Arthington beaten again amid batting concerns

Arthington’s 1st XI played their first home game of the season when they hosted Kirk Deighton at the ACG. Unfortunately, another loss saw Arthington defeated for the second successive game in another match where their batsmen failed to shine.

Optimistic at the start of proceedings, Arthington captain Naveed Andrabi won the toss and elected to bat first, a formula which has served the home side well in recent seasons. However, his hopes of a dominant batting display were short-lived as two batsmen were dismissed after only six overs, himself included. Sajid Hussain can consider himself unlucky, as it appeared that his edge behind was, in fact, nothing of the sort, but the Arthington skipper can have fewer complaints about the simple catch on the off-side that saw him return to the pavilion after chasing a full, wide delivery.

Umar Farooq and Nathan Smith managed to take the game as far as the 13th over before the former had his poles rearranged; having at least put a pair of ducks behind him, he managed only four. There then followed a period of some resistance as Smith and Umer Khan stemmed the flow of wickets. However, runs did not come easily either and their ten-over stand included a patch of four consecutive maidens while the pair tried to dull the Kirk Deighton attack.

In his final over of an unchanged 12-over spell, the away side’s Richard Ward took his second wicket when Nathan Smith was caught behind for 24, which included 5 fours. Ward’s bowling figures also included an impressive six maidens. Khan was soon to follow when he played a catch straight back at the visitors’ fourth bowling option in his second over to leave the score on 62/5 at the end of the 28th.

Naveed Piran’s introduction sparked some life back into the innings as he and Kamrosh Khan took double figures off a few of the away side’s overs for the first time in the match but this approach did not come without its risks, as Piran found out all too soon when he was caught at fly slip having struck two sixes and a four in his brief 17-run burst.

Khan and Rahul Khode then moved the score past the hundred mark before a double blow in the 38th over saw the back of Khode and Alex O’Neil, as Kirk Deighton’s change bowler helped himself to a pair of wickets in his eleventh over, having gone wicketless until that point. Khan, who had watched three batting partners come and go then finally succumbed, attempting one aggressive shot too many to be caught in the deep in the 41st over. He made 23, including 4 fours.

The silver lining of the day was that Arthington were not bowled out. In fact, Andrew Dowson and Akash Hazra added 23 runs towards the end of the innings to at least pose a bit of a challenge for the visitors. After the 45 overs, Arthington finished on 143/9.

Needing just over three runs per over for victory, Kirk Deighton could afford to take their time, though the opening pair still scored at a respectable rate. They combined for a 104-run partnership, which lasted until the 27th over and effectively sealed the home side’s fate. Henry Blythe was the man finally dismissed by Akash Hazra, having made 40.

Kamrosh Khan is not used to bowling a great deal in the 1st XI, yet it was to him that the Arthington captain turned when other options had not proven to be successful. He bowled nine overs and was rewarded with a wicket in his seventh, having been economical up to that point.

Unfortunately, for Arthington, the earlier target was not sufficient to prevent the away side from coasting to a victory with nearly eight overs still to be bowled and for the loss of only two wickets. The hosts can reflect upon a sub-par batting display as being the principal cause of their latest defeat. Having scored over 200 in the majority of their games last season, it is of some concern that they are yet to reach that milestone in any of the three games so far.

However, the opposition also deserve credit for some very tight bowling and early wicket-taking, which severely blunted the Arthington threat. Kirk Deighton were then able to take full control of the match allowing them to reach the winning post in a comfortable chase, which saw opener and captain, Louis Toseland, reach 62 unbeaten, including 7 fours and a six.

After three matches, Arthington find themselves in unfamiliar territory in the bottom two places of the division with just the opening day win over Masham the difference between them and last placed Blubberhouses. Next week, the 1st XI will hope to get back to winning ways when they travel to Goldsborough.

Once again, the club thanks Ken Clayton for scoring the fixture and Alison Dowson for providing some eagerly anticipated teas.


Captain’s innings leads Arthington to third successive victory

Arthington’s 2nd XI overcame their latest opponents in another close contest on a bowling friendly surface at Kirkby Malzeard thanks to some fine individual displays and a good deal of character.

As is his custom these days, Arthington captain Martin Hings put the opposition in to bat on a green playing surface that more closely resembled the lush outfield at the ACG. Yet Arthington were confident in making the best of the conditions and these hopes were boosted by the return of last season’s leading wicket-taker, Joe Seaborne, who opened the bowling with Martin Finn in a new look opening partnership.

Seaborne did not take long to take his first wicket of the season when a swinging yorker saw the back of Ayoub Khan, a former Arthington player, without scoring. However, that was the end of the wickets in the openers’ first spells as Hings brought on himself and Andrew Stoddart to continue the bowling effort.

Hings made the second breakthrough by beating the defence of the home side’s left-hander to knock back the leg-stump and it seemed that bowled was likely to be the only method of dismissal at Arthington’s disposal when Andrew Stoddart saw a missed stumping and a dropped catch from consecutive balls. Despite the fielding mishaps, Stoddart’s bowling leaked very few runs and the pressure was building on the Kirkby Malzeard batsmen.

Seaborne returned for his second spell of the match and immediately took a wicket by bowling out the home side’s captain, Peter Kirk, who had batted well for his 34 runs, the highest score of the match. The Arthington fast bowler then took his third scalp in similar fashion, soon after and with only a minor lull in between, claimed his fourth wicket, once again by dismantling the woodwork, to complete his demolition of the host’s top order.

Stoddart chimed in with a well-deserved wicket, opting for the by now tried and tested formula of bowling straight at the stumps and hoping that the batsman misses. The Kirkby Malzeard number five duly obliged to give Stoddart his seventh wicket of the season, conceding just 16 runs in his ten-over spell.

Arthington were pressing to bowl out the opposition and Vince Greaves-Newall combined nicely with wicketkeeper Dave Howard to effect two more dismissals: a sharp catch and an even sharper stumping. However, the home side’s tail looked like they would survive the remainder of the innings to deny the visitors maximum bowling points.

With two balls and still two wickets remaining, Greaves-Newall served up a pie. A juicy full toss that fell into the batsman’s hitting arc with gravy on it. The batsman struck the ball firmly, but the away side’s boundaries are long and the ball did not clear the rope. Instead, it was intercepted by Luke Seaborne, at deep mid-wicket, for a good catch. The final ball of the innings was nudged around the corner to Mohammad Faiyazuddin at a close square leg, who carefully returned it to Dave Howard behind the stumps to bring about a run-out. Kirkby Malzeard all out for 134.

Arthington began their innings with their third new opening partnership of the season. Andrew Stoddart and Mohammad Faiyazuddin both looked shaky early on, with the most profitable scoring areas being behind square and often through the slip cordon. Faiyazuddin’s stay at the crease was short-lived when he was easily caught via a top-edge that carried to slip.

Vince Greaves-Newall also looked out of sorts and both he and Stoddart struggled to keep up with the modest run-rate required of just under 3.5 an over. When Stoddart lost his wicket, caught behind, just before drinks, it was apparent that Greaves-Newall was also unable to continue. When play resumed, there were two new batsmen at the crease in Luke Seaborne and Malcolm Barraclough.

Seaborne was unable to repeat his performance of the previous week and was bowled for six, sparking a worrying collapse of Arthington wickets as both Josh Rhodes and Gareth Meredith fell, without scoring, courtesy of Kirkby Malzeard’s Jim Hutchinson, who helped himself to his third and fourth wickets in the process.

Martin Hings formed a good partnership with Barraclough to drag Arthington out of the mire, until the latter was caught off a leading edge. Greaves-Newall had recovered sufficiently to make his way back out to the crease and adopted a different, more aggressive approach in his second stint. Together with Arthington’s captain, they navigated the choppy waters presented by the pitch and steered the away side’s ship home.

Hings had looked particularly assured, striking three of only seven boundaries that came during the innings. The battle-weary Greaves-Newall hit the winning run with ten balls to spare, via a top-edge over the keeper’s head that went for a single.

The nature of the surface meant that the game was always going to be a low-scoring affair, but Arthington coped well with the chase, having manufactured a great opportunity with some excellent bowling. Joe Seaborne, on his return to the side, and Andrew Stoddart with his economical spell were the stand-out performers in the first innings and Martin Hings revelled under the pressure in the second to give Arthington a 20-point victory, their third successive win of the season.

Two other clubs also have a 100% record after three games and Arthington sit in second place behind Upper Wharfedale, who are yet to lose a point. Next week, the 2nd XI host Wath & Melmerby at the ACG.

The club would like to offer its thanks to this week’s match ball sponsors for their support and generosity.

1st XI match ball sponsor: Martin Finn

2nd XI match ball sponsor: Jo Nash