Earby fall just short after Kegg left stranded on 40 not out

Ian Clarkson bowls for Earby against Read.
Ian Clarkson bowls for Earby against Read.
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Earby fell short against Read in glorious weather at Whalley Road on Saturday.

Kyle O’Connor won the toss for the home team and decided to bat. Mohammed Zafran and Joe Marshall opened for the homesters against the bowling of Richard Craddock and Ian Clarkson, and a steady start for the batting side saw them reach 50 off 15 overs without the loss of a wicket.

Chris Walton and Ian White were given the nod to try their luck and Walton got the breakthrough, trapping Zafran lbw for 42.

Ian White struggled on the small Read bowl and went for 29 off his three overs. Skipper Craddock threw the ball to his professional Dave Crotty, who, along with Walton, started to make inroads into the Read order.

Walton added O’Connor to his tally and bowled a reasonably tight spell, and Crotty picked up the vital wicket of Joe Marshall and the dangerous Jon Harvey, followed by the Read pro Brandon Scullard, lbw for just two.

Thirty overs down and Read were just 120-5, as Earby thought they had a chance of restricting them to a very achievable target.

Walton was replaced after a 13-over spell with 2-56 by Lee Parkinson’s left arm medium pace, but Conor Lowes took a liking to this and despatched him for four sixes and a four off his only over.

Craddock brought himself back into the attack and struck second ball having Lowes caught by Clarkson.

Elliot Lowes and Turner (19) piled on the agony along with Ahmed (14 not out) as they added 78 runs in the last 10 overs, leaving Earby chasing 257 to win. Crotty was the pick of the bowlers with 3-48, Craddock 2- 69.

Walton and Sam Munns opened for Earby and put together a nice platform, 42 in the first 10 overs.

Scullard in his sixth over clean bowled Munns, which brought Crotty to the middle, and, along with Walton, he guided the score to 67 before Walton was adjudged lbw for 48 and Crotty was caught behind off Harvey four runs later.

Matt Wilson departed first ball, given out lbw, and Danny Kegg and Andy Jaggers had to almost start again.

Earby passed the hundred mark with 20 overs remaining when Jaggers was clean bowled by Andrew Rushton for 21, 105-5 and the pressure was now on Kegg and Craddock to get within striking distance.

A 50 partnership gave Earby hope until Craddock’s 23 ball innings for 33 ended with Harvey catching him off Taylor.

Parkinson (4), Garner (1) and Clarkson (1) all fell cheaply and only Ian White (10) stayed with Kegg for any time, Taylor eventually had White caught with Earby all out for 191 and Kegg stranded on 40 not out.