A RESPLENDENT century by Bobby Cross paved the way to a clinical 133-run victory at Unsworth and completed a near perfect weekend for Heywood.
The maximum six points picked up at Pole Lane on Sunday followed Saturday’s five-point haul at home to Winton, when there was no bonus point because of the rain-affected reduction of overs.
It gives Heywood a one-point lead in Division One of the Greater Manchester League over Failsworth-area side Woodhouses.
And that sets up a showdown between the two clubs on Saturday, when victory for the visitors would be crucial in their bid to regain their Premier League status.
Heywood’s total of 251-9 from their 50 overs was based on the classy contribution by Cross, who went to the wicket in the second over of the innings and responded with 104 – only falling after hitting out with the total 230.
The key partnership of the game came when Danny Pawson joined Cross at 60-3 and the home side sniffing a chance of containing their opponents to a reasonable score.
But the Cross-Pawson partnership put paid to that. They share a fourth-wicket stand of 101 until Pawson, complementing Cross perfectly, charged Mohammed Jahangir but only succeeded in skying a catch to mid-off and went for 37.
Cross continued serenely, however, with help from Jack Morley (20) in a fourth-wicket partnership of 50. And although Morley went trying to force the pace and Sean Burrill soon followed, Cross brought up his century with a glorious six over long-on.
He perished trying to up the ante even further, after a stay of 143 balls containing two maximums and nine boundaries, but with Andy Dawson adding 16 Heywood’s eventual total just past the 250 mark looked formidable.
So it proved, with Simon Dawson providing the vital strikes in the Unsworth innings after Cabhan Hilton had claimed an early wicket.
Dawson had the big-hitting Jahangir caught behind with the score 37-1. And just when Unsworth threatened to put together a substantial second-wicket stand the paceman struck a vital double blow.
A yorker shattered the stumps of deputy professional Adil Nisar, from Little Lever, for 27 and South African overseas amateur Leighton Friend followed lbw four balls later for 23.
The rest of the Unsworth innings folded tamely in the face of a twin attack from Pawson and Morley, who claimed three wickets and two respectively.
And with Aman Arora unable to bat Unsworth were rolled over for 118-9, leaving in Heywood in ‘Pole’ position as they approach the vital closing stretch of the season.
A Kerr lbw b Friend 18
W Hunt c Arora b Friend 0
R Cross b Saoib 104
T Townsend lbw b Jahangir 9
D Pawson c Friend b Jahangir 37
J Morley c Casey b Saiob 20
S Burrill c Jones b Saiob 3
A Dawson c Hall b Saiob 16
S Dawson c Jones b Saiob 4
D Latham not out 2
C Hilton not out 0
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-42, 3-60, 4-161, 5-211, 6-218, 7-230, 8-249, 9-249
Bowling: I Hall 13-0-53-0, L Friend 6-0-26-2, M Jahangir 12-1-57-2, Adil Nasir 9-1-44-0, M Saiob 10-0-57-5
T Casey c Cross b Hilton 4
M Jahangir c Cross b S Dawson 20
L Friend lbw b S Dawson 23
A Nasir b S Dawson 27
J O’Brien c and b Pawson 9
M Saiob b Morley 1
S Hetherington b Morley 1
J Ryder c Cross b Pawson 2
I Hall c A Dawson b Pawson 0
A Jones not out 6
A Arora did not bat
Total (for 9 wkts, 34.5 overs) 118
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-37, 3-79, 4-83, 5-108, 6-108, 7-112, 8-112, 9-118
Bowling: S Dawson 11-1-33-3, C Hilton 6-0-31-1, A Dawson 1-0-12-0, J Morley 10-0-22-2, D Pawson 6.5-2-20-3
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