Tolley Brilliance Keeps Stags in the Hunt

After the drama and excitement of the previous week, Norden were grateful for a routine victory when they travelled to Towncroft to face Middleton on Saturday. What did not change from the week before, though, was the outstanding batting form of opener Josh Tolley who scored a 2nd consecutive century to form the backbone of Norden’s impressive 1st innings total of 340 for 3. No Norden batter was dismissed before reaching a half-century, with Hashum Malik and Ashar Zaidi both reaching that milestone in support of Tolley who went on to score 142 to add to his 177 from last week. He was out from the final ball of the penultimate over having struck 9 fours and 6 sixes in his knock and taken Norden to a total that would never realistically be chased by a Middleton side missing their two leading amateur players in Rehan Udwadia and James Tierney. Greg Butterworth also added a late flourish to the innings with a quickfire 41* from 28 balls and Middleton left the field at tea looking a beaten side.

Home professional, James Price scored 80 in Middleton’s reply but the only other player to make double figures was Rhys Tierney who added 11 and the winning margin was a colossal 225 runs when Nick Brierley (yes, you read that correctly) took the final wicket to secure the maximum 12 points. Prior to that it had been Usama Malik and Butterworth who had done the damage with 4 wickets each and skipper Malik was never troubled by the fact that he was without 3 regular seam bowlers. The result keeps Norden in 3rd place in the table and Middleton bottom with 10 matches left to play.

1st XI Scorecard:

The 2nds were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at home to Crompton. Norden were put in after losing a crucial looking toss and were soon 3 down with David Bebb, Zeshan Anwar and Danny Devine falling early. The experienced heads of Phil Docker and Kabir Ali came together and recognised that batting was difficult on a damp pitch and they worked hard to recover the situation before being able to push the scoring rate up in the last 10 overs. Their partnership could not be broken and when the home side’s 45 over allocation was up, it totalled 205 with Docker unbeaten on 91, his highest score for the club, and Ahmed finishing on 84*. 221 seemed like a more than competitive score but that soon appeared not to be the case as Crompton’s 1st XI wicket-keeper, Kain Dean, set about the Norden attack. He was helped by some very poor bowling and some pretty average fielding but he struck the ball cleanly and soon brought up a half-century from just 30 balls. He went on to make 91 from 54 before holing out off Mo Waheed. The damage was done, though, and Dean’s opening partner, Jozef Kobyra, took over and he finished unbeaten on 78 as Crompton strolled home with 16 overs to spare.

2nd XI Scorecard: