Nelson outdone by Todmorden

GOOD BOWLING: Richard Meade in action for Nelson
GOOD BOWLING: Richard Meade in action for Nelson
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MORNING rain on an already sodden Centre Vale made it very doubtful that a cricket match could be held on Sunday afternoon but a willingness from ground staff and players made it possible to start a 35 over match at 2-45 p.m.

Nelson lost the toss again and Todmorden took the initiative by asking Nelson to take first knock.

Nelson, therefore, had to set the pace of the match but were handicapped by the loss of two early wickets. James Lickess was lbw to Todmorden’s pro, Qaiser Abbas, for 7 and Nelson’s pro., Shahzaib Hasan, after hitting two straight sixes, guided a delivery from Elliott Gilford to first slip and was caught for 12.

Young Tom Bradshaw had been given the task of opening the innings and he played beautifully, helping David Crotty to add 43 for the 3rd wicket. Bradshaw hit three fours and a six before the wily Abbas trapped him in front for 32. Another productive partnership brought 38 runs as Russell Bradley made 19 before being stumped.

Crotty, meanwhile, was looking good for his first 50 of the season, collecting four fours and two sixes in a delightful 42 but a mis-timed drive had too much height and the bowler had sufficient time to run back to complete a diving catch.

Neil Thompson hit two fours and a six in the closing overs and Sean Lemon hit the final ball of the innings for six as Nelson finished on a respectable 151-6.

Nelson certainly edged the first half of Todmorden’s reply with the score reaching 50-3 at the halfway stage. Simon Newbitt (7) and Stuart Priestley (9) both fell to catches off Richard Meade’s bowling while Shahzaib Hasan bowled Ben Sutcliffe for a duck.

Qaiser Abbas was still at the crease though and it was his innings that kept his side in the frame. Elliott Gilford (17) and then skipper Andrew Sutcliffe (26) helped him to maintain a run-rate which was just about adequate.

With 10 overs to go, 72 runs were required. After Sutcliffe had been dismissed by Meade, Neil Thompson removed Matthew Brierley for 10 and 29 more runs were needed from 4 overs – still just over 7 per over.

Even in those final overs, the Nelson cause was not helped by bowlers being guilty of bowling wides. Nelson conceded 16 in wides, compared to Todmorden’s 2.

Abbas hit the last of his seven fours – to go with his three sixes ~ to finish on 63 and win the match with five balls to spare.

Nelson travel to Rishton on Saturday and then take on the champions and runaway league leaders, Lowerhouse, at Seedhill on Sunday.