Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Rochdale 1st XI – 23 July 2022
RochCC 198 for 9 (35 overs) RamCC 201 for 3 (33.2 overs)
All’s Well That Ends Well
Saturday saw the Rams secure a vital win against fellow relegation strugglers Rochdale and they were also buoyed by other results in the league.
Things could have been a lot different early on in the game as Rochdale took advantage of winning the toss after a rain delay had reduced the game to 35 overs a side. With the track being in great shape having been covered but with the outfield sopping wet they chose to bat first and opener Zaman really took it to the Rams, smashing balls to all parts of the ground. When the first wicket fell at 46 Maurice-Scott, who was caught and bowled by Trig, had only scored one.
The Rochdale paid man Sean Whitehead then joined Zaman and the pair looked in complete control as our bowlers found it difficult gripping the ball, which they described as feeling like a bar of soap. What the Rochdale batsmen failed to do was to take advantage of several shots into the deep as Zaman’s running between the wickets was appalling and what should have been easy 2s or 3s became only singles.
This poor running eventually gave us the second wicket when Whitehead, running for what should have been an easy two on his own call, was sent back with a belated call, slipped, and was comfortably run out. He was not a happy man.
To make matters worse Zaman was dismissed caught at slip off Sen only one run later. Although he had made 74 in quick time it could have been so much more with better running. Still he had set up Rochdale’s later batsmen to have a go and this they did. Dawson (20), Muzaffar (35) and Duffy (22) all perished going for runs and a score in excess of 200 looked on the cards until a late order collapse saw the innings close on 198, a challenging enough total.
With outfield having dried up, making it easier for the Rochdale bowlers and fielders we desperately needed a good start. Rochdale are reliant on Steve Oddy to take early wickets so we needed to keep him out, yet score at a reasonable rate. Early on in our innings Tom Parton was the main aggressor with Jonny D more circumspect. Indeed after 15 overs JD was only 15 but he suddenly burst into life. Both batsmen played a host of attractive and innovative strokes and both reached their half centuries almost simultaneously.
The score had reached 117 (74 runs higher than our previous best opening partnership this season) when Tom was stumped for an excellent 60. Despite this good start we were still behind the required run rate so Grimmy sent our pro Sen to the wicket. This proved a great move as Sen played a magnificent knock, scoring 40 in 21 balls before being brilliantly caught on the boundary by Whitehead.
Together with JD the pair had put on 56 runs in no time and put us in firm control of the game. Although we lost Grimmy going for the runs Harry came in and with JD took us over the line with an over and half to spare.
Amateur Man of the Match – Jonny Dack for his magnificent 80 not out. This was his first half century in the 1st XI and he will be awarded his “baggy green” before the start of the Darwen game.