Match Report Clitheroe 1st XI v Ramsbottom 1st XI – 21 May 2022
CCC 186 for 7 (50 overs) RCC 187 for 5 (49.5 overs)
Sen Stars in Fantastic Win
The few Rammy supporters who made the trip to Chatburn Road were treated to a thrilling game with the boys just coming out on top.
Clitheroe, who would have been considered long odds on favourites by the bookies before the game won the toss and elected to bat on a green track which looked as if it would favour the bowler. Despite quite a bit of movement earlier on, particularly from Jake Walker, the wicket soon settled down and it become imperative to put the ball on the spot to reduce the scoring opportunities.
In some of our earlier games this season, our bowling has been wayward but both Grimmy and Jake got it very much right on this occasion and made run scoring difficult. It was Grimmy who got the initial breakthrough trapping Ross LBW with the score on 30. This brought the Clitheroe sub pro Samit Patel to the wicket. When Jake caught and bowled Amin with the score on 38 the Rams could be well satisfied with their start. However the introduction of the experienced Jack Dewhurst alongside Patel saw runs start to flow more freely and brought about bowling changes. The pair took the score to 75 before Sen got one to turn a bit and Grimmy held a decent catch at slip to dismiss Dewhurst.
By this time Patel looked to be seeing the ball well and it appeared very ominous for the Rams. The score had raced to 108 when, out of the blue, Patel charged down the track at Josh Dentith, missed the ball and was stumped by the proverbial mile. This was a rash stroke by a paid man who looked in control and really had the effect of buoying the Rams.
From then on our bowlers kept things simple utilising line and length and despite the obvious end of innings charge I thought we did well to restrict Clitheroe to 186 on a wicket that behaved more placidly than it looked. We opted to use only four bowlers and all did well, Grimmy finishing with three victims, Jake two and Josh and Sen one each.
Although we had done well in the field a target of 187 was going to be difficult to chase against the home sides strong bowling attack. Our inability to get a decent opening partnership struck us when Alex Olpin was stumped with the score on 14 off ex-Rammy player Sam Halstead. When Sam bowled our skipper Grimmy with only 30 on the board our pro Sen joined Jonny Dack at the wicket and we faced on uphill task. Scoring then almost came to standstill as, despite his best efforts, JD struggled to beat a well set field.
When JD was dismissed our score was 53 off 25 overs and things looked bleak. This brought debutant Jason Pyke to the wicket and although he only made 5 before being stumped he showed enough to suggest he can hold a first team spot down. With his dismissal the score stood at 82 with 18 overs remaining,
This brought our glove man Harry to join Sen. The pair had enjoyed a memorable partnership against Rochdale and it soon became apparent they like batting with each other. Facing the experienced bowling attack of spinners Patel and Ross they started working the ball around, picking up quick singles and punishing the odd poor delivery.
Despite the excellent effort of our lads the overs kept ticking away and we needed something special to bring us back on track. This came when Sen, having just reached his half century, smashed Ross for two consecutive sixes taking 17 off the over and bringing about a change in bowling with Purser replacing the spinner.
They ex-Bootle player received the same treatment from Sen with a shot that sailed right out of the ground as the Rams edged closer to the target. All the while Harry had been brilliantly working the field and exchanging the strike with his pro. When Patel completed his bowling spell finishing wicketless the Rams had reached 183 with Sen on strike for the last over of the game.
After much deliberation the home skipper Dibb threw the ball to Cole Hayman who had not been used to that point. It is well known that Hayman is the quickest amateur bowler in the league and the move looked to have paid dividends when he trapped Sen lbw off his second ball for a magnificent 94. This brought about wild celebrations in the home camp.
To the surprise of the few Rammy supporters there Ghulam Abbas came to the wicket. Known as “Mano” Ghulam is capable of giving it a go and we knew he would not die wondering. The worry was could he pick up the pace of Hayman straight away. We should have not bothered as he made contact with his first ball and Harry was able to cross for a comfortable single leaving three balls left and 3 to win.
With the field closing in Harry made good contact with the next delivery hitting it past short midwicket and we were able to get an easy 2 runs to tie the scores. The penultimate ball of the game was a real quick delivery which Harry failed to get a bat on. With the keeper taking the ball head high some 12 yards back Ghulam spotted his chance and called for a run. By the time the keeper reacted Ghulam had got in and the bye gave us a memorable victory thus proving the old adage “cometh the hour cometh the Mano”
Amateur Man of the Match was Harry Caton for another excellent knock supporting Sen. All our bowlers did well with Grimmy and Jake putting in their best performances of the season and Josh once again showing a bit of quality. This was a very important win that will hopefully give the lads a lot of confidence for our forthcoming games.