Cricket: Littleborough v Middleton
Date published: 02 July 2019
Middleton Cricket Club
Middleton travelled to Harehill to play former Central Lancashire League colleagues Littleborough on Sunday 30 June.
Wwith a team missing five players due to holidays, they were determined to pick up the points to keep them on the tail of league leaders Colne.
It was not to be, mainly due to a masterful batting performance from former Littleborough professional Clinton Perren who finished unbeaten on 110 off 115 balls with 12 x 4s and 1 x 6.
Middleton skipper Dale Highton won the toss and elected to bat with Martin Roberts promoted up the order to open with professional Chris Williams.
Middleton were going along nicely when Williams drove one back and Lewis Willman managed to reflect the ball on to the stumps and a dejected Roberts had to go for four with the score on 17.
Second team captain Mo Shadid joined Williams and together they put on a stand of 48 before Shadid chipped one to Willman off Heywood South African professional Travis Townsend for 31 off 42 balls.
Rhys Tierney joined the pro and they took the score to 141 with 10 left with some good strokes and some enterprising running before Williams was caught behind for 63 off 119 balls with 6 x 4s by Tom Pye off the bowling of Joe Smith Butler.
Richard Dempster was next in but the hero of the last two league games didn't last long before being caught by Townsend off Smith Butler for six.
Andy Holmes (3) was bowled by Smith Butler with the score on 159. Tom Rutter and Tierney put on a quick fire 19 before Tierney became Smith Butler's fourth victim when he was caught behind by Pye but not before he had scored his first half century of the season in the league with a splendid 53 off 84 with 6 x 4s.
Richard Fitton was well held on the boundary by Zac Perren for seven to give Smith Butler his fifth wicket before Middleton finished on highly respectable 195/7 with Rutter unbeaten with 19 off 12 balls and Ammar Malik 1 not out.
Middleton got off to the start they wanted when Williams bowled Zac Perren for three with the score on seven in the ninth over. Williams and Dempster were once again keeping it tight with Littleborough only scoring 18 off the first 12 overs.
After 21 overs, with the score on 51, Highton replaced Dempster and, with only his third ball, he had Matthew Hernon lbw for 27.
Townsend joined Perren and together they put on a match-winning stand of 88 with some excellent shots and quick running before Highton bowled Townsend for 36.
17 runs later Rutter had Smith Butler (1) caught in the deep by Williams, but that was it for Middleton, as Ryan Miskella 14 not out and Perren 110 not out saw their team home with four balls to spare.
This was a decent performance by Middleton, but it was Perren who turned the clock back with a truly masterful performance to see his side home.
Middleton will be hoping to get back on track when they travel to Great Harwood next Saturday.
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