8. Sadiq’s score of 21 ended up being the highest of the innings but it was brought to a close in the 19th over as he missed a straight one with 19 runs still required for victory.

After one further wicket five runs later, Alex O’Neil and Vince Greaves-Newall were able to bring the match to a close, the latter taking his average to 195 for the season as he remained not out for a fourth innings out of five and the former hitting all of his ten runs in a single over to hasten the victory. A faultless fielding display and some ruthless bowling capped another terrific performance from the 2nd XI, which sees them move 21 points ahead of their nearest rivals in the division seven table, though they have played a game more. Next week they will host Kirk Deighton at the ACG.

Once again the club would like to thank the scorers for the two matches this weekend: Ken Clayton and Malcolm Barraclough.

Thank you also to the match ball sponsors of this week’s round of fixtures for their support and generosity:

1st XI match ball sponsor: Harehills Councillors

2nd XI match ball sponsor: Roundhay Councillors