Nelson end wait for first victory at sixth attempt as East Lancs are put to sword

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Saturday was one of the most miserable of days, but Nelson gained their first victory of the 2011 Lancashire League season at the expense of East Lancashire.

The home side won the toss and, with showers forecast for the whole day, they quite expectedly asked Nelson to bat first.

However, Nelson put their opponents to the sword and kept a healthy run-rate throughout their innings.

Chris Heap, opening the innings with Stuart Lemon, did not survive long, falling to a catch behind the wicket for six.

Lemon, though, was in aggressive mood and he hit two sixes and a four in a sparkling 33 before he was caught in the deep.

Five more batsmen got starts but lost their wickets at crucial times.

Professional Luke Woodcock made 20 before snicking one to the wicketkeeper, whilst David Crotty hit five boundaries in his 22 before going to a lbw decision.

Deputant Peter Dibb (pictured) looked impressive as he struck two fours and a six in reaching 29, but a good catch on the boundary ended his innings.

Then it was the turn of Khurrum Nazir as he made a dashing, run-a-minute 28 which also included two fours and a six.

With overs running out, captain Thomas Lord chanced his arm before he had scored, but his towering drive simply found a fielder on the long-on boundary.

Sean Lemon sacrificed his wicket in the quest for quick runs, adding 12 runs before being caught and Russell Bradley chipped in with a quick-fire 20 from 17 balls as Nelson closed on 196-9 in their 50 overs.

The final few overs of the innings had been completed in drizzly rain which continued throughout the tea interval.

The East Lancs innings did actually start in rain, but was curtailed after only two overs. Play resumed an hour later, 17 overs being lost and giving the hosts a revised target of 147.

Richard Meade grabbed two early wickets, getting David Pearson lbw for 10 and then John Turner caught behind for four.

Woodcock relived Waqas Tahir at the bowling green end, and soon found the edge of Ockert Erasmus’ bat and Stuart Lemon took a smart catch at slip.

Nelson were made to wait for further success as Minhaj Bhada and Mark Lomas steadily progressed.

Lomas eventually fell to the same Lemon-Woodcock combination, bringing the score on to 76-4 and East Lancs never recovered from that setback as wickets began to tumble.

Khurrum Nazir took over from Meade and immediately removed Paul Kelly and David Turner.

Another rain shower caused three more overs to be lost, making the new target 138 from 30 overs.

Eight overs remained and a further 51 runs were required.

However, suicidal run outs virtually put paid to East Lancashire’s chances.

Two accurate returns by Chris Heap from the boundary edge resulted in both Bolton and Bhada being easily run out, the latter having made 49.

Nick Turner also became a run out victim, but the final wicket went to Woodcock, who had Danny Chester well caught by Stuart Lemon, giving Nelson maximum points to celebrate.

Derek METCALFE

NELSON seconds made it six wins from six in the league on Saturday, before a thrilling win in the cup.

Against East Lancs on Saturday, the Blackburn side were all out for 135, as Shabaz Ahmed took 4-22.

Nelson reached a reduced target to win, scoring 126-5, including an unbeaten 32 from Colin Pemberton.

Then in the cup first round, Nelson beat Rawtenstall off the final ball with one wicket to spare.

The game started on Sunday, and continued on Tuesday after rain, with Nelson needing 93 off 17 overs with only five wickets remaining.

The final few Nelson batsmen, including 15-year-old Elliot Bradley, held their nerve and hit the winning runs in a very tense final over.

Garry Grimshaw hit a magnificent 110 to aid the run chase.