Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Enfield 1st XI – 3rd September 2023
RCC 218 for 7 (50 overs) ECC 114 all out (34.2 overs)
Its up to us now
With our maximum points victory over Enfield and Haslingden’s defeat against Burnley we go to Bentgate next Sunday knowing that whoever wins will retain their 1st Division status in the Lancashire League.
This Sunday was another game we had to win and with Harry winning the toss it was a no brainer to bat first on a dryish wicket that seemed certain to react to more spin as the day progressed.
We were desperate for a good start and by golly did we get one. Both TP and Ali took advantage of some wayward bowling as runs flowed freely and in less than 20 overs the pair had posted a century partnership.
It took the introduction of sub pro Zain Abbas and Arshad to stem the flow of runs and it was Abbas who struck the first blow when Ali spooned up a catch to gully with the score on 106. Once again the youngster had displayed his exciting talent scoring 44 with four 4s and a six.
TP looked looked back to his best and had just reached his half century when he fell to a fine slip catch off Arshad. His innings included seven 4s and a six.
There then was a period of tight scoring thanks to excellent spells from the Enfield sub pro and Arshad, who only let himself down by bowling a lot of wides. Abbas trapped the in form Ben lbw and when Harry was bowled by Arshad we had lost 4 wickets for only 27 runs.
Consolidation was needed and was provided by Seb and our pro Billy who chanced his arm in typical fashion. The pair took the score to 166 before Billy holed out to deep square leg.
Brad than joined Seb and together both men batted sensibly seeing out the threats of Abbas (who bowled excellently and only went for 27 off his 15 overs) and Arshad (3 for 55 off 13 overs including 17 wides)
When Brad fell for 17 with the score on 197 Seb took the attack to the Enfield bowlers and was the last Rammy wicket to fall with the score on 214. He had made a fine 40.
Confidence was high in the Acre Bottom camp after posting such a challenging target on a wicket that would help our bowlers but we knew we could not be too complacent.
The consistent Birdy took the first wicket when he had Enfield’s captain Wright well caught by Ben at short cover. A decent stand then developed between O’Farrell and the Enfield sub pro. The pair took the score to 50 with Abbas taking the attack to Birdy.
It was then that Billy had O’Farrell caught behind by Harry. Five runs later Billy took the prize wicket of Abbas thanks to a brilliant diving slip catch from TP.
This basically ended any realistic hope of Enfield chasing down our total so the next target was to get maximum points from the game. This we achieved thanks to excellent performances from all four bowlers used. Birdy bounced back after having a bit of tap to finish with 4 for 54. Billy ended up with 2 for 31, Josh with 2 for 11 and Aussie Brad 2 for 12. There was also a brilliant stumping from Harry and a good catch from Birdy at deep mid off.
This victory took us to the heady heights of 3rd from bottom of the league, something a lot people felt was impossible with only five games of the season left. Nevertheless next week’s game against Haslingden is still a win or bust situation. It is therefore important we get a good following to support our lads at Bentgate.
Man of the Match – shared between TP & Seb. TP looked the class player he is and Seb played an excellent anchor role minimising the effect off the fine bowling spell by the Enfield sub pro.
Footnote – Sunday saw Billy (Bilal Asif) play his last game for us. We would all like to express our gratitude to him. He has really gelled with the players and his bowling has been so tight our amatuer bowlers have benefitted by batters taking risks against them. He has also worked hard with the lads in the nets, something that was missing early in the season and this has helped improve our performances in the 2nd half of our fixtures. Good luck when you get back to Pakistan Billy, you will be missed at Acre Bottom.