A FINE all-round performance by Danny Pawson was the feature of Heywood’s 38-run defeat in a productive friendly at Bootle.
The skipper claimed 3-28, all his victims clean bowled, from eight overs as the home side – consistent challengers for honours in the Liverpool Competition – made 182-8 from their 45 overs.
Then Pawson topped-scored with 77, including one massive on-side six, in Heywood’s reply of 144 with four overs and one ball left in the innings.
Heywood were good in the field in the face of a strong batting line-up, with seven of the team getting in vital bowling practice.
They included two good spells from Andy Dawson, a welcome return to Heywood senior colours for Humza Naeem and a promising debut performance by 15-year-old Cabhan Hilton.
Dawson claimed the first wicket of home skipper Craig Prince thanks to a stunning second slip catch by Travis Townsend, and also had former Heywood favourite Will Purser caught behind as he came back late on for a second spell.
Star of the Bootle innings was the classy Vishal Tripathi, whose impressive contribution of 75 contained one huge six off Jack Morley that cleared the adjoining road and broke an upstairs window on one of the Wadham Road houses!
So it was a real feather in the cap of Hilton, who came into the attack with Tripathi going like a train, that his first senior wicket should be the home talisman via a catch taken by Mikey Grogan at mid-on.
Simon Dawson managed just five overs and was seen limping in the outfield in the second half of the Bootle innings. He reported tweaking a groin but is hopeful of being fit for the start of the Greater Manchester League season on Saturday.
Heywood’s reply was given a reassuring start by Bobby Cross and Andy Kerr, the latter looking well organised and measured on his debut for the club after signing from Greenmount.
But both were cleaned up by deliveries that looked to keep low, Cross falling to ex-Worcestershire paceman Chris Liptrot for 11 and Kerr to Purser for 16.
Townsend did not last long and it was left to Pawson and Morley, the latter promoted to his expected new position of No 5 in the batting order, to turn things around from 40-3 and put together a fine stand of 62.
Even though the required run rate was rising, the partnership looked to give Heywood hope of getting near their target, before Morley – who had looked impressive and secure – was given out to an lbw decision that could possibly have gone the other way on another day.
Pawson continued on his impressive, aggressive way, despite losing a steady stream of partners in the shape of Sean Burrill, Andy Dawson, Naeem and Grogan.
And he only perished right at death, trying a big hit, after a profound contribution of 77 from 75 balls containing five sixes and four fours.
It was a really useful friendly exercise played in a good spirit by both teams, who can take plenty from the outing.
And if the Heywood batting line-up can turn in more consistent individual returns, then there is plenty of reason for optimism in the coming season.
V Tripathi c Grogan b Hilton 75
C Prince c Townsend b A Dawson 5
M Farrell b Morley 11
J Knight b Pawson 17
D Davies c Cross b Townsend 15
J Hurlin b Pawson 9
K Highdale b Pawson 18
W Purser c Cross b A Dawson 1
N Williams not out 10
C Liptrot not out 1
Total (for 8 wkts, 45 overs) 182
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-38, 3-98, 4-131, 5-138, 6-165, 7-170, 8-170
Bowling: S Dawson 5-0-15-0, A Dawson 8-0-21-2, H Naeem 4-1-16-0, J Morley 9-1-45-1, D Pawson 8-0-28-3, T Townsend 5-0-29-1, C Hilton 6-1-28-1
R Cross b Liptrot 11
A Kerr b Purser 16
T Townsend c Prince b Davies 3
D Pawson c Davies b Liptrot 77
J Morley lbw b Stenhouse 19
S Burrill c Farrell b Stenhouse 0
A Dawson b Hurlin 4
H Naeem lbw b Liptrot 3
M Grogan run out 1
C Hilton b Liptrot 0
S Dawson not out 0
Total (40.5 overs) 144
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-31, 3-40, 4-102, 5-108, 6-121, 7-134, 8-138, 9-144, 10-144
Bowling: C Liptrot 6.5-3-15-4, C Stenhouse 9-1-19-2, D Davies 9-0-31-1, W Purser 7-1-24-1, J Hurlin 9-1-52-1
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