REPORT BY STEVE MCHUGH: A FIVE-wicket defeat at Bury looks, on paper, pretty comprehensive and extended Heywood’s difficult start to life in the Premier Division of the Greater Manchester League.
The facts are that the visitors got their act together with the bat to post what seemed a challenging 209-5 from their 50 overs, with professional Danny Pawson and Australian overseas amateur Jayden Borg showing what they are really made of.
But the home side, after wobbling on 58-3, then took toll of the Heywood attack led by first Mohammed Jamal and finished off by Mohammed Jehangir to gallop to their victory target with four overs and one ball to spare.
The scorecard does not lie but it also does not tell all of the story. Yes, Jamal and particularly Jehangir took their chances as they got after the Heywood attack.
But skipper Chris Humphreys and the rest of his side were left frustrated as the home duo played and missed once or twice, lofted occasional shots into the outfield between fielders and in between smashed spectacular boundaries and six-hits.
Even so, Heywood still thought they were in with a chance when the impressive Jamal edged Jack Morley to slip for a personal contribution of 42 out of a stand of 72. And, with Bury on 130-4, Heywood were well in the game.
But Alex Breckin gave excellent support to the belligerent Jehangir with 20 out of a fifth wicket stand of 57, and Sri Lankan Malinga Surappulge helped to complete with home victory alongside Jehangir – who ended proceedings with a typical big straight six.
Bury were worthy winners but Heywood can take the positives out of a more encouraging display before an impressive contingent of travelling support.
Pawson and Borg have had difficult starts to the season with the bat. But, as they say, form may vary but class is permanent and both showed what they are really made of.
Pawson, adjusting to his new role as the club professional, had a huge slice of luck before he had scored when he gave a routine chance and was dropped a short mid-on at 33-1, then survived a vociferous caught behind appeal at 35-1.
Good players make their good fortune count, however, and from then on Pawson looked back to his old self with flowing shots all around the wicket in a classy 72 before being bowled by Jehangir.
Fellow left-hander Borg also underlined his undoubted talent and stayed right until the end with an unbeaten 60 to show that the club’s Australian recruit has the ability to be a big player in the rest of the season.
A plus mark, too, for paceman Simon Dawson, who took three of the Bury wickets to fall.
R Cross b Tong 10
L Mason lbw b Tong 14
D Pawson b Jehangir 73
D Humphreys c Nasir b Breckin 16
J Borg not out 60
C Thomas not out 4
Total (for 4 wkts, 50 overs) 209
Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-47, 3-101, 4-190
Bowling: N Tong 15-5-42-2, S Malinga 12-3-50-0, J Budd 4-0-20-0, M Nasir 3-0-13-0, M Jehangir 12-2-53-1, A Breckin 4-0-17-1
M Mirza b S Dawson 27
C Reeves c and b S Dawson 21
A Greenidge run out 0
M Jamal c R Cross b Morley 42
M Jehangir not out 72
A Breckin c Borg b S Dawson 20
S Malinga not out 7
Total (for 5 wkts, 45.5 overs) 211
Fall of wickets: 1-43, 2-43, 3-58, 4-130, 5-187
Bowling: S Dawson 13.5-2-60-3, C Humphreys 8-1-31-0, K Cross 6-0-30-0, D Pawson 12-3-53-0, J Morley 6-0-28-1
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