Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Walsden 1st XI  – 28 April 2024

WCC 181 for 8 (41 overs) RCC 152 all out (38 overs) 

Scorecard here

A lot to be liked

The Rams came out second best in a hard fought game against a Walsden side who are probably the bookies favourites to lift the 2nd Division Championship.

The difference, surprisingly to your author, came in the fielding department where we spilled a couple of chances while the much older and bigger lads of the home team put in an exemplary performance holding on to four really good catches and only making one slight misjudgement in the field which cost a single.

The game was reduced to 41 overs a side due to the  damp outfield and having won the toss Harry put the opposition in to bat. Both the reliable Birdy and newcomer Joe kept the scoring in check on a track that offered assistance if you bowled a good length but stood up and said “hit me” if you bowled short.

A change in bowling saw our pro Hareen brought into the attack. One could not help to feel sorry for him as he seemed thoroughly starved in the freezing conditions and went for a few early on but had a chance put down before claiming the first wicket when JJ caught Simon Barker in the deep. Four runs later Birdy got a deserved wicket when Nick Barker offered an easy catch to TP.

This brought in the Walsden sub pro Stuart. After a very shaky start in which he survived a tough chance he settled down and along with skipper Hoosan took the score to 123 before the latter fell trying to up the scoring rate, caught by Brad off Hareen.

With overs running out the Rammy lads must have been pretty happy with the situation but with Joe Gale coming in at number 5 you can expect fireworks. He did not let his side down smashing 34 off 16 balls before being bowled by Joe with the score on 177. This was Joe’s third wicket as he had previously bowled Stuart and had Gilford caught by TP. It was left for our other new incoming bowler Ishaq to snap up a couple of late wickets before the innings ended on 181.

 

With our strong bstting line up this was a target that was achievable. JJ opened the innings with TP and looked in imperious form scoring freely from the word go. Tom, who had little of the strike, was content to occupy the other end. Sadly when he tried his first aggressive stroke he fell to a fine catch at square leg off Stuart. JJ then made his only mistake and was adjudged LBW for 30 trying a reverse sweep off the same bowler. This wicket seemed to revitalise the subdued Walsden outfit and their bowlers and fielders tightened their grip. However the Rams were far from out of it and our supporters were still optimistic.

Just as Ben and Harry were starting to set up a partnership they attempted a quick single to the opposition pro. To most of us, including the ultra honest Ian Bell and PR man Patrick, who were stood at square leg our skipper looked to have comfortably made his ground with a dive but the black gloved finger of the umpire shot up and gave him out.

After that several of our batsmen looked to be set only to fall to excellent catches. These included Ben, Hareen and Joe so it was left to Brad to make the best contribution with 26 before he too fell, caught in the deep.

We were finally dismissed for 152 with three overs remaining. The main thorn in our side was the spell from Hoosan who returned the excellent figures of 3 for 19 off his 7 overs but you also have to give the whole Walsden team credit for their fielding efforts.

Despite this defeat there were a lot of promising signs from the Rammy lads. The fielding although they squandered a couple of chances was pretty good and the new bowling acquisitions shaped promisingly. The pro’s figures do not look too good but one has to bear in mind the Artic conditions after him being used to much warmer climes. Our stand out bowler was Birdy with figures of 1 for 20 off his 11 overs. Our batting line up looks strong and we should hopefully enjoy a reasonable season.

Man of the Match – Birdy for his terrifically economical bowling spell.