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4 On The Bounce PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The 1st XI made it 4 wins on the bounce on Saturday with a dominant victory over high-flyers Milnrow at Towncroft.

Losing the toss on a typically superb Middleton wicket, the home side were put under the kosh by a good opening partnership by the visitors.

Joel Harris was wayward with 0-15 from just 3 overs and then Mike Pritchard was costly with 12 runs coming from his solitary over.  Meanwhile, at the other end, Saqib Mahmood was bowling and immaculate line and length, constantly troubling the Milnrow batsmen.

Indeed it was Mahmood, who could have had 3 or 4 wickets, who got the initial breakthrough when he bowled Wilman for 21 with the score on 50 after what had been a good start for the visitors.

In came the dangerous Milnrow Professional Rudi Second - arguably the best Professional in the Central Lancashire League this year - and at once he began to dominate the bowlers.

With Mahmood bowled out, Moonrakers skipper Grant Jones wisely turned to his spin attack in Professional Grant Edmeades and Danny Core.  Together the leg-spinner and off-spinner made use of the hard conditions of the pitch and began to generate much spin from the surface.

The change worked when Core removed Wilson on 59 for a well played 37.

It was from this point on that the home side began to dominate the game.

Realising that Second wanted to dominate himself, the Moonrakers deliberately gave a single to the South African in order to keep him off strike. The policy worked, with the Towncroft outfit able to choke the visitors into what was a very underpar total of 191-8 from their 50 overs.

The killer blow for Milnrow was when Second was uncharacteristically dismissed by veteran Steve Davey with the score on 162 - caught by George Walker at point.

The successful tactic of choking the visitors was backed up with some fine fielding, arguable the best all season - most notably a stunning catch by Harris at deep mid-wicket and by Pritchard at long on - as the Moonrakers dominated the former table-toppers.

Spin twins Core (3-63) and Edmeades  (3-51) were the pick of the bowlers, ably backed up by Mahmood (1-23) and Davey (1-27) as the Towncroft outfit forced Milnrow into a score that was at least 60-70 runs short of what would have been a good score.

In reply, Middleton’s positive approach continued.

Walker and Overseas Amateur Harry Nichols got the home side off to a tremendous start; putting on 73 for the first wicket in quick time.  Nichols was looking particularly dominant, hitting balls all over the park for a score of 60 - this his lowest score of the season against Milnrow; his 2 previous scores against them had been 114 and 150*.

Walker was playing with a sensible straight bat, reaching 35 before he edged one to slip.

Professional Edmeades joined Nichols in a 40 run partnership that took the game away from Milnrow before Nichols fell to a loose shot - caught at cover by Seconds.

Just when Milnrow thought they may have had a sniff, in-form Davey came in and forged an eventual match-winning partnership with Edmeades.

With the former Captain in an aggressive mood, he bludgeoned his way to a run-a-ball 53* - playing some particularly classical square shots.  Edmeades was the unsung hero of the piece, batting sensibly for 30*, making sure he stayed at the wicket to see his side home.

In the end, the home side reached their target with just the 2 wickets down with 13 overs to spare in what was a fantastic performance in front of a large and rather pleased Towncroft faithful.

Middleton 192-2 (4 points) defeated Milnrow 191-8 (0 points) by 8 wickets. 

Home of the Moonrakers

Middleton C.C. currently have three senior teams competing in the Penine Cricket League, and five junior teams.

Senior matches take place on the majority of Saturday and Sundays.

The Junior sides play on various nights throughout the week, as well as the Under 13s playing on Sunday mornings.

We have a function room that is available for hire all year round. For more information click here.

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