Nelson leave Rawtenstall well beaten

Nelson paid man Kesh Maharaj
Nelson paid man Kesh Maharaj
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Nelson visited Rawtenstall on Saturday and came home afterwards with their tail between their legs, having been comprehensively beaten by 100 runs.

Rawtenstall won the toss and elected to bat but Nelson dismissed both openers, Joe McCluskie (0) and Chris Cook­Martin (8), putting the home side on 22-2 from seven overs.

Sam Halstead gained both wickets by virtue of splendid catches by Lewis Bradley (at second slip) and acrobatic Harrison Phelan (at extra cover).

Sam Kershaw and professional Brett Pelser soon put Rawtenstall back on track for a big total. They put together a century partnership which was broken when Pelser failed to stop a ball spinning back onto his wickets. He made 60 with the aid of eight fours before becoming the first of Khurrum Nazir’s six victims.

Kershaw also became one of Nazir’s conquests, guiding a ball into Richard Meade’s hands at point. Kershaw had made 74 with seven fours and two sixes.

Mick Bradley led the Nelson side in the absence of Neil Thompson, and used six bowlers to try to stem the flow of runs.

Professional Kesh Maharaj found it difficult to contain the rampant batsmen on such a small field. He took 2-67 but Nazir polished off the tail to finish with 6-50.

Chasing 228 to win was never going to be easy, and Nelson never settled. Wickets fell at regular intervals and the highest stand was 28 for the fourth wicket.

The highest individual score was 26 by Phelan. Several batsmen made it into double figures but failed to build. Lewis Bradley and Nazir both made 14, Russell Bradley 15, whilst Maharaj made 20.

Rawtenstall’s quick bowler McCluskie took a best 6-31 to give his team 12 points.

Nelson have a double­header programme against East Lancashire next week­end. Tomorrow Nelson host them in the second round of the Worsley Cup and the sides meet again at Seedhill on Sunday in a league match. Kesh Maharaj will make his farewell performances in these games before returning home for South Africa A duties. It is hoped that fellow­ countryman, Qaasim Adams, from Cape Town, will take over the week after.