Cricket: Middleton v East Lancs

Date published: 21 May 2019

Middleton Cricket Club were looking to get back on track after last weekend’s loss at Haslingden when they welcomed East Lancs to Towncroft on Sunday (19 May), and even though they couldn't manage a win, what a game it was.

East Lancs Skipper John Turner won the toss and elected to bat: Adam Bolton and wicketkeeper Harry Caton opened the batting.

Middleton professional Chris Williams and Richard Dempster once again opened the bowling, and it was Williams who struck early when he bowled Caton for six with the score on 13, and two runs later he had a second wicket when he had Joe Bolton caught by Rhys Tierney for two.

East Lancs Sri Lankans professional, Angelo Jayasinghe was next in: he and Adam Bolton had taken the score to 32 when Williams had Bolton leg before wicket for 12. 

John Turner survived a dropped catch at slip first ball, but with the score on 44, Williams struck for a fourth time when he also had Turner leg before wicket for five.

East Lancs were in trouble, and they needed someone to hang around with Jayasinghe.

Paul Turner helped Jayasinghe to put on 31 before he was brilliantly caught by Addison Holland off the bowling of Middleton Skipper Dale Highton for nine.

Another 30 plus partnership came from Jayasinghe and Phil Aspinall before Highton got his second wicket when he had Aspinall caught by Williams for 16, and only four runs later, Mark Bolton was back in the shed leg before wicket to Highton for one.

There was only one more wicket to fall, that of Paul Kelly, with the score on 142 when he was brilliantly run out by James Tierney for 12.

Jayasinghe and Mark Cattermull took the score up to 168/8 at the end of the innings with some lusty blows by Cattermull, who finished unbeaten on 20 and Jayasinghe unbeaten on 73, which was a very valuable knock for his team.

Once again it was a total that Middleton could chase down if they batted well, but who was to know what would come next.

Grant Jones and Leighton Le Carpentier opened the batting and it was Joe Bolton with the first of his five wickets who struck first when he caught bowled Jones for six with the score on seven, and six runs later Carpentier was gone, bowled by Phil Aspinall for three.

James Tierney and Williams put on a stand of 55 before Williams was bowled for 14 and six runs later Dempster was gone, caught by Paul Kelly again off the bowling of Bolton without troubling the scorer.

The Tierney brothers, James and Rhys, put Middleton back on track with a stand of 28 when in the last over before drinks, disaster struck for Middleton when Jayasinghe bowled James Tierney for a magnificent 58 off 77 balls with 5 X 4s and 1 X 6; and four balls later, although Reece Jones seemed to get an edge, he was given out leg before wicket.

At the interval Middleton were 102/6. It didn't get any better in the first over after drinks when Bolton struck twice to pick up his fourth and fifth wickets when he had Rhys Tierney brilliantly caught at slip by John Turner for eight, and the next ball he bowled Danny Royle.

Middleton were in big trouble at 104/8.

Tom Rutter and Holland put together an exciting stand of 34 with some nice shots and good running before Holland top edged one and was caught by Mark Bolton off the bowling of Cattermull.

Middleton still needed more than runs to win the game, as Highton joined Rutter in the middle and together they inched their way towards the total, knowing that they had plenty of overs left but they couldn't afford one mistake.

They had put together 30 of the 31 runs needed to draw level when Highton tried to cut one and was caught at Gully by Cattermull off Aspinall for seven, which left Rutter unbeaten on 33, a fine knock and the match was a tie.

An exciting game, which both teams will feel they should have won but in the end neither did.

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