REPORT BY STEVE MCHUGH: A PRECOCIOUS talent and a seasoned international teamed up to help Heywood extend their winning run in Division 1A of the Greater Manchester League.
Jack Morley, in the week of his 18th birthday, took 2-20 then fell an agonising five runs short of his first senior century for the club as Heywood pulled off an impressive run chase to topple Glodwick by five wickets with five balls to spare at Crimble.
And 37-year-old Faisal Iqbal claimed 4-52 and finished unbeaten on 65 after sharing a third-wicket stand of 124 with his young partner.
It was a fifth successive League victory for Heywood and jumps then above the visitors in the top echelon of the table, in third place and just two points behind new leaders Denton West.
That sets up another big clash at Crimble this coming Saturday when West are the visitors. But with their confidence high Heywood have reasons for optimism.
Not that the victory over Glodwick was straight-forward.
The Oldham area visitors, having won the toss, looked set for a total well in excess of 200 when they reached 148-3 in the 34th over on the back of an 82-run fourth-wicket partnership between professional Mohammed Mohsin and overseas amateur Gustav Prinsloo.
But once James Kettleborough had Mohsin caught behind by Andy Dawson – making his first senior appearance as wicketkeeper – for an impressive 80 the picture changed dramatically.
Ten runs later Prinsloo became Dawson’s second victim for 28, this time off Iqbal, to spark an unanticipated collapse.
Four more wickets fell in double quick time to the Iqbal-Kettleborough combination and, at 171-9, Heywood had visions of chasing a total well below the 200 mark.
But Atiq was standing firm at the other end and found a significant ally in a last-wicket stand that threatened to change the outcome of the match.
Imran Asghar looked one of the most accomplished No 11 batsmen seen at Crimble with an unbeaten 21 – featuring two big sixes – in a partnership of 41 before Atiq was cleaned up by Morley returning to the attack for the last over of the innings.
But they had lifted their side to 212, and totals in excess of 200 are seldom chased down on the big Crimble area by sides batting second.
It looked an even more daunting task when last week’s century-maker Bobby Cross was caught behind down the legside side for a duck in only the second over.
That, however, heralded the arrival of Morley and he was to steer his side to the brink of victory.
He shared a second-wicket stand of 64 with Kettleborough, before the latter fell for 38 to a catch at backward point, only for Iqbal to provide the youngster with reassuring support in pursuit of their victory target at a five-per-over run rate.
First they saw off persistent Glodwick opening bowlers Asghar and Prinsloo then took toll of the rest of the visiting attack to motor along impressively.
So much so that it was a surprise and a crushing personal disappointment when Morley, on 95 and nearing the cherished three-figure landmark, was bowled by Asghar returning to the attack.
But the youngster had dovetailed superbly with the professional and merited the generous applause of the locals after a contribution from 155 balls featuring eight boundaries.
Iqbal, however, in arguably his most accomplished personal batting display of the season, stood firm despite quickly losing new partners in Andy Dawson and Sean Burrill.
And he, too, was given a rousing reception after completing the mission with a contribution of of 65 from just 69 balls, featuring two sixes and a couple of boundaries.
T Tariq b Asildada 11
F Shaghir c Cross b S Dawson 0
Z Tahir lbw b Morley 21
M Mohsin c A Dawson b Kettleborough 80
G Prinsloo c A Dawson b Iqbal 27
Atiq b Morley 28
Z Mirza lbw b Iqbal 0
B Heap b Iqbal 0
A Zeer c and b Iqbal 5
J Symonds b Kettleborough 2
I Asghar not out 21
Total (49.2 overs) 212
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-22, 3-66, 4-148, 5-158, 6-158, 7-160, 8-168, 9-171, 10-212
Bowling: S Dawson 8-0-42-1, S Asildada 6-1-13-1, C Hilton 5-0-27-0, J Morley 8.2-1-20-2, S Byrne 3-0-11-0, F Iqbal 11-0-52-4, J Kettleborough 8-1-30-2
J Kettleborough c Mohsin b Prinsloo 38
R Cross c Symonds b Prinsloo 0
J Morley b Asghar 95
F Iqbal not out 65
A Dawson b Zeer 4
S Burrill b Zeer 3
D Fawcett not out 0
Total (for 5 wkts, 49.1 overs) 215
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-70, 3-194, 4-207, 5-211
Bowling: I Asghar 14.1-4-39-1, G Prinsloo 12-0-59-2, A Zeer 13-0-62-2, Atiq 2-0-15-0, M Mohsin 8-0-38-0
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