Anwar strikes to see off Nelson

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IT was a perfect day for cricket on Sunday and there was a large crowd at Church to witness an entertaining match - although the host supporters would have gone home in a happier frame of mind after seeing off Nelson.

Nelson lost the toss ~ again! ~ and had to bowl first on a good batting track.

The Nelson bowlers actually gave a good account of themselves, restricting Church to 34-1 at the end of the initial 10 overs.

Waqas Tahir had taken the wicket of Levi Wolfenden for 19.

The Nelson professional, Shahzaib Hasan, replaced Tahir in the attack and immediately bowled Craig Fergusson for six.

It wasn’t long before he claimed his second wicket, trapping the fluent Lloyd Aspin lbw for 27.

Hasan then bowled Andrew Bentley and Church were 77-4 with 28 overs gone.

The Church professional, Saeed Anwar, was still at the crease though, slowly but surely building a substantial innings.

It took him 70 balls to reach 34 but he then suddenly cut loose.

Toqir Hussain, who had bowled economically for nine overs, conceding just 28 runs, felt the full force of the whirlwind as Anwar hit him for three fours and Mohammad Jamil hit a six, all in his 10th over.

Anwar and Jamil put on 109 in 62 min utes for the fifth wicket, really putting their side in a strong position.

However, Church failed to advance that position as wickets tumbled.

Tahir returned to the attack and bowled Jamil whose 45 included five fours and two sixes and, in the next over, Anwar was caught in the gully, off a skier, off the bowling of Hasan for 79.

He had hit seven fours and a six in an innings lasting 99 balls.

From 185-4, Church slipped to 203-9 in the final six overs with Hasan finishing with the very creditable figures of 7-68 from 19 overs.

The Nelson reply got off to a bright start despite losing two early wickets.

Shaun Lemon (10) and Chris Willan (4) both fell to the slow left arm of Saeed Anwar, but Shahzaib Hasan and David Crotty were quickly into their stride, bringing the 50 up in the 10th over.

Hasan appeared to be building an innings of note as his fellow countryman had done earlier, playing most balls circumspectly but punishing the loose deliveries.

He had reached 40 off 38 balls with the aid of three sixes and two fours when he attempted another big hit, only to be caught at deep mid-on.

Although Crotty made a fighting 35, only Lewis Bradley (22) amongst the remaining batsmen made it into double figures and Nelson folded on 152 - one run short of a batting bonus point.

Church’s pro, Anwar, completed a personal double as he returned bowling figures of 6-59.

Next weekend sees a double header, in as far as it is Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

First of all, a visit to East Lancashire, followed by a home derby match with Colne.