Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Nelson 1st XI  – 5 May 2024

RCC 124 all out (38.1 overs) NCC 92 all out (34.5 overs) 

Scorecard here

Outstanding Performance from Pro spares our Blushes

What a difference in the weather from the previous day with  the sun at last appearing and drawing a big crowd to Acre Bottom.

However the elements can have different affects on the ground. Using the same wicket as Saturday the drying conditions caused the ball to occasionally stop and therefore put more emphasis on concentration when batting which was exploited to good effect by both professionals during the day.

Choosing to bat first we had a good statrt with JJ an TP putting on a quick 41 before Tom got one that unfortuneately lifted on him then rolled tantilisingly back and dislodged a bail. JJ followed five runs later with another ball that stopped and he lifted it into the arms of the opposition pro Sharma at short cover.

After that it was the introduction into the attack of Sharma that caused us problems. He soon had Ben and then Harry caught at slip off very good deliveries leaving the Rams in a difficult position of 63 for 4. A stand was needed and it was left betwen our pro Hareen and Joe to dig in. This they did with Hareen proving to be the main run scorer in a partnership that took the score to 100 before Joe was adjudged lbw for 10.

Hareen carried on doing the majority of the scoring before he got a brute of a delivery and was caught behind for a fine 46 with the score on 120. Despite plenty of overs remaining our tailenders got out to some poor shots and we were dismissed for 124 with nearly 12 overs of our allotted 50 not used.

Unsurprisingly after the interval Harry chose to open the bowling with Hareen and Birdy but it was the Nelson opener Imdad who took the attack to us being particularly harsh on the Bird. However with the score on 22 Hareen got one to lift on Bradley and presented an easy catch to Brad a short leg.

The experienced Neil Thompson then joined Imdad and the score quickly shot up to 41 before the opener fell to our pro offering a simple catch to Ben. When Thompson was caught lbw five runs later to Hareen we were back in the hunt.

It then became a battle between the Nelson paid man and our bowlers. Scoring was slow with Sharma protecting his amateur colleagues. The Rams kept chipping away and wickets fell to both Joe and Birdy but when Waddington joined Sharma the pair looked to be taking the game away from us.

Hary was force to introduce Hareen back into the attack and with the score on 81 he deceived the amatuer into spooning the ball up and presenting another easy catch, this time to Seb. We still had Sharma at the wicket and at 92 for 6 it was still game on. It was then that Joe changed the picture of the game. Bowling at pace he found the edge of Sabir’s bat and saw JJ take a brilliant catch at 2nd slip. With the next delivery he trapped Raja lbw.

Sharma then realised that the tail would struggle against the Rams attack and it was all down to him. Off the first ball of the next over from Hareen he attempted to hit a six off our paid man but Rammy is a big ground and he was well held on the edge by Brad. Four balls later Hareen trapped the Nelson number 11 lbw and the supporters could breath a sigh of relief.

Hareen had picked up 6 for 23 off 12.5 overs and was ably supported by his amateur colleagues with Joe being the pick of them, claiming 3 for 13 off his 6 overs.

Man of the Match – Joe Holderness for his all round contribution in support of our pro.

Footnote – this was stark reminder that no game is going to be easy and we must not let complacency take over. It was a clear opportunity for our later order batsmen to dig in and add valuable runs which they failed to do and to be all out with 12 overs remaining is not good enough. We have to respect every team in this league as as shown on Sunday there are some good pros about who can cause upsets.