Nothing can be more appropriate than the old cliché ‘what a difference a day makes’, as Neil Thompson’s men earned a place in the Worsley Cup Final on Sunday.
Nelson cricket fans were disgruntled after their team’s poor display at Todmorden in the Lancashire League on Saturday, and the cricketers’ confidence must have been low after a nine-wicket defeat at Centre Vale.
Accrington, on the other hand, must have been cockahoop after thrashing Rishton the day before and posting a mammoth score of 316-5.
Accrington were oddson favourites to reach the final of the Worsley Cup.
Accrington even won the toss and chose to bat first.
Within 47 minutes though, their dream of a final appearance was in tatters.
Sam Halstead and Richard Meade bowled with true venom, and had the batsmen playing and missing from the first ball.
Matt Wilson was the first wicket to fall, lbw to Meade for 0.
Meade also claimed the wickets of Graeme Sneddon (152 the previous day), caught at midwicket for 10 and Jacob Clarke, clean bowled for 8.
The prize wicket of professional Ockert Erasmus (111 the day before), fell to Halstead who had him caught behind for a 12-ball duck.
Ali Hasham was bowled in the same over and, when Stuart Crabtree was caught on the longon boundary by Qaiser Abbass off Meade for another duck,
Accrington were 24 for 6 from just 10 overs.
Jonathan Hayhurst (11) and Keiren Grimshaw (10) put together the highest stand of the innings – 21 – before Nelson’s substitute professional, Qaiser Abbass was brought on to bowl his slow leftarm spin.
In 5.5 overs, he came away with the amazing figures of 4-8, to end the Accrington innings on 51.
He bowled Hayhurst and David Ormerod ( for 0), caught and bowled Ramiz Hussain (also for 0) and trapped Grimshaw legbefore.
Meade (4-16) and Halstead (2 for 24) deserve a great deal of credit for tearing out the top of the Accrington batting order.
Lewis and Russell Bradley opened Nelson’s reply and showed no nerves in chasing down such a low target.
A total of 18 runs came from the first four overs before Lewis was caught at shortleg for 12 in Erasmus’ first over.
Russell went on to make 26 off 31 balls, hitting 3 fours, but was then bowled by Erasmus.
Harrison Phelan (11) and Qaiser Abbass (3) were undefeated when the winning runs were scored in the 13th over.
The whole match, including a 30 minute interval, was over by 4-03 p.m.!
I wonder if Qaiser Abbass would be available again when the final is played on Sunday, August 9th.
Nelson will host Burnley in that final – what a day that should be!
This weekend, Nelson take on bottom team Rishton at Seedhill on Sunday, with no fixture tomorrow.
On Friday night, Nelson earned a 37-run victory over Haslingden in their final Twenty20 Pride of Pendle Group game.
Former Nelson man David Crotty, currently professional at Earby, appeared as sub pro for the Seedhill side, and hit three fours and a six in making 54.
Russell Bradley chipped in with 19 as Nelson closed on129-8.
Sam Halstead and Lewis Hillman both claimed 3-12, with Nelson’s fielding spot on, as they recorded three run outs as Haslingden were dismissed for 92.
Former Nelson paid man Burton de Wett made 19 and Matt Griffin 12 for Haslingden.
The semi-finals of the competiton will be held tonight as Blonde Witch winners Enfield host Pride of Pendle runners- up Burnley, while Pride of Pendle winners Lowerhouse entertain Blonde Witch runners-up Rawtenstall.