Jul 162012

Heywood’s brittle confidence was evident for all to see as they crashed to a heavy defeat at Clifton on Saturday.

From a team that was unbeatable, in recent weeks Heywood have had their confidence severely dented by a series of disappointing defeats, and nowhere was this more noticeable than at the Salford club’s Manchester Road ground.

Earlier in the season, Clifton’s total of 222 for 8 off 50 overs would have been chased down with confidence. But it proved far too much for Heywood on Saturday as they sunk to 137 all out in the face of some disciplined bowling and some indisciplined shots.

Clifton’s 85-run victory was founded on a solid, if very unspectacular, knock of 73 from overseas amateur Milindu Athauda and a patient 69 from youngster Dean Morris.

Pro Agampodi Perera biffed some big sixes towards the end and despite the efforts of off-spinners Joe Lovell (3-58) and Rob Slawson (4-47) Clifton posted a difficult target.

As mentioned earlier, this was a total we would have expected Heywood to chase down earlier in the season, and confidence was high among the faithful travelling support.

But from the moment skipper Bobby Cross went, the task became extremely difficult.

Fellow opener Ross Zelem played excellently for his 43 – his highest score of the season – but he couldn’t find any support as Heywood’s two great batting hopes, pro Travis Townsend and keeper Danny Pawson, failed to prosper.

Heywood’s cause wasn’t helped by fine spells from the ever-dependable Greg Jennings, who took 5-53 from 19.1 overs, and from left-arm slow bowler Matt Wright, who took 5-45, nor was it helped by a series of rash shots from a batting order short of confidence. Perhaps the only player apart from Zelem to come out with any real credit was Dale Latham, who hit a couple of nice sixes in his 28.

Onwards to Middleton, who must have been rubbing their hands at facing fragile Heywood ….

M Athauda not out 73
D Morris c Cross b Slawson 69
A Perera c Paterson b Lovell 30
A Holt st Pawson b Slawson 2
T Derbyshire c Nameem b Lovell 11
M Hay b Slawson 5
G Jennings c Paterson b Lovell 8
D Barton run out 1
J Evans b Slawson 0
L Dorsey not out 0
Extras 23
Total (for 8 wkts, 50 overs) 222
Fall of wickets: 1-142, 2-179, 3-182, 4-197, 5-204, 6-219, 7-221, 8-221
Bowling: Paterson 9-1-35-0, Naeem 6-1-19-0, Townsend 10-2-28-0, Kaye 7-0-26-0, Lovell 10-0-58-3, Slawson 8-0-47-4

R Cross b Jennings 8
R Zelem c Barton b Wright 34
T Townsend c Athauda b Jennings 9
D Pawson b Jennings 22
D Latham c Jennings b Wright 28
A Dawson c Jennings b Wright 1
R Slawson lbw b Jennings 1
H Paterson c Jennings b Wright 11
H Naeem c Hay b Wright 0
J Lovell not out 6
C Kaye lbw b Jennings 1
Extras 7
Total (39.1 overs) 137
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-39, 3-84, 4-89, 5-101, 6-109, 7-125, 8-128, 9-135, 10-137
Bowling: Perera 10-0-37-0, Jennings 19.1-5-53-5, Wright 10-0-45-5

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