Colne achieved a thrilling two-wicket victory in the last over of their Worsley Cup tie at home to Church on Sunday.
Needing 12 from the last over, Colne professional Shadley van Schalkwyk hit sixes off the first two balls to give Colne a place in the second round.
After winning the toss, Colne captain Matthew Walker asked Church to bat. They made a solid start, recovering from the early loss of Wolfenden, building their innings round a score of 76 from professional Kasan Bodhisha, until van Schalkwyk had him caught behind by Adam Procter.
Several Colne bowlers acquitted themselves well, notably Dave Wallbank who had a steady opening spell with no luck, and Adam Holt and Walker who took vital wickets. Joel Duerden continued his recent good form with an mpressive 1-12 from five overs.
An expensive last over from Walker took the Church score over 200. As expected after the recent rain, the wicket was not playing entirely true, with a good deal of movement and uneven bounce, and 211 looked like a tough target.
Most of the batsmen found it hard to time the ball. Khurrum Nazir, opening, scored 29 by dint of hard work and concentration, without ever looking really fluent. Van Schalkwyk, batting fourth, scored just 16 off his first 12 overs at the crease, and with support from the amateurs, kept the score moving just fast enough to keep Colne in with a shout. Ali Akram scored 14, Walker 15, Alex White 13, and Church were very helpful with wides – 31 runs, and none of them boundary fives - but with 6.3 overs left, Colne still needed 62 runs.
Brad Ramshead came in and scored a quick 12 out of 31 added in the next three overs, and on his dismissal, Procter came in and offered valuable support to van Schalkwyk, who by now had got his eye in.
Fours were difficult on a slow outfield, but van Schalkwyk solved that problem by hitting sixes – seven - in an innings of 72 not out. The crucial moment came off the last ball of the 49th over. Van Schalkwyk hit the ball high, but just short of the boundary, and the fielder was perfectly placed for the catch – but he dropped it. They ran a single, van Schalkwyk took the strike, and two balls later it was all over.
Colne now play at Haslingden in the second round, on Saturday, June 8th. The seconds also won their cup tie, and have been drawn at home to Nelson in their second round, on the same date.
On Sunday, Colne play at Burnley in the league.