Well, this will be short and sweet. We’ve barely got going in April due to the awful weather. What a contrast to the 2022 season when our Saturday teams only lost a handful of overs between them for the entire season.
Our first and second teams have only played one game a piece with the first two matches of the season being abandoned. Our Sunday side have played both of their games, winning one and losing the other.
It’s a similar tale of woe for our junior sides, with poor weather and the opposition not being able to raise a side meaning a less than ideal start to the 2023 season.
After two false-starts, against Booth and Blackley, the first XI’s season finally got underway at home to Thornton.
Skipper Simon won the toss and asked our visitors to bat first, and they made a solid start, reaching 78 for 1. Dan Sykes (4/38) and Tom Wood (3/29) were brought into the attack and with some tight bowling, took wickets at regular intervals to bring us seemingly back into the game. It looked at one stage like we might restrict our visitors to around 180 but they finished well to score exactly 200 off their 45 overs, for the loss of 9 wickets.
Our reply got off to the worst possible start with Jamie Summerscales, on his return to the club, trapped LBW with the first ball of the innings. It went from bad to worse as Tom and then Alex Scholefield followed Jamie back to the pavilion and we were left reeling at 1 for 3. A chase, unsurprisingly, never materialised from there despite Simon’s brisk 35 and we were all out for 78, a hefty 122 run defeat.
No play possible for the first two weeks of the season at home to Bridgeholme and Blackley, so the 2’s season got underway with an away fixture at Great Horton Park Chapel. On a green looking track, we were asked to bat first and made a more than competitive 143 for 8 off our 45 overs. Chris Dalby being the star of the show after we had been 7 for 1 and 11 for 2. Ably supported by Ikhlaq and Albie Earle 13 and 21 not out respectively, we thought we had enough runs on the board to make a game of it.
And so it proved, as there was only one opposition batter who seemed interested in trying to chase the runs down. Our new skipper for the season, Simon Hampshire had 2 for 30, the aforementioned Albie 1 for 15, Rob Larkin 2 for 12 and Ikhlaq 3 for 3, backed up by a couple of more than decent catches meant that we ran out comfortable winners with Browny taking the last wicket of the game with eight balls to spare and to give us all 12 points.
The Sunday side are going to be involved in a lot of close games if the first two matches of the season are anything to go by. A narrow 3 wicket defeat first up followed by an even narrower 4 wicket win on the last day of April means the 2023 season for our Sunday first XI is not going to be for the faint hearted.
Only Ajay made double figures with the bat on the opening Sunday of the season as we crawled to 68 all out (extras next best scorer with 12) but Greg and Sudanshu took 6 wickets between them for 36 to give us a chance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and despite the standard Sunday wicket contribution of Pedro, our hosts snook over the line with three wickets in hand. Special correspondent Keast mentioned that had we bagged another 20 runs then we would have had em’
We couldn’t even follow the thrilling 4 run win over Outlane as Play Cricket had taken the weekend off. At 25-4 batting first, we were in trouble, but then 26 from young Charlie Wesencraft, backed up by Sudanshu, Rohit and Greg all making double figure scores as well as E X Tras making a useful contribution, we were able to post a competitive 118 all out in 36 overs.
Outlane appeared to be cruising at 77 for 4 despite wickets for Greg, Sudanshu and Rich Conway, and a run out from Greg. 77 for 4 became 88 for 8 with Sameer (2 for 28) and Greg (3 for 24) and both all taking wickets- Sameer with the key wicket of the Outlane batter who was set to get them over the line. Sudanshu had another wicket to leave us on the brink with Outlane at 94 for 9 before a 20 run 10th wicket partnership had us biting nails. Cue Paul ‘Pedro’ Collins who came to the rescue taking the final wicket of the Outlane innings to see us over the line – just.
Our Under 9’s played one game in April, winning a close game at home to Barkisland. Our 11’s haven’t got going due to the opposition not being able to raise a side and a very young 13’s were well beaten away at Stones in our only game of April.
Fingers crossed for some better weather in May.
Dave and Lewis