Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Middleton 1st XI – 21 August 2022
RCC 215 for 8 (50 overs) MCC 182 all out (49.5 overs)
Rammy’s Cloud has a Silva Lining
Following the joys of winning the cup last week we were expected to comfortably dispose of bottom of the league outfit Middleton on Sunday.
Unfortunately sport does not work like that and we were given a scare before eventually coming away with maximum points, which finally ensured our first division status for next year and also put us two points behind 6th placed Walsden who we play next Sunday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first on a good looking pitch with a hint of green on it we made a fairly reasonable start with Tom and JD putting on 38 before the latter holed out to deep mid on for 13.
Our sub pro Ashen Silva came in at number 3 and like Tom looked in good nick. Both batsmen were timing the ball well but the Middleton bowlers kept it on the spot and with a well set field scoring runs proved difficult. Both batsmen persevered with Tom eventually reaching his half century before falling when trying to up the ante for 54.
The fact that Tom faced 111 balls was testimony to the effort the opposition bowlers and fielders put in.
With 99 on the board and with over 30 overs gone we needed to push on. Our in form skipper Grimmy joined Ashen at the wicket and had just started to pick up the momentum when he fell LBW for 18 attempting a leg side pull with the score on 128.
Ashen then took responsibility for the situation with our remaining amateur batsmen who had to give it a go. He was helped by fine cameo innings from Harry (20 off 11 balls) and Jake (10 off 7 balls including the shot of the day that went for six) and he remained there until the end of the innings having scored 84 not out. With the Rams posting 215, a challenging but eminently chaseable target. Ashen’s innings was reminiscent of a Daryn Smit type of knock.
Grimmy put his trust in the youngsters Jake and Toby to open our attack and it paid off as the former trapped opener J Tierney LBW. However it was 17 year old Toby who took the eye bowling a fine line and length troubling all the batsmen. He was rewarded with the wicket of Shipley, caught behind by Harry. Toby completed his statutory spell of 7 overs with the impressive figures of 1 for 12 and was mightily close to trapping the Middleton pro Price LBW in his final over.
By this time Price had been joined by former Rammy player Rehan Udwadia. Both batsmen played sensibly, not taking too many chances but punishing the odd bad ball. The overs had started to tick away and Grimmy had sorted his bowlers out to allow Ashen to bowl his allotted 15 overs to the end of the innings. Bowling in tandem with Josh they had turned the screw on the batsmen.
Something had to give and with the score on 98 Rehan tried to improvise a stroke off Ashen and was so plumb LBW he walked before the umpire raised his finger.
The pressure was firmly on the shoulders of the remaining Middleton batsmen but with Price still there and just passing his half century we knew we had to get him. Josh provided the answer when, shortly after removing Walker, he trapped the Middleton pro LBW for 60 with the score on 123.
To be fair to the remaining home side batsmen they decided to give it a go but despite some good hitting from Gregoriou and R Tierney wickets fell to our spinners with Ashen proving the most effective with figures of 4 for 40 off his 15 overs.
With both Josh and Ashen bowled out it was down to Jake to bowl the last over. The game was won but we still needed to get the last man out to get maximum points. On the other hand Middleton were closing in on another bonus point. On reaching the 5th ball of the over a six was required for that point but on such a big ground that was a difficult task for a number 10 batsman. Jake must have known that as he bowled two consecutive wides to reduce the target to 4. This made the batsmen take his chances and have a slog, unfortunately this ball was dead straight and cleaned him up to give us our bonus points.
This was a real funny game to assess. Certainly the Rams were not at their best but when you saw how difficult scoring appeared the wicket must not have been as good as it looked. Sometimes you have to win ugly and we were happy to take the points.
Amateur Man of the Match – Toby Ashworth for his excellent spell at the start of the Middleton innings.