Bowlers Have Fun in the Sun

With the sun shining, it finally started to feel like summer at Stag Park over the weekend and the Norden bowlers put in two excellent performances to send the 1st XI through to the quarter-finals of the Worsley Cup and consolidate their position just one point behind leaders Walsden in the league. Middleton were the visitors on Saturday and having elected to bowl first, it took Dom Humphreys just 2 legitimate deliveries to get the Norden ball rolling when he cleaned up Keelan Shipley with a fantastic seaming delivery. Humphreys was in good rhythm and found consistent movement off the pitch to trouble all of the visiting top order. George Walker chipped tamely to midwicket to give Humphreys a second and after beating the bat on several occasions he found the edge of visiting professional James Price’s bat and had him caught low down by Crabtree behind the stumps. Price seemed convinced the ball had not carried but the umpires disagreed and the danger man had to depart. Humphreys went on to complete his 5 for with the wickets of Le Carpentier and Shahid, his figures of 5 for 16 off ten overs representing his best for the club and leaving the visitors in big trouble at 46 for 5. Ammar Malik battled hard for Middleton but after such a poor start there was unlikely to be a recovery against the spin of Zaidi and Butterworth and after they picked up a wicket apiece, Sami Waheed returned to finish off the tail with the final three wickets. With just 81 to chase, Josh Tolley and Hashum Malik wasted no time in getting the job done and a 10 wicket victory was wrapped up inside 14 overs. Norden will travel to Redbrook to take on local rivals Rochdale in the quarter-final on the 26th June.

Saturday scorecard

Saturday highlights 1st XI v Middleton Worsley Cup Round 2 Highlights 29/5/21

It was a similar story on Sunday when Ramsbottom made the short journey over the tops. It took Humphreys and his latest new ball partner, Chris Hartley, a couple of overs to hit their straps but once they did, they made quick inroads into the visiting batting lineup. Harry Caton was snapped up in the gully off Humphreys and Hartley had Simon Hanson and Brad Fielding trapped in front. The spin twins then took over and Zaidi had Kieren Grimshaw caught behind before Butterworth removed Rammy professional Daryn Smit for just 12. From there the innings went nowhere and at one point there were 27 consecutive balls without a run being scored. Daniel Pyke did manage to occasionally cut loose but he could not find any support and Zaidi continued to pick up wickets, finishing with 5 for 25. Ramsbottom did manage to creep past Middleton’s score from the previous day but 86 all out was well short of a par score. The chase was a little trickier than Saturday’s with Smit’s leg-spin causing problems, albeit more with his drag downs than his well-pitched deliveries. The cool head of Zaidi ensured it was nothing more than a minor scare, though, and another early finish came in the 26th over.

Sunday scorecard

Sunday highlights 1st XI vs Ramsbottom 1st XI Highlights 30/5/21

The t20 competition got underway on Friday night and Norden returned empty handed from their trip to Crompton. The hosts posted 154 for 7 from their 20 overs with Zaidi taking 3 for 31 and Butterworth 2 for 25 for the Stags. In reply Norden fell 22 runs short with only Zaidi, who made an unbeaten 73, making a contribution of note. The chance to bounce back will come at Haslingden on Friday.

The 2nd XI had a disappointing weekend, suffering two defeats on the road. Saturday saw their Junior Cup hopes come to an end at Colne with a 52 run defeat. Jack Taylor took 5 for 27 and Chris Hartley 3 for 30 in Colne’s total of 202 all out which included 50 extras. The chase never got going and despite Melbourne Austin’s 47 Norden were bowled out for 150 in the 37th over. Sunday turned out not to be a good day to lose the toss as Ramsbottom openers Alex Olpin and Nick Round put on a remarkable stand of 237 which was only broken on the final ball of the innings. Again, the wickets fell too regularly for Norden in reply and they picked up just one bonus point in losing by 49 runs. James O’Neill’s 48 was the highlight of the Norden innings.

Saturday scorecard

Sunday scorecard

This weekend’s fixtures: Saturday – 3rd XI vs Crompton (H)

                                            Sunday – 1st XI vs Crompton (A)

                                                             2nd XI vs Crompton (H)