Cup Progress for the 2nds

There was a sombre mood at Stag Park on Saturday following the untimely passing of club stewardess, Sheila Worsley. An impeccably observed minute’s silence was held in Sheila’s honour prior to the 2nd XI cup tie against Accrington and the number of people in attendance only served to underline what a popular figure the club had lost.

The game started poorly for Norden as some ill-discipline with the new ball allowed Accrington to get off to a quick start. Opener Dilshan Fernando looked in good touch and he struck 5 boundaries in an aggressive 37, whilst young partner, Joe Graham was holding firm at the other end. Skipper Tom Booth turned to the Waheeds to try and get some control of proceedings and it was Sami who got the breakthrough as he found Fernando’s off-stump as the batter aimed for another legside boundary. 3 further wickets fell in quick time, another for Sami and 2 for the ever-reliable Mo. Graham continued to play obdurately for the visitors, though, and Shakeel Khan joined him to good effect. A partnership of 64 was proving frustrating for Norden and it took the extra pace off Jamie Taylor to break the stand as he sent Graham’s off peg cartwheeling. Once Khan had chipped a full-toss straight back to Oli Kirkby, Sami returned to mop up the tail and claim a first 5-wicket haul of the season. The Waheeds took 7 for 48 from 19.2 overs between them and Norden had them to thank for keeping the score below 200. Accrington’s 174 all-out included 32 wides bowled by the home side, something that will have to improve as the season progresses.

Zain Hanif quickly showed himself to be the main threat with the ball for Accrington and he took the first two wickets of the run chase, clean bowling Kirkby and Joe Gordon, playing his first match of the season having returned from university. As usual, Spencer Allen was able to provide some stability to the innings and he was the perfect foil for Danny Devine, who was playing fluently. Devine drove straight with impressive regularity and only offered one chance in bringing up his maiden Norden half-century from 70 balls. Both he and Allen perished looking to clear mid-off, perhaps unwisely given how comfortably they were playing in other areas, but Hashum Malik was in no mood to hang around and he blasted an unbeaten 46 in 30 balls, with 5 sixes. Norden go through to the quarter-finals of the Junior Cup, the draw for which takes place on Wednesday evening.
Junior Cup Scorecard:

Sunday saw the return of the poor early-season weather, but the 2nds did manage to fit in enough cricket between showers to complete a game. Unfortunately, they came off 2nd best to Great Harwood, for whom experienced captain, Miles Corish, made 88 as the home side battled well with the bat in difficult conditions. In fact, when rain brought an early end to the home side’s innings after 36.4 overs, Norden had only managed to take one wicket. A slight DLS adjustment to the target meant Norden were second-favourites but certainly weren’t out of the game. That didn’t stay the case for very long, however, as wickets began to fall at regular intervals. No Norden batter got to 20 and there were a number of soft dismissals before the rain returned again and play was abandoned with Norden on 75 for 8, 66 runs short of where they would have needed to be.
2nds Sunday Scorecard:

Just 28.2 overs were possible at Stag Park on Sunday as Norden and Middleton had to settle for 5 points apiece. The Norden fans did get a first sighting of Mitch Owen with ball in hand, and he took 2 early wickets in an opening spell that suggests he will be a huge asset with ball as well as bat for the remainder of the season. Middleton were 109 for 2 thanks to an unbroken partnership of 99 between captain Andy Gregoriou and professional James Price, when the heavens opened and no further play was possible.

Friday night’s t20 opener at Ramsbottom was postponed and has been re-scheduled for the 28th of June.