On a fast true wicket Woodlands were grateful to win the toss and take first use in a match where they were desperate to claw points back on Cleckheaton. But paceman James Pearson had other thoughts as he produced a fiery opening spell that took care of Sam Franklin (3), Duncan Snell (3) and Simon Mason first ball for a duck. There were comments around the ground that suggested this was the finest opening spell in the league this season since the wickets had hardened as Woodlands looked a beaten force at 17-3. Skipper Peter Swanepoel batted in a more realistic position as of late at no.5, and he battled to survive taking blows on the body from sundry bouncers from Pearson. Cumberland batsman Logan Weston and Swanepoel consolidated quietly before embarking on a series of revival shots as they edged the score past 50.
Apart from Lindley’s bizarre dismissal another factor was how part time spinner Weston slowed the Congs down when replacing Swanepoel. They never came to terms with his neat off spin as he took 3-52 off 15 overs, with only Butt looking totally comfortable with him. Young rookie pace bowler Elliot Richardson had his career best first team figures 3-13, while his older brother Scott took 2-34. Ahmed was his usual miserly self taking 2-39 from his allotted 15 overs.
The Congs rang the bowling changes with Weston particularly severe on Mubtada Akhtar who went for 36 runs in six overs, while both Mustafa Rafique and Glenn Roberts could not initiate a breakthrough. Swanepoel curbed his natural aggression to score an invaluable 43 which included two 4’s and one 6, but more importantly added 115 runs with Weston for the fourth wicket. Weston began to dominate the bowling despite losing Usman Salim (2), Adam Goldthorpe (3) and Sarfraz Ahmed (7), and destroyed the returning Pearson with a series of big hits. Pearson had surprisingly bowled his second spell from a different end and subsequently his bowling figures took a beating, despite ending his 15 over spell with 4-69.
Weston eventually fell for a tremendous 134 from 136 balls that included ten 4’s and six 6’s. This innings transformed the match and not only brought his side out of immediate danger, but also gave them an opportunity to post a competitive score. The fact that brothers Scott Richardson and Elliott Richardson scrambled a
JCT600 BRADFORD CRICKET LEAGUE 1st DIVISION
SATURDAY 26th JULY 2014
Report by Reg Nelson
Pudsey Congs 6 points Woodlands 20 points
Logan on his way to 134.
The Congs started like a train but when the score was 39 left hander Nick Lindley decided to leave one and was clean bowled by Sarfraz Ahmed for 8. This was as good as it got for the batting side despite Callum Geldart’s fine 57 which included eight classy boundaries. When he departed with the score on 78-5 he had received little support from the top order batters in Adam Patel (2), Joe Greaves (8) Gareth Phillips (1) and Andrew Bairstow (10). The perennial Congs warrior Babar Butt battled on to 26, but despite a spirited 25 from Rafique the Congs folded to 158 all out.
leg bye off the last ball to take Woodlands to full batting bonus points was the icing on the cake at 225-8. After paceman Pearson the next best Congs bowler was Rafique with 2-30 off eleven economical overs.