Fylde cricket: Lytham held in top clash and professional inspires Blackpool

The clash of the top two in Liverpool Competition first division saw Lytham held to a home draw by Liverpool on a rain-hit Saturday for Fylde coast cricket.

By Andy Moore
Sunday, 31st July 2022, 4:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st July 2022, 4:00 pm

The Lytham openers reached 133 without loss but ran out of overs to chase down victory.

The visitors had been put in at Church Road and declared at 193-9 after 53 overs.

Wicketkeeper Callum Doyle was top scorer with 46 (from 52 balls with eight boundaries) and put on 73 for the sixth wicket with Nathan Pickering (44) after they had joined forces at 86-5.

Professional Akash Vashist bowls for Lytham against Liverpool.

Jack Saunders led the attack with 3-39 from his 11 overs, while professional Akash Vashist bowled 22 overs, taking 2-63.

Lytham's openers then chased the target valiantly but could only face 23 overs before proceedings were halted.

Wicketkeeper Richard Staines made 67 not out from 82 balls with 11 fours and Myles Child 52 not out (61, six fours).

Leaders Lytham took six points from the draw and there were just three for Liverpool, who have lost second spot to Colwyn Bay. The Welsh club trail Lytham by 15 after a 69-run win at Spring View.

Blackpool Cricket Club captain Paul Danson has often said that professionals are paid to win matches and Naushad Shaikh did precisely that when Lancaster played at Stanley Park on Saturday.

The Indian took 5-31 from his nine overs as the visitors were removed for 114 in 31, then top-scored with 58 (from 48 balls, seven boundaries) as the Northern Premier League's second-placed club wrapped up victory by seven wickets.

Irfan Khan's 34 had steered Lancaster to 54-1 after being inserted but that soon became 95-8 as Naushad took charge.

Left with 31 overs to chase a revised target of 117, Blackpool made a shaky start at 19-2 but that brought together Naushad and opener Kasim Munir (48, four boundaries) for a partnership of 97 which took Blackpool within a single of victory.

This was achieved in 24.1 overs as Blackpool closed the gap slightly (to 32 points) on leaders Garstang, with a game in hand.

The leaders had a winning draw at Chorley, who host Blackpool next.

Fourth played third at St Annes, who had the better of a home draw with Fulwood and Broughton, having set a target of 192-9 (49 overs) on deciding to bat.

Alex Bradley came in at 49-4 and made an unbeaten 56 (six fours). Lukman Vahaluwala was next-best with 34.

Sonal Dinushad took 4-36 from 15 overs and Chris Brookes 3-32 from 13.

F&B survived at 176-7 from 46.2 overs, having collapsed from 145-2 to 158-7.

Opener Ewan Mansford (78) shared in a second-wicket stand of 103 with Dinusha (50 from 59 deliveries) before the former's dismissal sparked the collapse.

He was one of three victims for professional Yohan De Silva (for 49 off 13 overs) as St Annes took 10 points and closed the gap between the sides to just one.

The Moore and Smalley Palace Shield was hit especially hard by the weather and only two premier division games reached a conclusion.

One of those involved Kirkham and Wesham, who lost by five wickets at Eccleston.

Wicketkeeper Sean Bovington (11) alone reached double figures for a Kirkham side all out for 63 in 24.5 overs as Reece Tomas took 5-37 from 12.5 and Cameron Smith 4-24 off 11.

The Chorley hosts looked set to breeze to victory as they passed 50 without loss (Thomas Wilkinson 26), but there were a few jitters as 51-0 became 56-5, Andrew Hogarth taking 4-24 from his four overs, before Eccleston reached their target without further loss in exactly 13 overs.

Euxton beat Croston by in the other completed game to move within a point of second-placed Great Eccleston. Fleetwood are still 36 points clear at the top with seven to play.

Fleetwood, Ecc and Thornton Cleveleys all had no result from home games against Barrow, Preston and Morecambe respectively.

In the three divisions below, the only Fylde club to complete their fixture were Wrea Green, who lost by one run at home to Fulwood and Broughton 3.

Wrea looked favourites in a division two match reduced to 25 overs per side after restricting the visitors to 84-7, Dan Hetherington returning a remarkable 4-9 from his eight overs.

But the reply fell agonisingly short at 83-8, Wrea losing two wickets on that total having reached 63-2 thanks to a second-wicket stand of 57 between captain Ben Hall (27) and Ed Nickson (24). Phil Winder put the brakes on Kirkham with 3-8 from his six overs.

Second-placed Wrea are now 13 points behind leaders Preston 2, who won by nine-wickets against Vernon Carus 2.