ROSSALL School hosted one of the biggest cricket matches in its 167 year history yesterday – and it was a spectacular encounter.
The Fleetwood school’s first XI, who have lost only once this season, were taking on the famous Lashings World XI.
They are a side made up of current and ex-international cricketing stars who travel around the country playing matches, with the main aim being fund-raising for charity.
Stars included England’s Devon Malcolm, Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq, one of the finest spin bowlers of all time, and New Zealand’s Lou Vincent.
Rossall fought hard, but Lashings were just too good for the youngsters as they lost by 35 runs.
The Rossall players may have had to succumb to the talents of the Lashings players, but they still had a great day and the chance to rub shoulders with some of their heroes.
Malcolm was one of the Lashings stars to grace the field of play and he said he would have liked a similar opportunity when he was at school.
Malcolm said: “I would have loved the chance to get an autograph.
“The first time I got to meet first-class cricketers was when I made my debut, when I had a trial.
“I never had the chance to meet these guys never mind play with them.
“These youngsters can talk to us, ask us questions and we can pass tips on to these guys.
“From this point of view it is a win-win situation all round.”
Malcolm added that the Lashings players were still very serious when it came to their matches.
He said: “It is still competitive, you can see the guys batting out here they don’t throw their wickets away.
“When they walk out to play the competitive instinct takes over, you can’t help playing at a certain level. “
When the Lashings players stepped out to the crease, they definitely looked up for the match.
The World XI batted first and lost a wicket early on after some fine bowling from the Rossall attack.
After the dismissal, Lashings started to build up runs and they soon moved past the 100 mark.
After 18 overs, the Rossall bowlers came alive and they managed to get two wickets in close succession.
With the score now on 144-3, Frazer Foster and Toby Lester continued to fire some fierce balls at the batsman.
They soon reaped their rewards as James Marshall, Wasim Jaffer and Rashid Latif were all dismissed.
Pakistan great Inzamam ul-Haq peppered the boundary with his own half century.
The remaining batsmen didn’t last long though, as Lashings finished with a score of 200 all out.
The Rossall players faced a tough challenge in their innings, as the Lashings side is laced with some impressive bowling talent.
After 15 overs, the scoreline was 48-3 and Rossall’s batsmen were going to have to dig deep to challenge Lashings.
Dan Russell put in a sterling effort to reach a half-century after 29 overs, but it wasn’t quite enough as Rossall finished on 165.
Lancashire teenager Luke Williams impressed a with a finely crafted 75 not out that included some lusty blows.