BY STEVE McHUGH: BOBBY Cross closed in on 1,000 runs for the season yet again as he helped Heywood negotiate a wobble and score a six-wicket victory at Werneth.
The home side were bowled out for 137 with just one ball of their 50 overs left. And when Heywood were comfortable in reply on 95-0, thanks to Cross and Dale Latham, a five-point haul looked routine.
But Heywood in their turn had found it difficult to score fluently on a slow Coppice wicket. And when they lost Latham and skipper Danny Pawson to Ali Muzaffar in the same over, then professional Tom Cullen to a slip catch off Rashid Khan, they were 99-3.
Cross had meanwhile looked secure at the other end, despite a couple of half-chances from the spinners, although he survived a ferocious caught behind appeal with no addition to the total.
When Wes Hunt went for a couple it was 107-4, and Heywood supporters feared a collapse similar to the one the previous day at Clifton. And another complication was the slow scoring rate, which meant Heywood needing three an over from the last 10.
But Cross found a calm ally in Humza Naeem and the pair saw it through with six balls to spare, Cross finishing on 82 to take his total for the season to 984. And with home games against Walsden and Royton to end the season this weekend, he is set to make it a 1,000 landmark encore.
Naeem also deserves credit for his assured 16 in a stand of 34 to make ensure that Heywood got over the line.
Werneth had earlier to reach 137 despite a gritty 49 by skipper Matt Taylor and 31 from overseas amateur Levy Thompson.
Heywood’s overseas player Riley Paterson made their early breaks with the wickets of professional Mohammed Zaman Khan and Ijaz Shah, before spinners Chris Kaye and Joe Lovell took over.
Kaye’s nagging stint of almost 19 overs earned the fitting reward of 5-39, featuring two stumpings by Cullen, and Lovell lent exemplary support from the other end with 3-55 in his 16-over spell.
L Thompson b Lovell 31
Z Khan b Paterson 6
I Shah c Kaye b Paterson 13
M Taylor st Cullen b Kaye 49
A Muzaffar c A Dawson b Lovell 2
R Khan st Cullen b Kaye 0
J Taylor c Naeem b Kaye 9
R Shaw c Paterson b Kaye 12
M Ashworth c Cross b Kaye 12
M Wilson b Lovell 0
A Walker not out 1
Total (49.5 overs) 137
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-27, 3-71, 4-73, 5-75, 6-106, 7-116, 8-130, 9-131, 10-137, 6-1-55-3
Bowling: Paterson 9-1-22-2, S Dawson 6-2-19-0, Kaye 18.5-3-39-5, Lovell 16-1-55-3
R Cross not out 82
D Latham c and b Muzaffar 33
D Pawson c Thompson b Muzaffar 2
T Cullen c Z Khan b R Khan 1
W Hunt b R Khan 1
H Naeem not out 16
Total (for 4 wkts, 49 overs) 141
Fall of wickets: 1-95, 2-98, 3-99, 4-107
Bowling: M Taylor 4-2-8-0, J Taylor 4-0-18-0, Z Khan 7-2-14-0, R Khan 20-6-52-2, Walker 3-0-11-0, Wilson 2-0-17-0, Muzaffar 9-1-21-2
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