Hello and welcome to another excellent weekend of cricket from Old Sharlston. Again, as last week the 1st team was at home and the 2nd team made another short trip away and this week it was to Normanton.
We start with the 1st team who welcomed Askern Welfare. On another good day to play cricket the weather was muggy and before the toss there was the decision to bat or bowl if we won the toss. In the end captain Tom Craig did win the toss and chose to bowl. With an unchanged team (a rarity in the last couple of years) Sharlston opened with Luke Reeves and Dale McMullan who had been the destroyers the week before. With some tight bowling from both ends there was an early chance that was dropped by Jack Rogers. Nevertheless, a couple of overs later Luke managed to tempt the left-handed opener of Askern into driving and it was caught (swallowed into his gut and arm rather than his hands) by Simon Kemp in the gully. Askern 12-1. In came Askern number 3 Aaron Gillies. He started with intent by driving Luke Through the covers for a couple and taking no the attack to the bowlers. Again, Luke enticed the batsmen to drive in the air but this time to safety. A couple of boundaries started to flourish, and the score started to increase. A change of bowler. Was required just before drinks and Robert Simpson was introduced. A promising start from him and the score at drinks was 40-1 after 15.
After the drinks break Tilly Perera was introduced to keep it seam and spin at either end. With the bowling still being kept tight and boundaries drying up the other Askern opener tried to hit out and was caught at point by Simon Kemp off the bowling of Robert Simpson. 54-1. In the next over Tilly got one to straighten and trapped the new batsmen LBW even though there was a big hint of some bat involved. There were some words said from the Askern contingent, but the decision stood, and Askern were 59-3. Askern recovered slowly with both batsmen being watchful and taking 1s and 2s but still and more significant no boundaries. With the score and on 77, Sharlston thought they had another wicket. This time Robert Simpson got one to slide on and hit the batsmen’s pad. He appealed, and the umpire gave him out LBW. There had in fact been 2 noises and Aaron Gillies the Askern batsmen had hit it onto hi pads. There was another discussion which also involved skipper Tom Craig and he decided in the spirit of cricket to call him back and reverse the umpire’s decision. Fortunately, a couple of overs later Robert got his man and tempted the same batsmen to drive loosely and Steve Roberts caught within millimetres from the ground. The score was 85-4. In came Askern’s number 6 and from ball 1 tried to play his shots. Lucky on occasions but the runs started to flow. The pair put 50 on before Askern batsmen Jeff Morton was caught at point by Luke Reeves off the bowling of Simon Kemp. Askern were 136-5.
With Sharlston opening the tail, Askern batsmen Sachira Madapatha continued his assault while the wickets fell around him. Firstly, Tilly Perera got a wicket caught by Ste Roberts at cover, then Simon Kemp got another batsman caught by Ste and then Simon got another caught at mid-on by Dale McMullan. So, the last over was to be bowled by Luke Reeves as Askern were 177-9. Luke’s first ball was short and Madapatha dispatched it for six over square leg. Luke ran in again and sent it down a bit quicker but still short. This time Madapatha dispatched it even further over square leg for a massive six. So, what was bowled and batsmen going to do next? Was Luke going to bowl the same again. Would Madapatha dispatch it again? The answer a bit of both. Luke surprisingly sent another short ball but this time the batsmen did not get hold of it and hit straight down me reliable Ste Roberts, who ended the day with 4 catches. Madapatha made his way back to the pavilion for a well-made 68 and Askern were 189-9 and that’s what they ended as Luke managed to bowl 3 dots to end the over. This was going to be a big effort by the batsmen especially after last week’s performance.
Tom Craig and Dale McMullan started Sharlston’s reply and both were in fine form. Any loose balls were despatched with runs flowing and boundaries coming very quickly. The score had raced to 64 when Tom drove to cover and was caught by Jeff Morton off the bowling of Charlie Mundy for 22. Ste Roberts joined Dale in the middle and helped move the score on while Dale went to fifty with another boundary. Ste was then bowled off the bowling of Charlie Mundy for 8 and Sharlston were 80-2. Jack Rogers came to the crease and tried to impose himself and hit a lovely straight 6 of Madapatha but a couple of balls later he was bowled by the same bowler for 11. Frustration on Jacks face showed he had thrown his wicket away and Sharlston were 101-3. Tilly Perera came to the crease and stayed with dale and knocked it around giving Dale the Strike at every opportunity. Dale who was seeing the ball like a football was in the zone and playing magnificently. He had started to slow down as the muggy air was making it hard work. Eventually Tilly was caught off the bowling of Madapatha and Sharlston were 150-4. Tilly making 5. Danny Bullock was the next man in and he took a different approach and went offensive against the bowling. Danny hit the gaps and found the boundary rope on several occasions, with both batters running well. Dale had got to the nineties and was taking singles as fatigue had set in. Danny was scoring quickly, and Dale had reached 98. Sharlston were 185-4 and Danny clipped the ball off his hip looking to get Dale on Strike. The ball came off the bat like a rocket and ran away to the boundary to tie the scores. There were still 3 balls left I the over and Danny had to block them out to help Dale get the opportunity to get his hundred. The last ball started to head down the legside and Danny threw his leg in the way to stop it being a wide. Now Dale was on trike for the last over. Everybody who was watching were waiting with baited breath. The first ball he could not get away and hit it to a fielder. He knew he couldn’t run as only a single would count as the scores were tied and he need 2 for his hundred. The bowler came I and dale latched onto it and hit it over mid-on. He just got enough power on it to see it go over the rope and take himself to a hundred (102 not out) and more importantly see Sharlston home and take maximum (16) points.
While all this was going on the 2nd team were away at Normanton. They went with a very strong side and welcomed the return of Ryan Kelsall to Old Sharlston from Thornes. Ant Maskill lost the toss and they were put into bat. Danny Rowett and Dave Taylor started the innings well. The pair who bat well together knocked it around finding the gaps and boundaries. Danny was playing more the anchor roll and Dave motored along. Dave got to his 50 with the score on 60. The Partnership was eventually broken after reaching 103 when Dave was caught off the bowling of Paulu Raj. Ryan on his return came to the crease but only added 3 when he was also caught off the bowling of Raj. Mark Reeves was next in and hit a coupe of boundaries before he too was caught for 10. Danny was eventually out for a well made 29 when he was caught off the bowling of Ricky Crossley who also accounted for Mark. The wickets kept tumbling, and all being caught too. Ant was the only other batsmen to reach double figures (14) before he was too caught. Rich Broadbent (3), Stuart Taylor (0) and Billy White (1) were also caught and Tom Maskill made 7 before being bowled. Jon Railton (also on debut) 8 not out and Colin Scattergood 0 not out. Sharlston finishing on 170-9 after 40 overs.
With such a good score on the board Sharlston were full of confidence and things went all to plan as Rich Broadbent enticed and edge first ball from the Normanton batsmen and Colin Scattergood snaffled the ball Andrew Strauss esk one handed at full stretch. Normanton 0-1. A small partnership built up but that was broken when Rich Broadbent managed to get through and bowl Paulu Raj for 25. Ant introduced Ryan Kelsall and he made an instant breakthrough. By bowling the Normanton batsmen. Rich was replaced by Stuart Taylor who also got rewarded with a wicket which was caught by Mark Reeves. 73-4 suddenly descended to 85-9. Ryan on his return was causing immense trouble he got another batsman bowled and bamboozled 3 more who was all LBW. Stuart Taylor also got another wicket bowling the Normanton captain for 6. Jon Railton was brought onto bowl. His first ball was swept for 4 and his 2nd was a big wide. But he managed to finish the Normanton innings when he trapped the last man LBW. Normanton all out for 90 in 26.3 overs.
A magnificent return and 1st win under new captain Ant Maskill. 2nd team also getting maximum points just like the first team. Notable contributions from Steve Roberts with 4 catches, Dave Taylor for his 70 and Ryan Kelsall with 5-19 but for the 2nd week in a row and this time with the bat Dale McMullan with 102 not out.
The teams are in action again this weekend May 19th. The 1st team are away to local rivals Streethouse while the 2nd team are at home hosting Darton.