Late collapse costs St Annes dear
A late order tumble of wickets proved costly for St Annes as they lost at home to Morecambe in a low-scoring affair in the Northern League.
Four of the bottom order were out for ducks, while another scored only one, as the tail-enders could not provide the kind of support needed by number six batsman Nanthesh Kiruparan, who finished the innings unbeaten on 45.
St Annes were all out for 129, and Morecambe knocked off the runs, though ultimately they only had two wickets to spare.
Indeed, St Annes would have struggled without the valiant contribution by Kiruparan, who top-scored for the home side.
The next best knock was 40 by Toby Bulcock.
No fewer than six of the St Annes batsmen fell to leg-before-wicket decisions, four of them to the troublesome Tommy Clough.
Indeed, both he and Jake Smith did the principal damage to St Annes, taking nine of the wickets to fall.
Morecambe’s winning reply was not without its difficulties and St Annes made their rivals battle all the way to achieve victory.
St Annes made a good fist of it, mainly bowler Matthew Grindley, who finished with figures of five for 39, the best of the match.
Champions Fleetwood also suffered a home loss, going down to Lancaster by five wickets.
There was a sterling effort by Fleetwood batsman Naveed Yousaf, who top-scored with a bright and breezy 54.
This included six fours off 86 balls.
He received good support from Adam Parker, who totalled 48 - that included half-a-dozen boundaries off 77 deliveries.
Lancaster’s Ben Simm did most damage with the ball, taking five for 62, including the valuable scalps of the two Fleetwood top-scorers.
The visitors got the runs with plenty of overs to spare.
Their leading run-maker was Jannisar Khan, the number four finishing unbeaten on 66, including 10 fours in 75 balls as he controlled the Fleetwood bowling attack and steered his side safely home.
Fleetwood might have made a better fist of it, but for some indifferent batting later on.
At one stage they had stood at 152 for five, but added only 13 to that tally for the loss of four wickets in their 50 overs.
Netherfield claimed a winning draw over Blackpool at Stanley Park.
The home side won the toss and decided to give Netherfield first use of the Blackpool strip.
Certainly, Netherfield’s Marc Brown had no qualms with that decision.
The opener carried his bat throughout the innings, finishing on 86 not out.
It turned out to be a key contribution for without him, Netherfield would have struggled as they totalled 178 for seven in their allotted 50.
Best of the Blackpool bowlers was Danny Gilbert, who returned three for 52.
Blackpool’s reply was 153 for nine in their 50 overs, denying Netherfield outright victory.
The only batsman to get anywhere near going was Gurmandeep Baines, who contributed 38 and was the ninth man to fall.
He was out bowled by Netherfield’s Earl Bradley, who proved troublesome throughout and finished with impressive figures of three for 27 from his 12 overs.
Blackpool’s batsmen struggled to tame the Netherfield attack, with Colin Ackermann proving particularly difficult to get away.