Sunday, 24 June 2018
Records fall as Nichols Batters Milnrow PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 June 2014

Following on from defeat to Heywood in the first T20 of the season the night before, Middleton 1st XI entered Saturday’s fixture against Milnrow C.C. with the daunting task of containing the prolific Rudi Second. Despite the absence of skipper Grant Jones, vice captain George walker stepped up to the plate taking responsibility of the team for the day and, after winning the toss, elected to bat first.

Walker stuck with the opening partnership of professional Grant Edmeades and overseas amateur Harry Nichols. During the early overs this looked to be a wise move as the two manipulated Milnrow’s opening bowling. However, the home side were soon uncomforted as Edmeades was caught out for 4 at cover with an aggressive front foot drive. Walker came in at three and, after attempting to consolidate Middleton’s innings, fell lbw to the bowling of Milnrow professional Second. With pressure mounting it was now down to the experienced ex Captain Steve Davie to provide stability in the middle order-this he did. All the while Nichols continued to take the game to Milnrow, through punishing the bad bowling and lack lustre fielding the visitors displayed. Having taken Middleton over the 150 mark, the partnership was finally broken, as Davie hit a loose shot to mid-on and returned to the pavilion with a commendable 42.

Although wickets continued to fall, Nichols application at the crease was admirable. The young Tasmanian went from strength to strength amassing his second century against Milnrow this season. Undoubtedly he was aided by some good running from the lower order and attacking batting, notably from Saquib Mahmood who made a quick 13. However, Nichols showed great maturity after achieving his century, as he went on to post the highest score ever from a Middleton Amateur, finishing his innings on 151 not out and filling the home side with great confidence as they totalled 237/7 off fifty overs.

With a good total posted and some strong bowling to follow, the possibility of a shock victory over the top of the league was tantalisingly close. After a good opening spell of bowling from Mahmood it was Joel Harris who removed opener Rob Wilman to bring the classy Rudi second to the middle. The importance to restrict Second in controlling the game was continually reiterated, as his match winning century during the first encounter between the two teams at the start of the month, was still fresh in the minds of the Middleton players.

The bowling was continually backed up by quality fielding and as the wickets began to fall around second, the feeling that he was carrying the Milnrow players through the game became more apparent. Danny Cores and Edmeades bowled with discipline and control and lead the Middleton attack for twenty nine overs. Eventually the hard work paid off as the pressure took its toll on Second and he was caught at deep mid-wicket by Walker, bowled by Danny cores who waited patiently and was rewarded with the breakthrough.  After the departure of Second, Milnrow provided little fight back, however deprived Middleton of a five point victory as they finished the game 190/9 off fifty overs. Cores finished with figures of 3 for 66 off 15, and similarly Edmeades finished with 3 for 49 off 14. This was a well deserved victory for the Moonrakers winning by 47 runs.

Mike Pritchard 

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

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