Seconds lose twice to Lancashire
SECOND XI T20 | Lancashire CCC v Leicestershire CCC
RESULTS | Lancashire CCC (two points) won by 37 runs, Lancashire CCC (two points) won by four wickets
REPORT | By Pete Johnson
Westhoughton CC hosted the SET20 game between Lancashire CCC and Leicestershire CCC, these being the penultimate fixtures in Leicestershire CCC’s SET20 campaign. In the Northern Group of the competition, Leicestershire CCC have won three and lost five matches to date.
Westhoughton lies midway between Bolton and Wigan, both towns being some five to six miles way. Westhoughton CC is where ex-Lancashire CCC stalwarts Mike Watkinson, and the late Harry Pilling played their Club cricket before representing the Red Rose County.
The North West area had been subject to heavy overnight storms that had taken their toll on the ground. This resulted in the Umpires delaying the start of play for 30 minutes to allow the bowlers run ups at both ends the chance to dry out. Play got under way at 12 noon.
Lancashire recorded victories in both games. In game one they got home by 37 runs, and in game two they won by four wickets. Highlights of the day for Leicestershire were a forceful innings of 64 from 43 balls in game two by Ateeq Javid, the highest score of the day. Also in game two, Ben Kitt returned figures of 3-23 (4), taking all three wickets in one over.
Play got underway in hot sunny conditions, with the number of spectators present well into three figures. It was the highest attendance by far this season for a game involving Leicestershire Second XI.
Leicestershire CCC skippered by Ateeq Javid won the toss, and chose to field. Rob Jones captained Lancashire CCC. Lancashire CCC posted 131-7 from their 20 overs. The top-scorer for Lancashire CCC was Jones with 52 (42b).
He was dismissed from the next ball after reaching his 50, edging off-spinner Don Butchart into the gloves of keeper Harry Swindells. Brooke Guest (21, 12b) was the next highest scorer in the innings, but unfortunately had to retire as a result of a hamstring injury.
Brinder Phagura picked up 3-29 (4), one of his wickets the result of a terrific catch by Nick Green in the deep. Sam Evans also took two excellent catches as well. Ben Kitt caught the eye with 1-7 (3) from a frugal spell of bowling.
Other wicket-takers for the Foxes were Nat Bowley 1-25(4) and Butchart 1-28 (4). In reply Leicestershire CCC could only muster 94-9 from their allotted 20 overs. The innings got off to a promising start with Leicestershire on 41-2 from 5.1 overs thanks to Swindells (14, 9b) and Hassan Azad (23, 17b).
The early momentum was unable to be continued, and County fell short by 37 runs. Wicket-takers for Lancashire CCC were: Oli Sutton 2-9 (2), Stephen Parry 2-11 (4), Jones 2-18 (4), Haseeb Hameed 1-5 (2) and Tom Hartley 1-13 (4). The spinners picked up six of the nine wickets to fall, one of which was a run out. Lancashire CCC 2 points, Leicestershire CCC 0 points.
Leicestershire CCC made one change, Sam Bates coming in as keeper, taking over the gloves from Swindells, who was deployed in the field. Jack Nightingale was left out of the starting XI. Lancashire CCC made two changes, Liam Livingstone and Sam Perry coming in for Guest and Parry.
Javid again skippered Leicestershire CCC, his opposite number Jones electing to bowl. Leicestershire posted 131-7 from their 20 overs. Javid (64, 43b) was the only batsman to prove a stumbling block to the Lancashire CCC attack.
His 50 (28b, 4x4, 1x6) came when the score reached 108-6 (18). The only other batsmen to reach double figures were Evans (18, 21b), run out when Livingstone fired the ball into bowler Hartley, and Phagura (17*, 10b).
Azad (8, 6b), batting at number five, was run out by a scintillating direct hit from Liam Livingstone. Wicket-takers for Lancashire CCC; Chris Sanders 3-21 (4), Livingstone 1-18 (4), and Oli Sutton 1-36 (4).
Lancashire CCC got home with 2.4 overs to spare. Livingstone (59, 33b) was top-scorer, with his 50 (26b, 5x4, 4x6) reached when the score was on 75-4 (9.1). Livingstone also shared in a 50 partnership with Owais Shah from 25 balls, the score on 86-4 (10.1).
The Lancashire CCC innings had a mid-innings wobble when Kitt picked up three wickets in an over, the sixth of the innings. The first ball of the over, Ed Fluck (9, 9b) was caught at backward square by Azad, third ball of the over Kitt bowled George Lavelle (0, 2b), and with the final ball of the over, Hartley gloved a ball down the leg-side, ‘keeper Sam Bates moving swiftly to his right to complete the formalities.
Livingstone (59, 33b) was eventually dismissed caught expertly in the deep by Phagura who took a massive steepler off the bowling of James Graham. Sam Perry (12*, 18b) and Jones (19*, 11b) safely saw Lancashire CCC home with 2.4 overs remaining. Wicket-takers for Leicestershire CCC: Kitt 3-23 (4), Graham 2-14 (2.2) and Phagura 1-28 (4). Lancashire CCC 2 points, Leicestershire CCC 0 points.
As a footnote to today’s fixture another box has been ticked for me. Prior to today’s game there was only one umpire on the current first-class list who had not officiated at a Leicestershire Second XI game over the eight seasons that I have been scoring for the Second XI.
The Umpire in question was Neil Mallender. Well, Neil was one of the umpires today, so I now have a full house. Neil’s nickname on the circuit is Ghost, perhaps that is why I have not seen him until now!