Victory strengthens Arthington’s top half start to the season

Arthington 1st XI’s final opponents in the first half of the 2022 season were Pateley Bridge who had begun their campaign reasonably well and were sitting in mid-table. However, they faced an Arthington side determined to forge their way up the league table as the season progresses as they added to their success of the previous week with another emphatic victory.

Arthington’s captain, Naveed Andrabi won the toss and elected to bat first but the innings suffered an early setback when Sajid Hussain was caught behind for only one run. Andrabi then joined Umar Farooq at the crease and the pair steered things in a more favourable direction for the batting side with an 82-run partnership for the second wicket until Farooq was dismissed for 38, once again caught behind. His knock included 3 fours and 2 sixes.

Anwar Ul-Haq, one of the 1st XI’s newer acquisitions, then made his way to the crease in place of regular number four batsman Nathan Smith, though he managed to take on the role excellently. In fact, it was the captain who was the next man to fall in the 29th over with the score on 115. Once again, it appeared that the LBW decision to send Andrabi back to the pavilion was incorrect, as the ball appeared to have hit his bat. The Arthington skipper made 47 including 6 fours and 2 sixes.

There then followed some very profitable overs for Arthington as Ul-Haq began scoring at a brisk rate in a rapid 43-run stand with Nathan Smith, of which the latter made only eight before he was caught. Having just passed his first Arthington fifty in only his second match, Ul-Haq was then stumped by the impressive Pateley Bridge wicketkeeper for 51, including 7 fours and a six.

Naveed Piran went the same way to give the wicketkeeper his fourth dismissal after two catches and two stumpings. Kamrosh Khan then came and went with little impact to bring about the third Arthington wicket in as many overs and also complete the away side’s Jos Overend’s five-wicket haul by virtue of a caught and bowled. The Pateley Bridge change bowler had been the wicket-taker for four of the home side’s top five batsmen.

With overs running out, Andrew Dowson and Akash Hazra did well to push the score over 200 until two wickets in the penultimate over nearly ended the home side’s innings as Akash Hazra was caught for 16 and Rahul Khode was given out LBW for a duck. Dowson then clattered a six and a four in a final over that went for 12 to leave him unbeaten on 20 and the Arthington innings at an impressive yet chaseable 221/9 after 45 overs.

In reply, a hostile spell of bowling from Naveed Piran and Umar Farooq proved to be too much for the Pateley Bridge top order as they soon found themselves 13/3 in just the seventh over. Piran struck first quite literally as the stumps were repositioned and Farooq then took care of the remaining opener via a catch at slip by Rahul Khode. Piran then took centre stage once more with an LBW.

A brief period of resistance nudged the score past thirty until Anwar Ul-Haq induced a catch behind by Andrew Dowson in the leg-spinner’s very first over of the match. Seemingly not wanting to be outdone, when it came to the skipper’s first over, he went one better and took a brace of Pateley Bridge wickets via another catch by Rahul Khode and an LBW.

Khode himself then brought about the fall of the seventh wicket with a clean bowled but would only bowl one over in the contest as Arthington tried out some other options. This, however, followed a 42-run partnership in which both batsmen dug in and frustrated the Arthington bowling attack. Pateley Bridge’s Oliver Fryer was particularly impressive and reached 41 runs by the end of the match including 4 fours and 2 sixes.

Before he could be dismissed, however, Anwar Ul-Haq brought about his second and third wickets with a caught and bowled and an LBW. The Arthington spinner bowled for twelve consecutive overs and conceded only 39 runs in his spell. The final wicket was that of Fryer. Trying to clear the ropes yet again he was unable to beat Nathan Smith who took the catch to give Kamrosh Khan his first wicket from only his third ball. Arthington won the match by 118 runs and secured all 20 available points.

At the halfway point in the season, Arthington’s first foray in division one has been quite a successful one with seven wins and four losses in their first eleven matches. The top two teams may take some chasing as they sit well clear of a three-team chasing pack. Next weekend, the 1st XI take on Blubberhouses.

Special thanks to Ken Clayton for scoring the 1st XI match and to Alison Dowson for ensuring that the tea interval was bountiful.

 

Back to back defeats for Arthington leave them chasing the leaders

For the first time in quite a long time, Arthington’s 2nd XI suffered successive league defeats as they lost a keenly contested fixture against West Tanfield, the top side in division six, despite some explosive lower-order batting from one of their new recruits.

Arthington captain Martin Hings won the toss and opted to play to the team’s strengths in bowling first. Hings himself opened the bowling and bowled impossibly tightly, restricting the West Tanfield batsmen to breadcrumbs going for only thirteen runs in his ten-over spell which included six maidens. The economical bowling paved the way for Arthington’s other bowlers to benefit and Joe Seaborne took the first wicket when an attempt to clear the infield found only Hings at mid-off who took a good catch.

Two balls later there was a huge moment of controversy which put a considerable dampener on proceedings when the West Tanfield number three batsman refused to walk having edged the ball blatantly to wicketkeeper Dave Howard. The umpire was also unmoved and the batsman was allowed to stay and club a couple of boundaries over the bowler’s head before Andrew Stoddart removed him for good when the ball ballooned up into the air to be caught, once again, by Hings running forward from mid-off.

After the disappointing sequence of events, tensions eased slightly and West Tanfield formed a small partnership for the third wicket, which was broken by Stoddart who hit the stumps. The home side’s remaining opener made his way to an excellent fifty at the other end, striking 6 fours and 4 sixes in the process. However, with the score on 87, he was the next wicket to fall, this time to Vince Greaves-Newall, who breached his defences.

The Arthington all-rounder then made a change to his approach and turned to medium pace instead of off-spin, which brought more rewards as he removed the bails twice more, though not before the sixth-wicket partnership had pushed the score beyond 130. A late flurry of runs and a third wicket for Stoddart wrapped up the innings after the 40 overs, with the hosts posting 154/7.

In reply, Captain Hings had changed things up at the top of the order but could not have foreseen the run out which saw Luke Seaborne depart for only a single, nor the measured and tentative approach with which Umer Khan and Vince Greaves-Newall advanced the innings, something which the skipper had clearly been trying to avoid with the change in batting order.

Khan was the next wicket to fall after a stunning, one-handed catch at mid-wicket when it had seemed much more likely that the ball would land safely on the turf. Greaves-Newall followed shortly afterwards to the same fielder in the same position but from the opposite end as Arthington slumped to 25/3. Mohammed Faiyazuddin and Martin Dickinson then rebuilt the innings slightly until the former’s dismissal provided another set back as the bails hit the ground.

A lot had been expected of Alex O’Neil having come down from a stint in the 1st XI, however, his innings lasted only four balls, the last of which was lofted to a strategically placed fielder between cover and mid-off. The Arthington batsman could not have placed it worse had he tried and left for a duck.

Dickinson had been playing some nice strokes in reaching 19 and prior to his dismissal had played a lovely sweep to the square-leg boundary. The very next ball, he tried to repeat the feat but the ball was shorter and bearing down on the top of off-stump. When the away side’s batsman failed to connect, it seemed that the innings would wilt. Tameem Wani, however, had other ideas.

Having been given licence by Martin Hings, who had joined him at the crease, the pair put on a blistering 61 runs in very little time. Wani was doing the majority of the scoring, starting with some well-struck boundaries to the leg-side and down the ground before a change of bowling had him licking his lips as he struck three sixes in an over to give the visitors a real chance of victory.

Another change of bowling tilted the balance the other way, however, and Wani suddenly found his bails absent when he missed a straight ball and was bowled. His innings of 57 runs came from just 32 balls and included 7 fours and 4 sixes. If that is what the Arthington’s 2nd XI can expect every week then they will be delighted.

It was at this point that Arthington’s challenge ended as the returning opening bowler’s second spell had a devastating impact on the lower order. Hings went the same way as Wani when his stumps were rearranged and was immediately followed by Joe Seaborne who could not keep out a great delivery that rocked back his poles. The final wicket to fall was that of Andrew Stoddart via another superb, one-handed catch from a West Tanfield fielder, from a very well-struck shot by Stoddart into the covers.

Arthington all out for 138 in the 36th over meaning the home side claimed the victory by a margin of 16 runs. There were some positives to take for the 2nd XI who came very close to the target despite several of their batsmen failing to contribute. They also only have a week to stew on the defeat before they have the opportunity to exact revenge as their very next match is the reverse fixture, this time at the ACG.