Fylde coast cricket review: Mixed fortunes for sides returning to action

St Annes and Fleetwood both returned to Northern Premier Cricket League action on Saturday after Covid-enforced breaks, though neither could end the day with victory.

Sunday, 25th July 2021, 12:30 pm

St Annes started the day bottom and came within one wicket of defeating third-bottom Chorley.

Batting first at Windsor Park, Tom Higson’s players had collapsed to 87-7 before recovering to post 192-9 at the end of their 50 overs.

Nathan Armstrong had made 36 but Siddesh Lad (3-28) and Ian Oakes (3-32) had looked to have put Chorley in a strong position.

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They reckoned, however, without Andy Drake and Thomas Bradley, who put on 76 for the eighth wicket.

Bradley fell for 27 but Drake carried on, hitting eight fours and two sixes as he ended undefeated on 81.

In reply, Harry Birkman (2-23) dismissed Lad (0) and Louis Johnson (4), while Bradley picked up 3-35 and Higson 1-39 as Chorley fell to 67-6.

Joe Tiffin and Will Moulton put on 46 before the former was out for 25 to Curtis Fletcher (3-38).

He then picked up two more wickets to leave Chorley 141-9 but Moulton (38 not out) and Oakes (nine out) steered them to 165-9 at the close.

As for Fleetwood they dropped to the foot of the table after their return brought a 95-run defeat at Lancaster.

Missing influential professional Dyllan Matthews – among the players to have tested positive – Fleetwood’s batting let them down as they failed to reach three figures.

They had chosen to field first at Lune Road, where the home side was all out for 188 with a little more than 14 overs remaining.

Lancaster had been 144-2 before losing their last eight wickets for only 44 runs, despite Atharva Taide making 59 and David Steinson 49.

James Amor collected 5-43 and Alex Ryder 4-62 but Fleetwood’s reply saw them all out for 93.

After Damar Graham (1-20) and Irfan Qayyum (2-20) had reduced them to 28-3, Fleetwood’s final seven wickets fell at a cost of 41 runs.

The main beneficiary was Taide, who followed up his half-century with figures of 6-25 as he ran through the middle and lower order.

Blackpool saw their lead reduced to 35 points after they also drew at Leyland.

Bat dominated ball at the Stanning Memorial Ground, where more than 500 runs were scored across both innings with only 10 batsmen dismissed.

Blackpool batted first and posted 295-5 from their 50 overs after being reduced to 22-2 with the exits of Tomas King (4) and Sam Dutton (15).

That brought together Ciaran Johnson and Shivam Chauhan, who added 204 for the third wicket.

Johnson top-scored with 108 from 149 balls, hitting 11 fours and a six, but that scoring rate was pedestrian compared to Chauhan.

He was out for 101, made from only 85 deliveries with 15 fours in that time.

There was also time for Josh Boyne to make 46 not out at better than a run a ball as Blackpool set a tough target.

Nevertheless, Leyland withstood their attack and finished their reply on 211-5.

Most of their top order batsmen made good starts without going on to make a more substantial contribution.

The exception was Kurtis Watson, who reached 61 before falling to Chauhan (3-32), while Boyne (1-33) and Matt Grindley (1-59) took the other wickets to fall.

Also returning to action were Lytham, who picked up a timely seven-wicket win at Old Xaverians in the Liverpool Competition.

After two free weekends as a result of Covid-19 issues, Matt Taaffe’s players were in need of victory on Saturday after slipping to second from bottom.

They duly obliged, leapfrogging their hosts in the table after bowling them out for 126 when they had chosen to bat first.

Zia Ur Rehman Akbar and Tom Hessey had taken a wicket apiece before the key passage of the game arrived with Old Xaverians 39-2.

They lost their next four batsmen without a run being scored, Akbar striking first before Tom Myerscough picked up three wickets in four balls.

Home skipper Mark Doyle provided the main resistance before he was ninth man out for 51 as Akbar claimed 5-22, Myerscough 4-27 and Hessey 1-28.

Matthew Cartmell (21), Hessey (2) and Tom Jefferson (0) were all out as Lytham slipped to 34-3 in reply.

However, Guy Roberts (51 not out) and Taaffe (41 not out) added an unbroken 93 for the fourth wicket in seeing Lytham to victory.

In the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield, the top flight derby at Illawalla went Thornton Cleveleys’ way as they saw off bottom club South Shore by six wickets.

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