Nelson slip in wet conditions

Heap batting for Nelson CC v Haslingden CC.
Heap batting for Nelson CC v Haslingden CC.

AFTER beating the torrential rain, Nelson suffered defeat in league and cup at the weekend.

Following the deluge in the previous 48 hours, it was amazing a cricket match was played at all on Saturday against Haslingden, but another 44-over affair was started, just 45 minutes later than scheduled.

A lot depended on the toss and, whereas Nelson benefitted last week, Haslingden won it.

Haslingden asked Nelson to bat and were delighted to have half of Nelson’s side out by the 13th over.

Sean Lemon was caught in the gully for a duck, James Lickess was bowled for eight and professional Shahzaib Hasan was caught, driving uppishly, at mid-on for five.

Skipper Neil Thompson (3) was also caught at mid-on, and Chris Heap (3) went to a lbw decision, putting Nelson on 37-5.

David Crotty came to the rescue with a determined 32 but he was bowled by visiting professional, Harry Boam, just as Nelson seemed to be recovering.

Crotty had hit four boundaries. Lewis Bradley went for three but younger brother, Russell, held firm for 50 minutes as he contributed a very useful 22.

He was caught on the square-leg boundary after hitting three fours.

Tom Bradshaw (11) and Toqir Hussain (20 not out) added valuable runs at the death and Nelson closed on 127-9.

Two rain showers had reduced Nelson’s over allocation and the match became a 40-over affair.

Nelson’s opening attack was depleted with Richard Meade away and Waqas Tahir injured.

Thompson decided to open with Hasan, but the visitors progressed to 34 without loss from the first 10 overs.

Hasan’s off-breaks were not effective on the slow, dead pitch but Thompson gave his side some hope by claiming a couple of wickets.

Lee Ingham was caught behind for 13 and Graham Knowles was stopped in his tracks after making 26, caught by Lemon.

Toqir Hussain replaced Hasan and immediately bowled Boam for nine, but was unable to make any further inroads as Haslingden cantered towards victory.

Thompson did bowl Jack Taylor for six but Lewis McIntosh and Sam Kershaw put on 46 to see their side home with six wickets and five overs to spare.

McIntosh hit an unbeaten 44 on including three sixes and four fours.

The Worsley Cup tie between Nelson and Accrington got underway on Sunday at the third time of asking.

Accrington won the toss and elected to bat first, but it was Nelson who got the better of the early exchanges.

Nelson opened their bowling attack with Thompson and 14-year-old Harrison Phelan and it was the youngster who gained success with his very first ball in senior cricket.

Matt Wilson misjudged the delivery and gave a relatively simple catch to Lickess at mid-on.

Unfortunately, Phelan didn’t make any further breakthroughs but he can be pleased with his first spell of bowling with the first eleven.

Thompson bowled extremely tightly, taking 1-12 from his 10 overs - and that is despite conceding seven in wides!

With regular bowlers missing from the attack, Crotty stepped up to bowl his quota of 10 overs and he too bowled economically. He took 1-26, claiming the important wicket of Ashar Zaidi, the Accrington professional, who he bowled for 23.

Aijaz Shah, batting at number three for the visitors, was slow to start, recording just six runs from the initial 57 balls he received.

His patience reaped rich dividends later though as he went on to score 55 from a total of 120 balls.

He and Stuart Crabtree (35) were the backbone of the Accrington innings, putting on 84 for the 4th wicket.

Shahzaib Hasan took 2-50 but his figures would have looked better if it wasn’t for the fact that at least two catches were dropped off his bowling.

Nelson faced a daunting target of 183 to win and a big innings was required from someone.

However, despite several batsmen getting starts, none were able to go on and build a winning innings. Lickess (17), Lemon (12) and Thompson (12) all helped to keep Nelson in the picture but it was a minor disaster when Crotty was run out for five.

Hasan was playing a very responsible innings, picking off singles with ease but, when he edged Shah to slip, he was out for 19 and Nelson’s hopes were dashed.

Some of the younger batsmen in the lower order did not disgrace themselves with Russell Bradley making 15 and Tom Bradshaw gathering 25 from only 26 balls before he was last out with Nelson still 48 runs short of victory.

Nelson are at Todmorden tomorrow.