Norden Slump to 3rd Successive Defeat

A Norden side missing several first-team regulars, including professional Ashar Zaidi, went down to a 3rd successive Lancashire League loss at champions Burnley on Sunday. The Stags now face a battle to keep hold of one of the four Lancashire Knockout places with two games remaining. After electing to bat first, Norden got off to a good start, with the new ball pairing of Scott Butterworth and Oli Holt picking up a wicket apiece. Things could have got even better for the visitors but, much to the amazement of Butterworth, home professional Ocky Erasmus survived a huge appeal for L.B.W. on the first ball he faced. That moment proved to be decisive as Erasmus went on to anchor the innings as he has done so often. The first of two significant partnerships he was part of was one of 76 with Matt Roberts, before Jack Taylor and Norden deputy professional Shreevats Goswami took two quick wickets to put the game in the balance at 110 for 4. They would be the last wickets Norden took until the final ball of the innings, though, as Erasmus found another willing ally in wicket-keeper Chris Burton. They took the score to over 200, normally an extremely challenging target on a slow-scoring Burnley ground, and Erasmus brought up his century before Goswami had him stumped trying to end the innings with a big hit.

It would be 220 to win for Norden and they were soon one down when Hashum Malik tried to clear the man on the cover boundary without success. Goswami, who has plied hos trade with Flowery Field this season, joined Josh Tolley and everybody knew that much would depend on their partnership. Tolley had made 24 when he aimed a drive at Erasmus but only found an inside edge onto the stumps and the home side were jubilant. Goswami played fluently at one end, scoring at a run-a-ball on his way to 83, but nobody was able to keep him company for any significant period and Burnley’s spinners were able to take control. It took a nice hand from Butterworth down the order to get Norden into the bonus points and they left with 2 as the final margin of victory was 36 runs. The Stags have a home game with Ramsbottom next week, followed by a trip to Walsden on the final day and they will need at least one win to have a chance of keeping hold of 4th spot.

1st XI Scorecard:

The 2nds were aways going to find it tough at home to league leaders Burnley, with a host of absentees making things even tougher. They put up a creditable showing though after surprisingly being asked to bat first on an excellent Stag Park batting surface. Kabir Ahmed was once again the mainstay of the Norden innings and he put on 111 with skipper Phil Docker on his way to an outstanding 95 before being unfortunately run-out just before he was able to reach his 2nd century of the season. Ross Collin played a nice cameo in making 30 to help up the score to just under 200, but the final total of 192 for 6 looked a bit short of par at the break. Norden made a good start with the ball and Mo Munawar and Zishan Zahid both got an early breakthrough and the home side were always in the game but could never keep the scoring rate under control and ultimately looked a bowler short against such a good side. The middle order of Khan, Brunt and Syed all made solid contributions and Burnley got home with over 7 overs left. Norden picked up 2 bonus points for taking 6 2nd innings wickets.
2nd XI Scorecard:
2nd XI Highlights:

It was mixed fortunes for the 3rds as they secured a home win against Colne on Saturday but went down to a strong Todmorden side on Monday. Saturday saw Oli Kirkby shine in taking 4 for 6 on his 14th birthday and he was well supported by Charlie Gooding ad Zishan Zahid as Norden bowled Colne out for 89. There were a few wobbles in the chase but 26 from Gooding and an unbeaten 31 from Ahsan Tariq got the job done. Monday proved to be a much tougher challenge and at one stage it looked like Todmorden might rack up a mammoth total batting first. A good fightback with the ball, however, kept the target under 200 and there were good spells from Stan Kearns, Mohammed Omar and Gooding again. 3 ducks in the top 5 for the Stags didn’t help the cause but Jimmy Drury and Zahid played nicely to put on 61 and get Norden up to respectability. Sadly, Zahid ran out of partners and was left stranded just 5 short of his first half-centuryfor the club.
3rd XI vs Colne Scorecard:
3rd XI vs Colne Highlights: 3rd XI vs Colne Highlights – YouTube
3rd XI vs Todmorden Scorecard: