9th June 2021
Thornham travelled to a sunbathed Heys on Saturday hoping to continue their good league form against Prestwich 2nds.
Having won the toss, Captain Micklethwaite once again chose to bat first on what was a glorious afternoon, openers McClure and Howarth hoping to get the visitors off to a good start. The opening bowlers for the home side Scott and Reeve bowled impressively in the opening 10 overs. Both McClure and Howarth departed to good catches in the slips as Thornham struggled to 23-2.
This brought Micklethwaite and Wiseman together at the crease, and they both grafted hard to negotiate the threat from each end, Reeve in particular consistently moving the ball off a length. Both took their time as they soaked up the pressure, Micklethwaite in particular struggling for touch early on. However once both were set, scoring came more freely as they pushed the ball around the rapid outfield. Both Wiseman and Micklethwaite brought up half centuries to set up the rest of the Thornham innings. When Wiseman chipped a catch on 70 to the covers it ended a partnership of 132 which the whole of the ground appreciated as he departed to a ripple of applause. This brought Raza to the crease looking to build on last week’s 82 at home to Denton, but it was Micklethwaite who initially took centre stage as he continued to play elegant drives to the boundary. He departed shortly after for a well-earned 74.
Prestwich are known for having multiple sports as part of their club, and thankfully there wasn’t a game of football on the neighbouring football field as the central midfielder would have had more chance of catching one of the sixes hit by Raza. Blazing boundaries everywhere, Raza finished with 68 from only 46 deliveries. This upped the run rate for Thornham and after a good last over the team posted a target of 254.
Thornham went on to the field knowing it would be a hard graft to take 10 wickets on what was a flat and rather lifeless wicket. Openers Pattison and Heywood toiled in the heat with little reward as the Prestwich opening pair saw off the new ball. Captain Micklethwaite made a double change as he brought Kashif and McMahon into the attack. This saw the end of Mapstone who holed out to a fantastic catch from Kashif off McMahon – a useful dismissal as Mapstone had been looking very dangerous, begging the question of why a batsman of his talent isn’t in the First XI. It was then Kashif’s turn to get amongst the Prestwich batsmen as he had Aziz leg before and opener Taylor caught behind by Walsh.
Slow bowling was definitely the way forward and this caused problems for the home side as the required run rate rapidly increased. Kashif continued to bowl with good revs and he ripped through the middle order. This left the home side in a spot of bother as Heywood was reintroduced, replacing McMahon who had bowled superbly. Heywood bowled smartly on a deteriorating wicket and was soon amongst the wickets having Carter caught well by Micklethwaite, and Ritchie leg before padding up before two wickets fell in similar fashion, caught by Kashif in the deep off successive balls – clearly some good field positions were being set by the captain! Pattison returned to wrap up the innings by claiming the final wicket to leave Prestwich finishing 60 runs light.