Tail wags for Arthington to set up bowling demolition
Spoils were ultimately shared this season between Arthington and their latest opponents, Bolton Abbey, as both sides secured a home win apiece. On this occasion, at the ACG, Arthington’s 1st XI came out on top in a convincing win that featured a number of star performances.
Arthington captain Naveed Andrabi elected to bat first upon winning the toss, a formula that has worked well during his tenure, but things started poorly with the loss of Zain Muhammad at the top of the order when he was bowled without scoring. Sajid Hussain and Naveed Andrabi seemed to have got Arthington back on course with a 56-run partnership, until Hussain played a slower ball straight to mid-off and was easily caught for 25.
Though Andrabi continued to bat well at one end, Arthington’s middle order capitulated with Umar Farooq, Ahmer Sadiq and Andrew Dowson only managing four runs between them at the other. Things got even worse for the 1st XI when Andrabi, having already survived one dropped catch at deep square leg, served up a much simpler chance in the deep, which was gratefully grabbed by a Bolton Abbey fielder, taking the score to 118/6. Andrabi scored a fine 67, continuing his excellent form, including 9 fours and a six.
A rescue job was required and in the form of Naveed Piran it arrived as he picked up Arthington’s faltering innings in his lifeboat and carried it back to the safety of a competitive total. Jo Nash, making his first appearance for the 1st XI this season, appeared to be the perfect partner for Piran though you would have guessed otherwise once he had sent him down the river for a disastrous run-out; Piran misjudged a single behind square to which Nash responded, only to be sent back, caught in no-man’s land and ultimately dismissed.
Hope was rekindled, however, by Rahul Khode who also played a sensible innings to allow Piran to continue his assault. The pair combined for a partnership of 70 runs, finally ended when Piran played straight back to the bowler, who took an excellent one-handed catch. As is his style, Piran’s 75 came in quickfire fashion and contained 12 fours and 2 sixes, the last of which soared well over the straight boundary and into the field beyond. An almighty wallop.
Akash Hazra was bowled soon after to bring Luke Seaborne, Arthington’s number eleven, to the crease. This seemed to flick a switch in Khode who went from stylish and serene to dangerous and unpredictable as he immediately struck a six over deep mid-wicket and a one bounce four high over cover. His improvisations could easily have cost him his wicket in the very next over when an attempted ramp shot smacked into his pads in front of the stumps but was not given out. Finally, his luck ran out when he failed to connect with a half-tracker, which looped over his bat and appeared to land on top of the off-stump. Arthington all out for 219 in the 44th over.
At the interval, Arthington’s 1st XI were reminded of their shortcomings in the previous match between the two sides, which had seen Bolton Abbey ease to victory with 15 overs to spare thanks to some poor bowling and fielding from the then away side.
This time around, there was a marked improvement in bowling, in particular, as the hot knives of Naveed Piran and Umar Farooq sliced effortlessly through the butter that was the away side’s top order, soon having them reeling at 40/6 in just the 13th over. First, Piran unseated the bails in the third over before Farooq took the key wicket of Bolton Abbey’s captain, whose 87 not out in the previous fixture had helped them secure the convincing win.
Piran’s pace then produced an odd moment when the remaining opener fended off a short delivery but was alarmed to see the ball rolling towards the stumps in the aftermath. It is unclear whether the ball had enough momentum to actually remove a bail but the batsman wanted to make absolutely sure, kicked the ball away and, in doing so, kicked off-stump as well and booked his one-way ticket back to the pavilion. A catch from Ahmer Sadiq running round hurriedly from his position at extra-cover to cover provided the fourth wicket before two more of Piran’s missiles disturbed the timbers to complete the rout.
The visitors did not quite keel over and die, however, and much like Arthington, their lower order still had more to give. On several occasions, captain Andrabi was tempted to make a change in the bowling, yet each time this was considered another wicket would fall, forcing him to reconsider. More bails were sent flying by Arthington’s bowlers, as Piran secured yet another five-fer and Farooq went on to remove the away side’s top scorer with an LBW.
The highest partnership of the innings was actually the final one, as the remainder of Bolton Abbey’s tail swung at everything and collected a few boundaries in the process before an edge behind to wicketkeeper Andrew Dowson completed the second five-fer of the innings, this time for Farooq, and brought an end to proceedings. Bolton Abbey all out for 106.
The 20-point victory was exactly what was needed for the 1st XI as the end of the season draws ever closer. All eyes were on the match between second place Killinghall and third place Alne and it was ultimately the latter that came away with the win, thus extending Arthington’s lead at the top of the table to 14 points. Next week, the division two title could be decided as Arthington travel to Killinghall for another top of the table clash.
The 1st XI wish to thank Ken Clayton, once again, for scoring the match and also, after this, the final home match of the season, Alison Dowson, who has provided some scrumptious teas ever since restrictions were lifted. The club is very fortunate that you are both involved.
Arthington prevail after two centurions go head-to-head
In contrast to recent weeks, the 2nd XI’s latest fixture against Kirk Deighton was a run-fest, as both sides soared beyond the total required for maximum batting bonus points and two players even managed to reach three figures in a fantastic game of cricket. Kirk Deighton’s captain won the toss and elected to bat first.
The first half of the home side’s innings went as it normally does when Arthington’s opening bowlers Joe Seaborne and Martin Hings have ball in hand and, though they perhaps lacked the early flurry of wickets that often accompanies their bowling spells, their remarkable economy rates still put the 2nd XI in a strong position at the halfway point of the first innings. The pair bowled nine maidens between them and tied the home side’s batsmen down. Seaborne’s eventual dismissal of the home side’s opener via a catch behind by Dave Howard was the first wicket to fall.
Vince Greaves-Newall also impressed with the ball and succeeded where the opening bowlers could not, helping himself to three wickets all of his own making: a caught and bowled to remove the stubborn Kirk Deighton opener and twice relocating the bails. He also conceded only 30 runs from his ten overs, which would ordinarily mean the home side were heading towards a mediocre total, yet the number three batsman had other ideas.
The fourth and fifth Arthington bowling options of Umer Khan and Dougie Jones were clearly much to his liking and in the latter stages of the innings he bludgeoned his way to an excellent century, scoring 109 from just 81 balls including 12 fours and 8 sixes. Slightly shellshocked, Arthington’s captain Dave Howard brought back Joe Seaborne to complete his ten overs and was rewarded with a wicket though not necessarily the one Arthington wanted. Shortly after, Malcolm Barraclough affected a run-out and was subsequently brought on to bowl.
The change in pace and increase in guile was clearly what was required and despite being hit for a six from his very first ball, Barraclough made the breakthrough to dismiss the away side’s centurion via a catch by Gareth Meredith. He then went on to take the final two Kirk Deighton wickets to fall thanks to a catch by Vince Greaves-Newall and beating the defences to hit the stumps for his third wicket in just three overs. After their 40 overs, Kirk Deighton finished on 196/9.
It seemed an uphill task for Arthington, who had had their opening batsman pilfered by the 1st XI and were also missing several key members of their middle order, yet a magnificent unbeaten second-wicket partnership of 157 ended up sealing a great victory. The dismissal of Umer Khan with the score on 42 proved to only be a minor setback as the batting of Vince Greaves-Newall and Mohammed Faiyazuddin saw Arthington impressively over the line from a long way out.
Faiyazuddin scored 10 fours and a six on his way to an unbeaten 68, which would ordinarily have been the stand-out performance of the innings, yet he was surpassed by Greaves-Newall, opening the batting in the absence of Jo Nash, who reached exactly 100 in the latter stages, striking 13 fours and a six in the process and helping Arthington to victory in the 38th over thanks to four byes down the leg-side.
The division seven table is a complicated one to decipher, but it seems that a 15-point win in their next fixture would be enough for Arthington’s 2nd XI to be promoted to division six as champions. That next fixture is against Rainton at the ACG, against whom Arthington recorded a nine-wicket victory earlier in the season.
Arthington cricket club would like to thank this week’s match ball sponsors for their support and generosity.
1st XI match ball sponsor: Andrew Dowson
2nd XI match ball sponsor: Ken Clayton