HEYWOOD’S determined efforts to beat the weekend monsoons and stage their Lancs KO Cup first round game on schedule just failed to be rewarded in a last-gasp defeat by Burnley.
Few people could have thought the game would have gone on when Crimble was virtually flooded on Saturday night.
But a team of volunteers, including the ground crew and first team members, turned up early on Sunday morning to get the ground into some sort of shape, and a new wicket was cut on the opposite side of the square to the one used the previous day.
So it was a pity that the home side were eventually pipped by one wicket with just two balls to spare in a match which eventually started at 4.30pm and was reduced to 24 overs per side.
The game had looked set to start only half-an-hour late at 2pm after the mopping-up operations. But just as the umpires set foot on the playing area the rains came again.
When the latest deluge finally stopped after around half-an-hour, it was touch-and-go whether any action would be possible.
But both sides and the umpires were willing to give it a go, and the only disappointment for the home regulars was that their side came out on the wrong side of a thriller.
Heywood made 117-6 from their 24 overs, which seemed below par after an opening stand of 54-0 from the first 10 overs between Bobby Cross and Liam Mason. But once Cross fell for an excellent 40 the Heywood batting line-up failed to capitalise.
Professional Danny Pawson tried to press the accelerator with 30 and Sean Burrill chipped in with an unbeaten 19, but a target of just under five-an-over looked well within reach of the visitors despite the Lancashire League side admittedly being under strength.
The Heywood attack never gave in, however, depite the early efforts of visiting professional Chris Holt, 26, and Gus Whitehead 22, with skipper Chris Humphreys bowling one of his best spells of the season to return 1-15 from his five overs and Simon Dawson claiming two early wickets after an erratic start.
At 78-4 and with 10 overs left Burnley looked in command, but Dominic Humphreys and Jack Morley – the latter having been dealt with harshly by Burnley in his first spell – claimed a couple of wickets apiece to reduce the visitors to 99-8 with just two overs left and 19 still needed.
All the while, No 3 batsman Dan Pickup had stood firm and he took toll of Morley’s last over with a four through backward point and a delicious six over extra cover.
It took the visitors to 112-8 coming into the last over, and Pickup again came to his side’s rescue with another four through point from the first ball bowled by Pawson.
A single brought the scores level, and, even though Cole Hayman was then run out, Pickup kept his cool to smash Pawson’s fourth delivery straight back past him for the winning runs.
So it was a feeling of anti-climax for Heywood, but the club can feel proud that they managed to stage a nerve-tingler against all the odds.
R Cross b Hayman 40
L Mason c Burton b Lawson 9
D Pawson c Liaquat b B Tripathi 30
A Dawson c Shah b Lawson 0
J Borg c Lamb b B Tripathi 9
S Burrill not out 19
C Thomas run out 2
D Humphreys not out 2
Total (for 6 wkts, 24 overs) 117
Fall of wickets: 1-54, 2-56, 3-56, 4-83, 5-100, 6-107
Bowling: J Liaquat 4-0-26-0, B Tripathi 5-1-19-2, D Pickup 2-0-16-0, C Holt 5-0-21-0, C Hayman 5-0-26-1, T Lawson 3-0-7-2
S Brunt c Pawson b S Dawson 2
C Holt b C Humphreys 26
D Pickup not out 53
C Burton lbw b S Dawson 0
G Whitehead c C Humphreys b D Humphreys 22
J Liaquat c Mason b D Humphreys 4
B Tripathi b Morley 0
M Lamb run out 2
Q Shah c and b Morley 0
C Hayman run out 5
T Lawson not out 0
Total (for 9 wkts, 23.4 overs) 121
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-35, 3-36, 4-68, 5-81, 6-83, 7-93, 8-94, 9-117
Bowling: S Dawson 4-0-27-2, C Humphreys 5-1-15-1, J Morley 5-0-37-2, D Humphreys 5-0-24-2, D Pawson 4.4-1-17-0
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