History-making Bradley brothers shine in Nelson win

Lewis Bradley keeps his eyes on the ball.
Lewis Bradley keeps his eyes on the ball.
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Runs came quicker than the rain as an historic opening century stand helped Nelson overcome Colne at the weekend.

Colne won the toss and with showers forecast decided to field first. Rain had already delayed the start and the match began as a 44 over affair.

The Bradley brothers made a fantastic start for Nelson, going past the 50 mark within 12 overs. Lewis Bradley was going particularly well, hitting his first ever senior 50 off 76 balls.

Russell Bradley, who injured his back when on only three, accelerated and raced past his previous highest score of 64 as the brothers piled on the runs.

The opening stand realised 130 before Lewis was caught at mid-off for 58, an innings that included 5 fours and a six.

It was the first time in the long history of Nelson Cricket Club that two brothers had been involved in a century stand. Russell soon followed his brother back to the pavilion, bowled by Matt Clark for 67, after having hit a six and 8 fours from only 59 balls.

Wickets began to fall regularly thereafter as the batsmen tried to build quickly on the solid foundation. Keshav Maharaj (6) and Neil Thompson (4) went cheaply but Khurrum Nazir (15), Toxy Hussain (24) and Harrison Phelan (19) gave good accounts of themselves as Nelson strived to set a winning total.

Matt Clark was the only Colne bowler to meet with any success and he was rewarded with career best figures of 6 for 36 for his efforts.

Richard Meade was out off the last ball of the innings, caught behind off Andy Hakin for 7, as Nelson reached 211 for 8.

A prolonged, heavy showery during the interval caused Colne’s reply to be delayed and a further 10 overs were lost to the weather. Colne started, therefore, needing 176 to win from 34 overs.

Sam Tillotson and John Lambert opened the innings but found runs hard to come by against the bowling of Sam Halstead and Kesh Maharaj.

Lambert had made eight when he was brilliantly caught and bowled by Halstead in the seventh over. Thomas Kaber entered the arena but was unable to assert himself as he stayed at the crease until the 28th over.

He hit a six to take him to 32 but was out next ball, caught at mid-wicket.

Tillotson top scored with a total of 34 but the remainder of the Colne batsmen fell for ducks or single figures.

With Russell Bradley having to field on the boundary edge due to his back injury, Harrison Phelan donned the wicket-keepers gloves.

Bradley actually took a good catch in the deep to dismiss Tillotson while Phelan grabbed a couple of smart stumpings off the bowling of Maharaj.

Nelson’s spin-twins, Maharaj and Khurrum Nazir, caused too many problems for Colne, finishing with 4 for 42 and 5 for 37 respectively, giving Nelson victory by 63 runs.

Nelson supporters were saddened to hear that the club has to seek a substitute professional at the end of June to replace Keshav Maharaj who has been re-called by the South African board for “A” team duties in July and August.

Nelson are at home next weekend, hosting the all-conquering, table-topping Burnley on Sunday.

Colne travel to the Neville Gee (Recruitment) Ground to take on Lowerhouse.

Derek Metcalfe