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Cricket: Cross and Morley combine to sink Unsworth

Date published: 21 May 2019


A sparkling second-wicket partnership of 164 in 38 overs between Bobby Cross and Jack Morley paved the way to a morale-boosting win for Heywood Cricket Club over Unsworth on Saturday (18 May).

The duo came together after losing 16-year-old Jacob Kaye caught behind to the third ball of the match then put together one of the best stands seen at Crimble in recent years.

Morley went on to make his highest score, 69, for the senior side, and Cross carried on relentlessly to make 103, his 23rd century in a stellar career for the club, as Heywood rattled up a formidable 246-3 from their 50 overs.

That was always going to be an intimidating task for the visitors from the Bury area, but they managed to deny Heywood a bonus point by hanging on at 170-8.

It was certainly a much-needed tonic for the home side after the events of the previous week at Swinton Moorside and being forced to bring in three reinforcements from the second team.

Stepping into the breach came Jacob Kaye, Dominick Fawcett and Sohail Asildada, and all played their parts in helping to lift their side into a healthier position in Division 1A of the Greater Manchester League.

Kaye shrugged off his disappointment with the bat and, along with Fawcett, certainly did not let the side down in the field.

Asildada, making his senior debut for the club, showed that Heywood could have made a promising recruit with his medium-quick bowling.

His initial four-over spell certainly supplemented Heywood’s attack and he was unfortunate to see a catch dropped from only his third ball, he came back with two more overs at the end of the innings, as Heywood tried unsuccessfully to topple the last two batsmen, to finish with a creditable return of 0-24.

But this was really Cross and Morley’s day as they lifted the spirits of the side and supporters.

Following the early demise of Kaye, they played sensibly and scored at a good pace to make sure that Heywood would set the visitors a testing target.

Cross, regaining the captaincy reins for a while, rarely looked in trouble despite surviving a couple of lbw shouts, and his influence certainly seemed to help the 17-year-old Morley, who must have been eyeing a memorable personal target before falling to his first significant mistake.

After surviving anything the Unsworth attack could throw at him, Morley pulled a rank long-hop from leg-spinner Israi Ul-Haq straight into the hands of mid-wicket fielder Simon Hetherington.

But Cross motored on relentlessly and clearly enjoyed his 23rd three-figure landmark for the Club before falling lbw trying to sweep visiting professional Amogh Desai.

Professional Faisal Iqbal and Andy Dawson made sure, however, that the remaining overs were fruitful for Heywood in an unbeaten stand of 32 from 25 balls, Iqbal looking solid with 32 and Dawson providing a flourish with 27.

A run-rate of almost five-an-over was always going to prove a difficult task for the visitors although they stuck willingly to their task.

Jack O’Brien was an early victim of Cav Hilton, another of Heywood’s 17-year-olds, caught by Cross at short extra cover in another neat return of 1-20 from his permitted opening spell of seven overs.

Andy McGuinness and Simon Hetherington dug in to rally their side with a stand of 43 until the former was run out for 20 attempting to back up his partner looking for a second run, only for Hetherington to carry on the good work when joined by Indian professional Desai.

Yet when Hetherington was caught at backward point for 28 off Iqbal and Mitchell Garnett was bowled for Morley soon after it was 102-4, and Heywood smelled the possibility of rolling over the visitors cheaply.

The impressive Desai made sure, however, that did not happen when joined by Ul-Haq, and the duo even raised their side’s hopes of pulling off an unlikely victory when putting together a fifth-wicket stand of 48.

But, on 150-5, Desai made his first real mistake when smashing a drive back towards Iqbal and the professional completed a fine return catch.

That proved to knock the stuffing out of Unsworth as Steve McGuinness, Alec Robinson and Chris Berry fell in quick succession to see Unsworth hanging on in the final three-and-a-half overs.

Still, in the circumstances, a five-point return for Heywood was more than satisfactory and lifts them to a mid-table position.

Heywood

  • R Cross lbw b Desai 103
  • J Kaye c Berry b O’Brien 0
  • J Morley c Hetherington b Ul-Haq 69
  • F Iqbal not out 32
  • A Dawson not out 27
  • Extras 15
  • Total (for 3 wkts, 50 overs) 246
  • Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-165, 3-214
  • Bowling: J O’Brien 6-0-20-1, A McGuinness 9-1-43-0, A Earnshaw 11-2-47-0, S McGuinness 3-0-24-0, A Desai 15-0-68-1, I Ul-Haq 6-0-43-1

Unsworth

  • J O’Brien c Cross b Hilton 7
  • A McGuinness run out 20
  • S Hetherington c Cross b Iqbal 28
  • A Desai c and b Iqbal 57
  • M Garnett b Morley 5
  • I Ul-Haq not out 23
  • S McGuinness run out 0
  • A Robinson lbw b Morley 0
  • C Berry lbw b Morley 4
  • A Earnshaw not out 1
  • Extras 25
  • Total (for 8 wkts, 50 overs) 170
  • Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-53, 3-96, 4-102, 5-150, 6-156, 7-160, 8-166
  • Bowling: S Dawson 12-3-41-0, C Hilton 7-4-20-1, S Asildada 6-0-24-0, F Iqbal 12-0-46-2, J Morley 13-4-32-3

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