Run chases of over 200 are rarely straight forward in league cricket but a confident Norden side, anchored by a composed 78* from Harvey Fitton, cruised to their victory target of 209 against local rivals Rochdale on Sunday.
On an excellent Stag Park surface, Rochdale unsurprisingly elected to bat first and openers Maurice-Scott and Dawson made steady progress against the new ball. Skipper Malik turned to spin and Zaidi cleaned up Dawson in his second over just as the visitors were looking to hit the accelerator. Butterworth joined the home professional in the attack and Norden were able to control the run-rate through the middle overs. Maurice-Scott played superbly at one end, combining solid defence with some hard hitting down the ground, but he was unable to find a long-term partner as Butterworth mixed up his pace to great affect and took wickets regularly on his way to 5 for 35 from his 12 overs. Maurice-Scott reached his hundred from 133 balls but Rochdale failed to significantly up the pace and closed on 208 for 8, a total that felt a few runs light given the good batting conditions.
When Aaron Brown trapped Tolley bang in front and followed up by having Pimm smartly taken by skipper Roche behind the stumps, though, Rochdale had their tails up. However, Fitton timed the ball nicely from ball one and in partnership with Zaidi took the heat out of the game. Their partnership of 129 was a masterclass in working the ball into gaps and punishing the bad deliveries. The game wasn’t quite done and dusted when Zaidi chipped up a catch in the ring to depart for 62 but any hint of an opportunity Rochdale may have felt was quickly distinguished by Lee Crabtree who drove and swept his way to 37* from just 29 balls and Norden reached their target with 27 balls remaining.
1st XI scorecard : https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/4549807
1st XI highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa6yhRPizrI
There were also weekend wins for both the 2nd and 3rd teams. Tom Booth chalked up a half century as the 2nds posted 166 for 7 from their 45 overs at Redbrook and Mo Munawar made sure that total was more than enough with the hugely impressive figures of 7 for 30.
2nd XI scorecard : https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/4550280
On Saturday it was Jack Harrison who stole the show for Simon Wystawnoha’s men with an unbeaten 122 as the 3rds defeated Rishton’s 4th XI by 44 runs.
3rd XI scorecard : https://norden.play-cricket.com/website/results/4789452