Fylde cricket: Akash amazing but Lytham are denied

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Colwyn Bay became the first team this season to deny Lytham Cricket Club victory in the Liverpool Competition despite the outstanding efforts of professional Akash Vashisht.
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The Indian scored 113 from 86 balls as Lytham were inserted in North Wales and piled on 256-4 only for the home side to cling on for a draw at 192-9.

Akash had scored only a single when he was joined (at 55-3) by captain Matt Taaffe for a fourth-wicket stand worth193.

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Lytham captain Matt Taaffe shared in a stand of 193 with professional Akash VashishtLytham captain Matt Taaffe shared in a stand of 193 with professional Akash Vashisht
Lytham captain Matt Taaffe shared in a stand of 193 with professional Akash Vashisht

The pro stuck eight balls and as many sixes and shortly after he was caught off Sam Bright, skipper Taaffe declared midway through the 50th over, himself unbeaten on 71 from 105 balls.

Akash starred with the ball too, taking 4-60 from 22.5 over after the Colwyn Bay reply had begun promisingly, reaching 92-1 as opener Zach Gidlow led the scoring with 46.

From 160-4, wickets began to fall more regularly as Toby Lester took 3-40 from his 18 overs.

But captain George Johansen held firm for an unbeaten 33 and his side still had a wicket left at stumps after 55.5 overs.

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Lytham lead division one by nine points from Liverpool, with Rainford 25 points further back in third and Colwyn Bay fourth.

After an unbeaten seven-match start to their Northern Premier Cricket League campaign, St Annes have slipped to successive defeats and were dismissed for 62 at Chorley on Saturday.

The visitors lost by 107 runs after Chorley chose to bat and set a target of 179-8.

Third-wicket pair Roshen Silva and Alexander Howarth led the way for the hosts with 43 and 39 respectively.

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Both were dismissed by Tom Higson, who removed three of the top four to finish with 3-29 from his nine overs. There were also three victims for Harry Birkman (for 24 off 10).

It was the Moulton show in a St Annes reply which lasted just 26 overs as Edwin Moulton took 4-25 from eight overs and Will Moulton 3-16 from nine.

Alex Bradley top-scored for St Annes with 24 but the six who came in after him managed just four between them. Only three St Annes players scored more than three and five were out without scoring.

The Vernon Road club remain fourth in division one and didn't lose too much ground as none of the teams above them won.

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However, Garstang stretched their advantage at the top to 10 points after a draw with Fulwood and Broughton, while second-placed Longridge lost at Kendal.

Blackpool were without a fixture as Lancashire make themselves at home at Stanley Park and are now 19 points off the pace in third with a game in hand.

St Annes are seven points further back and now just four ahead of Chorley in fifth.

The only one of the Fylde coast's senior clubs still boasting a 100 per cent league record are Fleetwood, who made it nine straight wins in the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield with a five-wicket success at Torrisholme.

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Set a target of 172-9 in Morecambe, Fleetwood passed it with eight overs to spare on a day to remember for Declan Clerkin.

Clerkin removed opener Saeed Bariwala for a top-score of 61 and finished with 4-55 from 15 overs after the hosts had chosen to bat.

Clerkin removed most of the top six before Australian Zac Corcoran claimed three late wickets (for 45 off 12 overs).

A sixty from Clerkin then pushed Fleetwood towards victory, though he was one of three victims for Dan Woods (for 39 off seven overs).

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Two of the top three also played themselves in as opener Charlie Clark made 30 and wicketkeeper Harry McAleer 26 in Fleetwood's 173-5, which leaves Adam Sharrocks' side 31 points clear of Morecambe and Penwortham at the top of the premier division.

Great Eccleston are five points further back in fourth after a thrilling three-run win away to Eccleston.

The visitors chose to bat and were grateful to Will Thistlethwaite's unbeaten 56 for their 136-8.

The wicketkeeper steadied the ship from 45-6 and at 68-8 was joined by captain Phil Booth for an unbroken partnership of 68.

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Reece Thomas and Cameron Smith both took three wickets, while skipper Booth scored 21 not out and Thistlethwaite stuck six fours from his 102 balls.

The Chorley side looked favourites on reaching 115-5 in reply but then lost top scorer Thomas for 46 off 41 balls before Mohamed Nadeem's flurry of wickets (five for 13 off 12 overs) saw Great Ecc to victory with 5.4 overs remaining.

Booth dismissed three of the top four, including Thomas, to finish with 3-32 off 11 as Eccleston were all out for 133.

Another close-run thing at Thornton Cleveleys went the way of visitors Euxton by just one wicket.

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The hosts could total just 106 from 33.4 overs, having chosen to bat, and Euxton scraped home at 107-9 with 8.5 overs to spare.

Imran Mehmood's unbeaten 125 from 130 balls (14 boundaries) was key to Preston's 29-run derby win at Kirkham and Wesham as was the unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 98 he shared with captain Imran Patel (34 not out).

That enabled the visitors to reach 203-8 after deciding to bat, despite Justin Banks' 5-64 from 14 overs.

K&W gave chase gamely, reaching 103-2 as Liam Castellas hit eight fours in his 53, but they couldn't keep up the pace and were all out for 174 with four balls left as Patel took 4-46 from 12 overs and Ajaz Khan Pathan 3-55 from 11.

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Fylde opted to bat at Standish in division 1A but were beaten by five wickets after setting a target of 153-7 (Dan Smith 51).

The visitors looked favourites when a reply of 60-1 became 71-5 as Danny Smith took 4-26 from 15 overs.

But then Mohammed Asghar Jami (55 not out) was joined by captain Phil Hogarth (27 not out) and an unbroken stand of 83 took Standish to 154-5 with 15 balls left.

Wrea Green crashed to earth after eight straight wins in division two, conceding 254-4 away to Longridge 3 and losing by 141 runs.

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Opening partners Darren Keighley (93) and Matthew Simpson (61) shared 159 and third-placed Longridge never looked back, dismissing thevisitors for 113 in 33.2 overs.

Wrea Green have been knocked off top spot by St Annes 2, who won by 59 runs at home to Torrisholme 2 after Gurman Bains scored 93 and Alex Naylor 73 in their 219-6.

Norcross lost by 18 runs at Vernon Carus 2, where they were restricted to 126-8 pursuing 144, despite captain Richard Thomas carrying his bat for 43 and Jamie Moss taking 4-29 from seven overs.