CHRIS Kaye is threatening to rewrite the record books at Heywood Cricket Club.
The 42-year-old left-arm spinner, pictured above, claimed a bumper 12-wicket haul in last weekend’s victories at Unsworth and at home to Walsden.
That gives him an eye-opening total of 84 victims for the season, passing Will Purser’s post-war record by a Heywood amateur bowler of 77 set in 2006. And three games have been abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The all-time record is 98 set by Frank Watson way back in 1913, and Kaye almost certainly cannot get up to that mark in the final two games of the season at Clifton on Sunday (12.45pm) and at home to Royton the following Sunday (12.30pm).
But one thing beyond doubt is that Kaye is in the form of his life, underlined by a 6-35 return at Unsworth and 6-48 against Walsden.
He started the season on 634 victims so his current total is 718, putting him within sight of Dave Fare’s all-time record aggregate for the club of 789.
Said skipper Bobby Cross: “We thought that Will’s performance five years ago was incredible, so that tells you how good Chris has been.”
And while Kaye’s success has been to his great personal credit, it has also been vital to Heywood’s hopes of finishing in the top five of the Central Lancashire League – which would earn a spot in next season’s Lancashire KO Cup.
Heywood are just two points behind Royton, currently occupying that fifth spot, setting up the prospect of a last game decider between the two sides at Crimble on September 11.
If the Unsworth victory was a stroll by 88 runs despite the game being reduced to 35 overs per side after morning rain, the defeat of Walsden was an unlikely one on a day severely hit by the weather.
The sides were twice driven off the field for lengthy delays, and the match looked certain to be called on the second occasion.
But played resumed at 6.10pm with Heywood on 192-3, finally closing on 219-5. And after Walsden had been set 134 from 24 overs, they finished just five runs short as the match ended in semi-darkness around 8pm.
Added Cross: “The players took on board the criticism of the previous weekend, and I thought it was a particularly good effort from some of the younger players to mop up during and after the rain.”
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