BY STEVE McHUGH: A BRILLIANT 145 not out by skipper Danny Pawson inspired Heywood to maintain their recent fine form at the expense of Littleborough.
Heywood rattled up 268-8 from their 50 overs, and Littleborough denied Heywood the full five points as they batted out the last over at 220-9. But behind those bare facts was a dramatic game.
The early part of the home innings was disappointing, with Andy Dawson, Bobby Cross and Wes Hunt perishing cheaply, and professional Tom Cullen sacrificing his wicket after a run-out mix-up with Pawson. At 60-4 and most of the top order batting gone, things did not look promising.
But if the captain was affected by that misunderstanding with the in-form Cullen, he certainly did not show it. He found willing allies in Humza Naeem, who made 22 out of a stand of 69, and overseas amateur Riley Paterson – whose 39 came out of a partnership of 106.
The Aussie played his full part and it was one of his best innings for the club. But it was Pawson who dominated the Boro attack, racing to his century with five overs to go and then dismantling the bowling with a combination of fluent drives and big six-hits over the perimeter wall and into Queen’s Park.
It was one of the best individual innings by a Heywood batsmen seen at Crimble for some time. More of the same soon please, Danny!
If most people thought that the mammoth total was out of Boro’s reach, then no-one told their professional Clinton Perren and particularly ex-England all-rounder Chris Schofield.
They both realised they had to make big contributions, hence their decision to open together, and at 88-0 in the 18th over had the home fans concerned.
That was when Hunt pulled off a stunning catch on the square leg boundary – the ball would have gone for six – to get rid of the classy Perren from the bowling of Joe Lovell for 38 to give the Heywood attack a foothold in the game.
Schofield went along in commanding form, although he lost Tom Pye with the total 126, Callum Rushton on 163 and Michael Burns on 175.
Still, at 188-4 and Schofield looking in little trouble on 90, Boro were still well within sight of pulling of a famous run chase.
But Chris Kaye’s first over proved pivotal, and from the last ball Rodgerson pushed the ball towards point, Schofield went for a quick single, only for wicketkeeper Cullen to race from behind the stumps and throw down the wickets in dramatic style.
Schofield looked disappointed with the run-out decision, as most batsmen do, and perhaps it was the realisation that his departure virtually signalled the end of his side’s hopes.
It certainly turned out that way, with Lovell continuing his excellent three-wicket spell, the reliable Kaye chipping in with a couple from six probing overs, and Simon Dawson returning to the attack to claim a wicket with the fifth ball of the penultimate over.
At 220-9, that left Phil Deakin with no choice but to try to bat out the last over from Paterson, and Heywood had to be content with four points.
However, following four points at Boro a fortnight ago, a maximum defeat of Walsden and a narrow reverse at champions elect Norden, it completed a highly satisfactory 14-point return for Heywood from a tough four-game spell.
R Cross lbw b Burns 17
A Dawson c Schofield b Wilman 2
D Pawson not out 145
T Cullen run out 1
W Hunt b Wilman 4
H Naeem c R Miskella b Wilman 22
J Lovell b Perren 4
R Paterson run out 39
S Dawson not out 0
Total (for 7 wkts, 50 overs) 268
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-31, 3-38, 4-60, 5-129, 6-137, 7-243
Bowling: Burns 8-0-61-1, Wilman 12-0-48-3, Rushton 4-0-17-0, Hodson 8-2-22-0, Schofield 7-1-24-0, Perren 6-0-39-1, Deakin 5-0-52-0
C Schofield run out 90
C Perren c Hunt b Lovell 38
T Pye c Cullen b Lovell 19
C Rushton c Lovell b A Dawson 12
M Burns c S Dawson b Lovell 8
A Rodgerson c and b Kaye 8
P Deakin not out 15
M Hodson c Pawson b Kaye 7
R Miskella run out 1
D Tweddle lbw b S Dawson 0
L Wilman not out 0
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 220
Fall of wickets: 1-88, 2-126, 3-163, 4-175, 5-188, 6-192, 7-202, 8-204, 9-220
Bowling: Paterson 10-1-36-0, S Dawson 6-0-27-1, Lovell 19-0-75-3, Naeem 5-0-31-0, A Dawson 5-0-23-1, Kaye 6-1-14-2
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- Final First XI Averages 2014
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