A POWERFUL batting display led by skipper Danny Pawson and professional Travis Townsend saw Heywood march into the second round of the Derek Kay 1st X1 Cup.
Pawson, 81, and Townsend, 77 not out, shared a fourth wicket stand of 120 as Heywood reached 238-5 from their 50 overs against spirited Astley and Tyldesley at Crimble.
And that proved too much for the visitors, who fell for 165 as they tried to keep up with the testing run rate.
While the contributions of Townsend, who showed commendable application while not being in fluent touch for part of his innings, and earlier opener Bobby Cross with 50 were important it was Pawson’s assured aggression that was the key to the big total.
And his run of form in 2017 is, on close inspection, eye-opening.
Including the pre-season friendly at Bootle and three Cup games, Pawson has batted eight times and finished not out on three occasions in a total of 473. He was not required to bat at Winton, while the game at Stand was washed out.
That gives him a stunning average of 94.6 from his five completed innings, although the Bootle friendly is included for the purposes of illustration only.
Pawson would probably acknowledge that, generally, the form of the top order has helped him greatly and he has seldom stepped to the wicket in a backs-to-the-wall situation. But those figures speak for themselves.
On this occasion, he strode in following the fall of Cross at 92-3 and dominated to such an extent that his 81 came out of the next 120 runs.
He reached his 50 from 53 balls and his next 31 from 13 balls as he cut loose to send the team total spiralling rapidly. And he deserved his standing reception for an innings that included 10 fours and a six.
Townsend, meanwhile, gave him excellent support and he accelerated himself once his partner exited. His unbeaten effort came off 119 balls and included eight boundaries, and in the context of the match was vital, too.
It meant that Astley and Tyldesley needed a Herculean effort to reach their target of 239, although they showed plenty of spirit with cameo contributions from Dean Petrie (33), Nathan McDonnell (26), Paul Bennett (23) and Chris Ware (21).
Townsend completed a fine all-round performance with three wickets; Humza Naeem claimed two victims in a rapid and impressive eight-over spell; and Simon Dawson also picked up a couple of scalps.
R Cross b P Bennett 50
A Kerr run out 10
J Morley b Ware 0
T Townsend not out 77
D Pawson c Ware b McDonnell 81
A Dawson lbw b McDonnell 3
S Burrill not out 3
Total (for 5 wkts, 50 overs) 238
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-31, 3-92, 4-212, 5-234
Bowling: C Ware 10-2-47-1, N McDonnell 10-1-44-2, J O’Malley 10-1-61-0, J Cutt 10-0-42-0, P Bennett 10-0-39-1
ASTLEY AND TYLDESLEY
N Moore b S Dawson 12
D Petrie b Pawson 33
J Cutt c Cross b Naeem 0
N McDonnell st Cross b Townsend 26
D Harrison c Townsend b S Dawson 13
A Booth lbw b Naeem 16
P Bennett c Kerr b Townsend 23
C Ware c A Dawson b Townsend 21
S Nicklin b Morley 0
T Gregory not out 6
J O’Malley did not bat
Total (for 9 wkts, 44.3 overs) 165
Fall of wickets: 1-35, 2-39, 3-51, 4-78, 5-109, 6-124, 7-150, 8-153, 9-165
Bowling: S Dawson 10-1-45-2, A Dawson 7-0-25-0, H Naeem 8-3-21-2, D Pawson 5-1-14-1, J Morley 9-1-34-1, T Townsend 5.3-0-23-3
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