Worsley Cup Final Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Rochdale CC 1st XI – 14th August 2022
RamCC 321 for 3 (50 overs) RochCC 229 All Out (47.2 overs)
Rochdale Meet the Grim Reaper in the Final
A scorching day, a batting wicket to die for, the outfield in pristine condition and the whole area surrounding our Acre Bottom ground looking wonderful thanks to all the hard work done by dedicated members at the Club set the scene for the Worsley Cup final. Add to this a big crowd in fine voice and very thirsty and we had all the ingredients for something special and my god didn’t we get it.
On days of high temperatures and sapping humidity with the ground in the aforementioned condition winning the toss was crucial and thankfully for the Rams the Rochdale skipper called wrong so it was JD and Tom marching out to the square in front of a rapidly growing crowd.
It is common knowledge that Rochdale’s main bowling weapon, Steve Oddy, bowls his allotted overs straight through so one of Rammy’s tasks was to see him off and then get at the somewhat weaker back up bowlers. The Rams had a steady but decent start until, with the score on 25 JD fell to a fine catch by Zaman at slip off Roche. This brought our skipper Grimmy to the wicket to join Tom. These two rank as our top amateur batsmen so it was hoped they could forge a sizeable partnership together. Any doubts about this were soon dispelled as both men started timing the ball right away and after seeing off Oddy they increased the scoring tempo. Grimmy was the main aggressor sweeping, reverse sweeping and smashing anything short or over-pitched while Tom played the more classical cover drive stokes as the pair took their partnership past 100; both deservedly reaching half centuries on the way as the Rochdale fielders, with the exception of 16 year old Harry Butterworth, visibly wilted in the torrid conditions.
After passing his 50 Grimmy became as much a danger to spectators as the opposition fielders as he peppered the boundary with fours and sixes. The partnership took the score to 178 before Tom, clearly tiring, was well caught on the boundary edge for an excellent 75.
Enter our pro Sen. He played about 3 singles before deciding to join in the carnage with Grimmy. The pair added 118 in no time till Grimmy fell to a tired looking stroke for 149 which included 12 fours and 9 sixes. This was an unbelievable knock breaking the amateur batting record for Ramsbottom on our ground, which is one of the biggest in the league. His scores in this season’s Worsley Cup have been 51 not out, 102, 11, 124 not out and 149, a quite remarkable record. With Grimmy gone Sen picked up the attack for the last couple of overs and along with Harry took our score to 321 finishing with 65 not out off 31 balls in his last knock before retiring home to South Africa.
One had to feel for the Rochdale fielders and bowlers who had a torrid time in energy sapping conditions chasing the ball to all parts of the ground. The whole team looked worn out at the end of our innings.
In their reply Rochdale gave it a good go and had a decent opening partnership of 52 until who else but Grimmy took 2 wickets in two balls to put them on the back foot. When Trig bowled their pro Whitehead (10) and Sen had Muzaffar (7) stumped Rochdale were 88 for 4 and the game as more or less wrapped up.
What we did see then was some fine resistance by Zaman and 16 year old Butterworth who looks a fine prospect. The pair took the score to 166 before the former fell for a fine 83 which could had been a lot more but for his restricted ability in running between the wickets. As the game started to peter out and with Rochdale losing wickets the main interest surrounded whether Butterworth could reach his half century, with everyone in the ground rooting for him. This he managed and he received a standing ovation from the whole crowd when he fell for 56 with the score on 216. The Rochdale innings ended on a score of 229 with all Rammy’s six bowlers in the wickets. A great day ended in Grimmy collecting the Worsley Cup and the Man of the Match award presented by the League.
Amateur Man of the Match – guess who ?
Senuran Muthusamy – Sen arrived before the first game of the season being asked to fill the boots of probably the finest pro the league has seen in the last 10 years. Some people doubted he was up to the task but he has proved them totally wrong posting many fine innings and showing enthusiasm for the Club which has given confidence to all his teammates. He has not got as many wickets as he would have liked but has had niggling problems with a shoulder injury which has affected him for a while. He is a lovely guy and we all look forward to seeing him next year when we hope he can perform to the same standard as this.