Stags Wilt in the Heat

Norden’s Lancashire League title aspirations suffered what looks like a terminal blow on Saturday when they went down to a heavy 105 run defeat at Lowerhouse. The Stags have come up short in 2 run chases against this opponent this season, but this was a much more comprehensive affair than the defeat at Stag Park earlier in the year. There was no surprise when Lowerhouse skipper Ben Heap won the toss and elected to bat and, despite Greg Butterworth dismissing Heap for just 2, the home side set about building a substantial score. The 2nd wicket partnership between Frankie Haasbroek and Joe Martin was the backbone and Norden were never able to establish any control with the ball as Haasbroek in particular was able to score freely. Their stand was worth 159 before both batters were dismissed in quick succession; Martin was cleaned up by Ashar Zaidi for 63 and Haasbroek suffered the unfortunate fate of being run-out backing up when on 93. Stephen Parry and Tom Yorke-Robinson were able to continue upping the rate and Lowerhouse pushed on to finish with a challenging looking 271 for 7 from their 50 overs. Zaidi was the only Norden bowler who came out with much credit, taking 3 for 54 from his 15 permitted overs.

Norden were unable to find the big partnership needed in their chase. Several batters got in but could not kick on in support of Josh Tolley who saw 7 wickets fall at the other end as he made his way to a 9th half-century of the season to go with his 2 hundreds. Zaidi hit 2 consecutive sixes off spinner Paddy Martin but he perished going for a 3rd and after that there was little resistance until Dean Lord played a few nice shots in his 18*. It was nowhere near enough, though, and Norden are left to focus on securing a Lancashire Cup spot for 2023 after a very disappointing few weeks.
1st XI Scorecard:

The 2nds got back to winning ways with a very comprehensive win at home to the same opponents. Phil Docker also lost the toss and was forced to field first but the bowling troubles of the previous couple of weeks were nowhere to be seen as Mo Munawar and Sami Waheed both hit their straps and picked up early wickets. Only opener George Durkin was able to offer anything of note for Lowerhouse and Saurabh Ahuja was able to enjoy his first bowling spell for the club, claiming 3 wickets with his off-spin. Munawar also took 3 for 23 from 12 excellent overs and Waheed, who ran in and bowled quickly and accurately, finished with 2 for 29 from his 11. The Norden batters seemed intent on enjoying themselves in the process of knocking off the 99 required to win, with Ahuja and David Bebb attacking from the outset. They made 28 and 34 respectively, both at better than a run-a-ball, and despite Shaukat Ali posing a few problems with his left-arm wrist spin for the visitors, it took just 17.5 overs for the job to be done and an early beer was enjoyed in the sunshine.
2nd XI Scorecard:

The 3rds lost out to Ramsbottom on Sunday afternoon. 5 of the top 6 batters failed to make double figures as Norden slipped to 56 for 7 after opting to bat first. A good knock from skipper Jimmy Drury, who made 42 from 31 balls, helped the Stags pass the 100 mark but a target of 109 was not what they would have been hoping for. A much better performance with the ball saw Rammy lose 6 wickets in their chase but the home side took the maximum 12 points to make things very interesting at the top of the table. 3rd XI Scorecard: