AN imposing all-round performance by Bobby Cross maintained Heywood’s impetus in Division One of the Greater Manchester League.
Cross claimed four wicket-keeping victims and a stumping as Stretford, at one stage 83-8, rallied to a total of 131 at Crimble.
Then, when Heywood were wobbling on 31-3 in the 17th over, he was joined by prolific skipper Danny Pawson in a unbroken stand of 101 and finished with a personal contribution of 77.
It gave Heywood a maximum six-point haul, two points behind leaders Greenmount, with the two sides clashing at the Bury area club next Saturday at the halfway point of the season.
Another key performer for the home side was paceman Simon Dawson, returning after resting a sore ankle in the previous night’s T20 fixture.
He bowled a penetrating, unbroken opening spell of 15 overs to finish with 4-27 as Stretford limped to just past the 80 mark with only two wickets in hand and looked unlikely to reached three figures.
But Heywood failed to apply the coup-de-grace as No 10 batsman Ben Evans made an unbeaten 21 to help the tail rally to a final total of 131.
Jack Morley, 3-24, and Kate Cross, 2-18, also proved thorns in Stretford’s side and the target looked eminently reachable for Heywood – only for their reply to be given a rude awakening.
Andy Kerr, Travis Townsend and Morley all struggled and perished. And with the total 31-3 in the 17th over the visitors looked in with a real chance.
But Pawson joined Cross, who had battled hard to survive, and the duo turned the tide.
Pawson quickly got hold of left-arm spinners Karl Taylor and Ahmad Muhammad to break the shackles, allowing Cross to show more freedom himself.
Cross drove, cut and amassed on the legside to such effortless effect that the scoreboard rattled along as the duo quickly chased down the winning target.
They put together their century stand in just 17 overs as the visitors realised, towards the end, that the game was up, with Pawson happy for a change to be outscored but still finishing with a classy 35.
If there was a negative for Heywood it was in the field, where their recent catching standards slipped and several catches went down. They will not want a repeat at Greenmount!
A Holmes c R Cross b K Cross 17
S Chamberlain c R Cross b S Dawson 13
A Harman c Townsend b S Dawson 30
O R Rankine c R Cross b S Dawson 0
B Holmes c R Cross b S Dawson 0
A Grant b K Cross 5
K Taylor c and b Morley 2
J Weems st R Cross b Morley 7
T Coulson b Morley 0
B J Evans not out 21
A Muhammad c A Dawson b Townsend 3
Total (44.5 overs) 131
Fall of wickets: 1-26, 2-44, 3-45, 4-45, 5-71, 6-81, 7-83, 8-83, 9-109, 10-131
Bowling: S Dawson 15-4-27-4, A Dawson 2-0-13-0, D Pawson 6-0-20-0, K Cross 8-3-18-2, J Morley 10-2-24-3, T Townsend 3.5-0-10-1
R Cross not out 77
A Kerr c Chamberlain b Rankine 4
T Townsend c Harman b Taylor 8
J Morley c Harman b Taylor 0
D Pawson not out 35
Total (for 3 wkts, 34.1 overs) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-27, 3-31
Bowling: O R Rankine 9-0-40-1, B J Evans 7-2-12-0, K T Taylor 11.1-5-39-2, A Muhammad 4-0-23-0, B Holmes 3-0-16-0
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