Heywood’s 4th team played hosts to East Lancs Paper Mill for their third match in the inaugural Development League, with their more experienced visitors having won their first two games handsomely, scoring in excess of 200 on both occasions.
Heywood won the toss and in the damp conditions invited the visitors to bat first. Matt Dearden and Joe Cockcroft opened the bowling and the ELPM openers made their intentions clear with some aggressive shots. With this in mind, Alex Buckley at mid on was asked to drop 20 metres deeper and the very next ball he took an excellent catch off the bowling of Dearden to dismiss the dangerous looking Saripalli with the score on 16.
The two opening bowlers continued to bowl well, picking up regular wickets and by the end of their 6 over spells, Dearden had taken 2 for 15 and Cockcroft 2 for 30, including a fine diving catch off his own bowling. Callum Jackson and Aaron Russell came into the attack and continued where the openers had left off by keeping the runs down and taking regular wickets and it was soon apparent that the visitors were not going to reach anywhere near the heights of their previous scores. Jackson finished with the excellent figures of 3 for 7 off his 4 overs and Russell was not far behind with 2 for 10 off his 3 overs. There was even time for Zak Saleem, making his first appearance in senior cricket, to come on and take the final wicket, which left ELPM 69 all out in just the 20th over.
Heywood’s openers, Matt Dearden and Charles Stanford Campbell strode to the wicket knowing that the target was well within Heywood’s compass whilst at the same time keeping half an eye on the weather with the rain clouds gathering in the distance. The pair went about their task calmly, keeping out the good balls and putting away the bad ones and despite a couple of scares they reached their target of 70 off just 15 overs with Dearden finishing unbeaten on 16 off 41 balls and the slightly more aggressive Stanford Campbell on 41 off 53 balls.
This was an emphatic first win for the young side and the progress shown through each of the first three games was there to see. They can take great confidence from this and will no doubt continue to learn from the greater demands of senior cricket.
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