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8 September 2020


Thornham’s lead at the top of division E was cut to 7 points this weekend thanks to a last wicket partnership for Lakeside of 48. The home side looked dead and buried at 87-9 but saw it home thanks to some lusty blows from their lower order.

After winning the toss, Captain Andrew Micklethwaite went for the tried and tested method in electing to bat first on a very Autumnal day by Hollingworth Lake. That decision looked to backfire with Mansfield, Kashif and Wiseman all departing for low scores while opener Tom Smith battled to 21 before being harshly adjudged LBW. A rebuilding job was needed for the visitors and that started to come with Micklethwaite and Howarth, both batting at different positions this week, the reshuffle enforced in part due to a finger injury to Micklethwaite which is likely to require surgery. Howarth edged to slip leaving Thornham in some serious trouble at 50-5. This brought Heywood to the crease, who after taking a bit of time to get himself in started to find the boundary regularly, striking 3 sixes before chipping one back to the bowler. The 51 run partnership between Micklethwaite and Heywood allowed Thornham to reach over three figures which everyone thought would be a good score on a challenging wicket. Micklethwaite didn’t want to be left out of the six hitting action, hitting a huge blow over midwicket. A late flurry of runs from Ged Walsh allowed Thornham to reach 132, the innings ending after McMahon was run out for 0. Lakeside captain Zohaib Shah bowled excellently, conceding only 13 runs from his 10 overs. The final score looked like a useful total with the wicket misbehaving, however the team certainly felt they could have eked out another 10 or 15 runs, and this would prove crucial.

The second innings started well for the visitors as Pattison bowled both openers for ducks. The scoreboard wasn’t really ticking as tight bowling from Pattison and in particular Heywood meant pressure was on the home side early. This resulted in some false shots as Heywood picked up Khan and Pattison followed suit an over later bowling Shah. At 46-5 the home side were struggling but a 32 run partnership brought the game back to life. This was ended thanks to a low catch at midwicket by Pattison from Micklethwaite with the former following this up with a direct hit to remove danger man H Shah for 34. At this point the weather intervened briefly and this had a serious effect on the away side, the wet track and outfield nullifying any swing and making the ball very difficult to grip. That being said, when Kashif and Micklethwaite bowled Zubair and Ashraf the game seemed all but over as the hosts required 48 runs to win with only one wicket left. Number 11 Afzal and Mushtaq had other ideas, turning the game on its head with some aggressive stroke play, smashing the ball to all parts as the runs were knocked off in the 30th over. Clean hitting and a wet ball contributed to the turn in fortunes but Thornham willbe wondering how they lost the game having been totally in control – a lesson in complacency perhaps not the worst thing to come out of the day’s cricket.

The Second team had a more successful afternoon at Rochdale Road on Saturday as they beat Glodwick by 7 wickets. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket that offered some assistance to the bowlers, and a lovely spell of swing bowling from youngster Umair Ahmed put the away side under immediate pressure. Ahmed was backed up by opening partner Alex Wright turning in another tight spell from the other end. The wicket column remained blank until Broadhead was bowled by Matt Riley with the score on 58, with spinners Riley and Young again squeezing the middle overs as the Glodwick batsmen struggled to hit boundaries. Young took two wickets in the process whilst Aaron Hall chipped in with one of his own towards the end. Thanks to disciplined bowling from everyone, the score set in 40 overs was 138.

Batting has been made to look easy recently by skipper McClure who scored back to back tons last weekend. Everyone at Rochdale road was shocked when he departed bowled for only 27. Stephen Greenwood was the next to be dismissed not long after which brought Lewis Hughes to the crease. Hughes played lovely strokes all around the meadow with help from Obaid Iqbal who reached 30 before he was run out. The target was close for Thornham when rain started to fall and this allowed Hughes to reach a half century inside 52 balls which included 11 boundaries. Dave Abel produced an exciting cameo role scoring a quick-fire 20 as Thornham won inside the 29th over by 7 wickets.

The Third team had a tough afternoon at Shaw on Sunday losing by 4 wickets. Having batted first they posted 132 thanks to Mohammed Sarfaraz scoring 50 and captain Obaid Iqbal scoring 31. In the second innings they battled well as both Asif and Andy Canavan picked up 2 wickets each. A mention also must go to Jamie Sigsworth who picked up a wicket bowling off spin properly for the first time and an excellent catch from Tom Bromfield who nearly took out Sam Worsley in the process. Shaw won inside the 34th over thanks to a partnership of 58. It wasn’t to be for the young Third team who can be proud of their efforts against a team featuring several players that are regulars on a Saturday.

Next weekend sees the First XI host Clifton 2’s at Rochdale Road whilst the Second XI travel to Ashton. The thirds are also at home on Sunday when they take on Milnrow. All games to start at 12.30pm

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