BY STEVE McHUGH: HEYWOOD’S bid for Central Lancashire Cricket League honours is in danger of being washed away by the summer monsoons.
They lost their second successive match, and their first in the league, as they almost literally slipped to a 42-run defeat at Norden in a match reduced to 30 overs.
That followed the previous day’s sixth washout of the season at home to Werneth and the Wood Cup quarter-final defeat at Milnrow a week earlier, and now Heywood’s tremendous unbeaten start to the season is becoming to feel like a distant memory.
Champions Norden were never going to be an easy propostion at their quick-scoring Woodhouse Lane ground, and it seemed for much of the early part of the day that the weather would again sabotage hopes of play yet again.
But a match reduced to 30 overs did eventually start at 3.30pm, and Heywood’s truncated competitive action in recent weeks probably showed in the performances of some of their players.
Norden have suffered in that respect like most teams, too, so that is not too much of an excuse.
The title holders are certainly a much tougher propostion with the return of off-spinner Oliver Makin, after a playing second team cricket with Hampshire.
And with opening bowler Chris Humphries now back into top gear after injury Norden are looking a big threat again.
They were reeling, however, when slumping from 63-1 to 63-4 in the space of five balls after being put in by Heywood, with Australian overseas amateur Hamish Paterson claiming three wickets in a tremendous opening spell.
There were little more than 12 overs left when veteran skipper Dexter Fitton came in to join Australian overseas amateur Steve Pimm, but the duo turned things around to such dramatic effect that the home side raced to 171 before losing three wickets in the last over.
Pimm went for a hard-hitting 50, Makin was run out for a duck and Fitton was stumped from the last ball of the innings for a crucial 46.
Paterson’s final figures of 3-69 from his 13 overs were certainly unflattering – he went for 24 in his last over as the slog was on – and a total of 174 from 150 balls was always going to be a challenging one.
That proved to be the case once skipper Bobby Cross went in Humphries’ first over, chipping a shot straight to square leg, while fellow opener Ross Zelem struggled to gain any momentum.
Professional Travis Townsend came in to produce one of his brightest knocks of the season but the 17-year-old Zelem could hardly get the ball off the square at the other end.
So it was probably a relief to the player himself and Heywood went he went for just six in the 13th over with the total only 46, and the run rate having rocketed to almost eight an over.
That was always going to be too much of an ask when Makin, who always seems to be a handful for the Heywood batting line-up, came into the attack and claimed 5-45 from 10 overs.
Leg-spinner Steve Wild cashed in, too, with four wickets from just 21 balls at the end, and Townsend’s 55 and a cameo of 22 by Andy Dawson were the only double figure contributions in the Heywood batting line-up.
The visitors did scramble a point when they passed their 75 per cent target of 131 with nine wickets down in the final over, before Wild had Humza Naeem – who might have been better blocking the last four balls and depriving Norden of full points – stumped trying a big hit.
H Malik c Pawson b Paterson 6
M Price lbw b Paterson 32
N Brierley c Pawson b Townsend 23
S Pimm st Pawson b Townsend 50
H Fitton c Townsend b Paterson 0
D Fitton st Pawson b Townsend 46
O Makin run out 1
C Humphries not out 0
Total (for 7 wkts, 30 overs) 174
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-63, 3-63, 4-63, 5-171, 6-174, 7-174
Bowling: Paterson 13-2-69-3, Naeem 6-1-20-0, Townsend 9-0-49-3, Lovell 2-0-22-0
R Cross c Price b Humphries 3
R Zelem c Humphries b Makin 6
T Townsend lbw b Wild 55
D Pawson lbw b Makin 1
D Latham c Malik b Makin 9
A Dawson c Buckley b Wild 22
R Slawson b Wild 9
J Lovell c Price b Makin 6
H Paterson c Docker b Makin 0
H Naeem st Brierley b Wild 2
C Kaye not out 1
Total (29.3 overs) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-46, 3-57, 4-80, 5-99, 6-114, 7-122, 8-122, 9-128, 10-132
Bowling: Price 5-0-28-0, Humphries 8-4-15-1, Makin 10-3-45-5, Malik 3-0-15-0, Wild 3.3-0-18-4
- Townsend Out As Heywood Crash To Norden T20
- Blistering Dawson Sets Up Stunning Norden T20 Victory
- Sub Par Heywood Make It Too Easy For Norden
- Dawson Responds To ‘Enjoy Yourself’ Order
- Kaye Holds Nerve After Pawson And Townsend Set Heywood On Way To Thrilling Norden Victory
- A Day To Forget For Heywood In Heavy Crimble Defeat
- Cross Masters Conditions, Then Townsend, Kaye Take Over
- Late Kaye Burst Can’t Halt Norden Juggernaut
- Zelem Excels As All-Round Heywood Crush Middleton
- Cullen Takes Heywood To Brink Of ‘Ridiculous’ Victory