Clitheroe Too Strong For Stags

Despite missing their 4 first-choice seam bowlers, Clitheroe’s bowling attack was still good enough to bowl Norden out for 175 after being asked to bat first at Stag Park on Sunday. The innings got off to a bad start when Hashum Malik edged a ball from sub-professional Azim Kazi which turned and bounced and was out without scoring. Harvey Fitton followed not long afterwards when Charlie Atkinson found his outside edge and it was left to Josh Tolley and Greg Butterworth to begin the rebuilding. They put on 59 but Tolley fell in the process of looking to up the rate, holing out to long-off. Ashar Zaidi, struggling with a bad back, felt that all-out aggression was his only option but he was spectacularly caught by Clitheroe skipper Peter Dibb, diving full length to his right and just hanging on off the bowling of Ali Ross. These 2 wickets just before drinks put the visitors firmly in the driving seat but the partnership of Butterworth and Lee Crabtree got Norden back in the game and a total of 200 plus looked very possible as they moved the score up to 145 for 4 with 10 overs left. Unfortunately for the home side, both set batters fell in consecutive balls from Kazi. First Crabtree skied straight up to be caught at midwicket for 29 and then Butterworth chipped straight back to the bowler for 52. Alex Willis tried valiantly but he got no support and the final 6 wickets fell for 30 runs, with Tom booth the last man dismissed in the final over. Kazi finished with 5 for 51 from his 15 overs and he was well backed-up by Atkinson who took 3 for 32.

Some inconsistent bowling and sloppy fielding let Clitheroe openers Ross and Tom Lord get off to a fast start and they had 50 up in just the 8th over. Greg Butterworth got the breakthrough when Lord went looking for his 3rd six but missed and Jack Dewhurst and Ross were also back in the shed before the score had reached 70. Norden sniffed an opportunity but Kazi was looking dangerous and he took 18 off an over from Tolley. Scott Butterworth had the paid man caught behind for a better than a run-a-ball 36, just 3 balls after he had been dropped on the square-leg boundary, but the Stags were always just behind the game. Stuart Lemon became the 5th man out in bizarre fashion when Willis dropped him at mid-on and in frustration more than anything else, threw the ball at the striker’s end where it turned out Lemon was ambling back for a second run and he looked as surprised as anyone when the ball hit the stumps and he was short of his crease. 50 were still needed but Sam Mulligan and Hammad Amin were able to ride the storm and their partnership of 40 put any doubts to bed. Clitheroe reached their target with 7 and a half overs to spare and the3 wicket margin of victory perhaps suggests a closer finish than there was.

1st XI Scorecard:
1st XI Highlights :

The 2nds went into their fixture at Chatburn Road with hopes that a victory could still put them in the title mix. A strong team made the trip but, after reaching 101 for 2, they were unable to kick on and post a big total. Wickets fell regularly from that point, including 2 in 2 balls when Jozef Gordon was run-out backing up and Jack Taylor fell caught and bowled off the next delivery. 165 all-out represented a disappointing effort but with a team stacked with bowlers all hope was not lost. Sami Waheed picked up an early wicket in the reply but Adam Hewitt and Oliver Butterfield played nicely to take the score up to 94 before the 2nd wicket fell. It was always going to be too tough a task from there, even with Jack Taylor’s good form with the ball continuing as he took 4 for 28 as Norden managed to collect enough wickets in a losing cause to take a point from the game.

2nd XI Scorecard:

The one bit of good news from the weekend came from the 3rds as they got back to winning ways after a tough run of defeats. Ahsan Tariq returned to form with the bat, making his first half-century of the season as Norden posted 194 for 8 from their 40 overs against Rochdale’s 4th XI. Oliver Yates, Mohammed Omar and skipper Jimmy Drury also made good contributions. The wickets were shared around in the Rochdale reply, with Matt Findlow, Oli Kirkby and Saad Malik all taking 2 as Rochdale fell 23 runs short of their target. A big mention, though, must go to 12 year old Haroon Kashmiri who batted throughout the entirety of the Rochdale innings to finish on 73 not out.

3rd XI Scorecard: