Who needs high scores to produce a spine-tingling thriller?
Who needs the Line of Duty boxset when you’ve got the twists and turns provided by Prestwich 1sts and Stand 1sts in their first league clash since the GMCL was formed?
Bowlers were the dominant force as Prestwich 1sts scraped home by 4 runs on a mesmeric Saturday afternoon’s cricket.
The home side’s 128 all out was well below par, but Stand’s reply was equally discordant, and they were dismissed for 124.
A large crowd turned out for the renewed local rivalry, but many won’t have arrived in time to witness the stunning start made by Stand, as Ali Asad struck twice in his first 3 balls and the home team were 0 for 2.
Ironically, normal opener Lee Dale found himself batting in the first over despite coming in at number 4. Dale rattled up a face-saving half century as there was some initial calm to the rocky waters, and the score ticked along to 69 for 2 until James Wharmby was bowled for 15. The spin combo of Jamal Sukhon (4-34) and Nadeera Nawela (4-32) then took a vice-like grip, including the wicket of Dale, superbly caught by Matt Morgan.
Stand made it to 24 without loss – but minutes later found themselves on the same score but with 4 batsmen back in the pavilion as Andy Bradley (4-25) and Ryan Stanbury (4-41) spearheaded the fightback.
Reduced to 53 to 6, the pendulum was to swing back in the visitors’ favour as David Farmer found some late-order allies and made a sterling 42 only to be the last man to fall, caught by Dale off Stanbury.
All in all, the purists will be hiding behind their textbooks: the thrillseekers will putting a date in their diary for the return clash in August.
It was a different kind of drama on Sunday when Prestwich were bundled out of the Lancashire Cup by Egerton despite surpassing the visitors’ total.
The calculation method known as the Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) played its own pivotal role in this rain-affected game, as Egerton’s 181 for 5 total was gained from 37 overs. Pro Janith Liyanage struck an unbeaten century and Bradley was the pick of the home attack (3 for 24).
But because the match started out as a full 45-over contest, the DLS target was raised to 188.
Ryan Stanbury’s 71 set a platform, but from 123 for 1, Prestwich collapsed to 157 for 9 until a stirring rally by Alex Taylor (23 not out) gave Prestwich hope. With six runs required off the final over, a slight hesitation between Taylor and Nathan Bailey ended with a run out trying for a second run, and Prestwich finished on 183 all out, 5 runs adrift.
There was no joy for Prestwich 2nds when they faced Werneth 1st XI and found Kervon Christmas in no mood to gift them anything.
The pace bowler took 5-24 and Michael Wilson 4-20 as the 2nds crashed to 79 all out. The target was passed with seven wickets to spare, Aaryaman Roy grabbing all 3 wickets.