20/20 MATCH REPORT – RAMSBOTTOM beat ROCHDALE by 6 wickets

The Rammy Rooks began their 20/20 campaign in the JW Lees MPA Group with a solid victory at the Redbrook on Friday night. Credit to Rochdale, the huge pavillion was lit up and bouncing with happy families and characters aplenty; a proper community hub. The DJ rocked out the party classics and the queue for the pizza shack snaked round the car park.

Daryn won the toss and decided to bowl on a moist deck with a short boundary to port and starboard, three buses away. After a blistering start Kieran Grimshaw slammed the brakes firmly on bowling his four overs straight through for eleven runs and the crucial wicket of opposition pro Sean Whitehead. I don’t know the boy but sources close to the camp tell me manages this sort of thing regularly despite a quite Bacchanalian approach to his down time. The spinners, Chris Round (1-25) and Smit (2-19) combined neatly in the second half to hold the hosts to 126-5 which felt a six or two short.

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Rochdale began well bagging two early wickets and slowing down the Rams with good accurate bowling and sharpness in the field. At the mid-point we were behind the rate but Jake Clarke was looking set and Smit of Natal had padded away the probing spin of Free State’s Whitehead. We’ve seen this scouting mission a million times before so it was no surprise when the pro exploded before being caught for 51. Clarke (39) also succumbed, seduced by the siren call of the shortlegside boundary having played beautifully straight up until then.

His dismissal brought Jamie Pilling to the crease. Fated to fill the dreaded 8pod spot in the red ball team, he finally got his chance to shine against the jaffa, popping two into the crowd before launching a third with five required and walking off to wild acclaim. Well as wild as seven of us, combined age 500 could muster.

For this he just pips Grimmy to the coveted Mick Everett Amateur Player of the Match award.

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