JAMES Kettleborough made a sparkling full debut as Heywood got their Greater Manchester League season off to a perfect start.
The former Northampton and Glamorgan player claimed 5-49 then hit 69 not out at Denton West as the visitors galloped to a maximum six-point Division 1A haul in double quick time.
West were toppled for 133 in a little more than two hours then Heywood rattled along at more than six-per-over in their reply as the match ended before 5pm.
There was little hint of the carnage to come when West openers Hamish Dunlop and Andrew O’Brien put on 24 for the first wicket with few alarms. That prompted skipper Sean Burrill to introduce left-arm spinner Jack Morley into the attack as early as the eighth over – and he was to play a significant part in the eventual outcome.
The 17-year-old trapped Hamish Dunlop lbw with the last ball of his first over, Simon Dawson bowled Aaquib Uppal to make it 40-2, and when Andrew O’Brien was run out answering a call for a second run by substitute professional Vibhor Yadhav it was 44-3 and the tide was turning.
But Yadhav, regular paid man for London area club Wembley, displayed his undoubted quality in a stand of 35 with John Barnett and looked capable of steering West to a challenging total – until Morley produced another decisive blow.
He struck Yadhav on the pads and went up for a confident lbw appeal which was answered in the affirmative. The home pro clearly looked stunned by the decision and wandered off forlornly after making an impressive 31, but it was to prove a key moment.
Kettleborough, meanwhile, had replaced Simon Dawson at the opposite end and was to take wickets with his off-spin at regular intervals despite being targeted by the home batsmen.
The 26-year-old clean bowled John Barnett and had George Hill – who had hit him for a six and two boundaries earlier in the over – well caught by Burrill at mid-wicket.
New professional Faisal Iqbal, bowling whippy off-spin, also chipped in with a wicket, but it was left to Kettleborough to clean up the tail with three more scalps as West subsided from 116-5 to an eminently gettable 133.
So it proved with Kettleborough and Bobby Cross racing to 56 for the first wicket before a thin edge by the latter to the wicketkeeper off Uppal saw him depart for 15.
That did not unsettle Kettleborough for a moment and he underlined his undoubted quality with a series of classy shots all around the wicket.
Morley supported him in a stand of 47 for the second-wicket until falling for 18 to a fine catch high over his head by Ben Lowndes on the boundary edge; Iqbal raced to 12 before lofting a skied hit to deep mid-off trying to end the game in style; and it was left to Andy Dawson to provide the coup-de-grace with a boundary followed by a leg-side six.
All the while Kettleborough looked classy and composed and fully earned his ovation from the sun-soaked Heywood supporters.
If he was a clear man-of-the-match, the contribution of Morley in a return of 2-19 from 12 overs should not be under-estimated in helping swing the match in Heywood’s favour.
H Dunlop b Morley 9
A O’Brien run out 14
A Uppal b S Dawson 5
V Yadhav lbw b Morley 31
J Barnett b Kettleborough 8
M Burton b Iqbal 8
G Hill c Burrill b Kettleborough 19
L Melling lbw b Kettleborough 0
L Kilburn c Pagett b Kettleborough 0
B Lowndes c Hunt b Kettleborough 8
M Cole not out 1
Total (38.2 overs) 133
Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-40, 3-44, 4-79, 5-96, 6-116, 7-116, 8-116, 9-130, 10-133
Bowling: S Dawson 10-3-29-1, C Hilton 3-0-16-0, J Morley 12-6-19-2, J Kettleborough 9.2-1-49-5, F Iqbal 4-1-12-1
J Kettleborough not out 69
R Cross c Cole b Uppal 15
J Morley c Lowndes b Dunlop 18
F Iqbal c Burton b Barnett 12
A Dawson not out 11
Total (for 3 wkts, 22.5 overs) 139
Fall of wickets: 1-56, 2-103, 3-128
Bowling: V Yadhav 4-0-21-0, B Lowndes 4-0-29-0, A Uppal 3-0-25-1, H Dunlop 6-0-34-1, J Barnett 4.5-0-29-1, L Melling 1-0-1-0
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