Stags Beat the Rain to Climb Table

Norden registered a comfortable win at defending champions Darwen on Sunday in a game reduced by the rain. Greg Butterworth won the toss and asked Darwen to bat and Norden’s new-ball pairing of Scott Butterworth and Lukas Debnam were able to make good early inroads into the home batting lineup. Debnam picked up the first 2 wickets to fall and then Butterworth took over, taking 4 for 50 including the wicket of substitute professional Shivam Chaudhary. Darwen were in trouble at 75 for 6. The Davies brothers, Reece and Jack were able to put up some resistance and carried the total over 100 before Jack was run out by Haris Hussain. With 20 overs left, the forecast rain came down and the Darwen innings was reduced to 35 overs. The search for quick runs upon the resumption only led to more wickets for Norden and the hosts were bowled out for 123 with 1 ball left.

Norden’s adjusted target was 127 from 35, but the chase got off to a poor start with the run out of Alex Willis and a rare failure for Josh Tolley. Greg Butterworth and Ashar Zaidi came together and restored a bit of calm, but Butterworth was trapped in front by skipper Kamran Anwar and the responsibility was put on to Spencer Allen to keep Zaidi company. Allen was well up to the task and his composure, which has been seen so often at second team level, was to the fore as he fended off a strong Darwen bowling attack to add 66 with Zaidi and take Norden to the brink of victory. A little bit of unnecessary panic ensued when both set batters were dismissed by Anwar, but Oli Holt smashed a straight 6 to take the 12 points and move Norden up to 4th place in the table.
1st XI Scorecard:

Friday night saw Norden progress to the t20 quarter-finals with a washout at Walsden. Despite the best attempts of Walsden to persuade the umpires to start in the drizzle, no play was possible and Norden will make the short trip to Redbrook to take on Rochdale in the quarter-final on Friday night.

The 2nds were beaten at home by league leaders Darwen. Mohsin Iqbal took 3 wickets for Norden, but the visiting batting line-up were able to find the boundary regularly and when the rain fell they looked well-set for a large total. The DLS adjusted target was 180 from 27 overs and the home batters looked a little too anxious to get on with it and failing to hit the sweepers that were set from the outset. Zeshan Anwar top-scored with 30 and put on a half-century partnership with Iqbal, but Norden fell 37 runs short, taking 2 batting bonus points but in need of a win in the league to steady the ship.
2nd XI Scorecard:
2nd XI Highlights :

The 3rds let a winning position slip at home to Middleton on Saturday. A good bowling performance led to the visitors being bowled out for just 120, albeit on a bowler-friendly surface. Oli Kirkby bowled nicely with the new ball to take 3 wickets and Charlie Gooding also picked up 3. Unfortunately, the second half did not go to plan as only Stan Kearns and Saad Malik looked comfortable with the bat. Kearns made a fluent 37 before holing out to the deep midwicket boundary and Malik was unlucky to be given out LBW when on 22. The rest could not provide much help and a very chaseable target proved to be 27 too many. 3rd XI Scorecard: