Cricket: Cross ploughs lone furrow to take Heywood so close against Moorside

Date published: 16 July 2019

Bobby Cross went agonisingly close to almost single-handedly pulling off a rescue act and extending Heywood Cricket Club’s winning streak in the Greater Manchester League.

The club’s all-time record run-scorer stood firm after opening the batting as a series of partners came and went chasing a Moorside total of 187 in a clash of the top two teams in Division 1A.

When Simon Dawson strode to the wicket at 105-6 halfway through the 33rd of the scheduled 50 overs, another 83 runs were still needed to make it seventh successive victories and maintain Heywood’s place at the top of the table.

Dawson gave Cross valuable support and the impetus the innings needed with a zestful display of running between the wickets.

Although he made just 12, Dawson played a vital role in the seventh-wicket stand of 41 before the first of three run-outs cruelly denied Cross his chance of a match-winning century.

Dawson called for a quick single after a Shahid Mahmood delivery to Cross, only for the bowler to race along the wicket with him and side foot the balls on to the stumps.

A ball later it was 146-8 as Mikey Witts was adjudged lbw, and it was clear that Cross, when joined by Sohail Asildada, had to attempt to farm the strike with 42 runs still needed from 42 balls.

Asildada quickly proved, however, that he can clearly handle a bat, and when he smashed a drive towards the extra cover boundary he looked for a second run until he was sent back by Cross, only to see the throw from visiting professional Ernest Kemm catch him out of his ground.

Now 166-9 and 22 runs needed from 26 balls.

Still Cross looked in control when last man Cav Hilton strode to the crease and the duo looked set to see their side home at 176-9 and just 12 runs needed at the start of the 47th over.

But a new calamity was just around the corner when Cross hit another powerful drive through the cover region. He regained his ground easily for the second run, but Hilton became the third run-out victim as the ball came rocketing into the bowler’s end.

It left Cross with the rare distinction of carrying his bat through the innings but high and dry on 99, cruelly denied what seemed an increasing probability that he would steer his side home.

The extent of his domination of the innings was underlined by the fact that professional Faisal Iqbal (19) and skipper Sean Burrill (15) were the only two other players apart from Simon Dawson to reach double figures.

Earlier, Moorside had recovered from the perilous position of 15-3 at the start of the seventh over with Asildada underlining his promise by claiming two of the victims, including danger man Kemm.

But the Oldham area visitors hung in tenaciously, led by a half-century from Imran Khan, to put together stands of 39 for the fourth wicket, 64 for the fifth wicket and 28 for the sixth wicket.

Khan was eighth man out for 56, but the tail wagged and a last-wicket stand of 19, another final fling to recently trouble Heywood, was to prove crucial in the eventual outcome.

James Kettleborough claimed three wickets, and there were two apiece for Simon Dawson, Asildada and Jack Morley.

Heywood are now off the top after just one week: three points behind Denton West; two adrift of Moorside; and three in front of Glodwick and Glossop.

That makes this coming Saturday’s trip to Glossop an obvious key clash, with all-rounder Morley missing the game because of England Under-19 commitments.


  • J Whyatt c Iqbal b S Dawson 0
  • D Percival c A Dawson b Asildada 0
  • E Kemm c Iqbal b Asildada 5
  • I Khan c Asildada b Kettleborough 56
  • R Harrington c Asildada b S Dawson 17
  • D Anchor c Burrill b Kettleborough 28
  • N Lategan c Hilton b Morley 21
  • S Mahmood lbw b Morley 7
  • P Broadhurst not out 23
  • E Lord b Kettleborough 0
  • M Pritchard not out 5
  • Extras 25
  • Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 187
  • Fall of wickets: 0-1, 1-2, 15-3, 54-4, 118-5, 146-6, 154-7, 154-8, 168-9
  • Bowling: S Dawson 14-2-55-2, S Asildada 6-1-14-2, C Hilton 5-0-16-0, J Kettleborough 14-2-56-3, J Morley 11-2-38-2


  • J Kettleborough c and b Harrington 5
  • R Cross not out 99
  • J Morley lbw b Harrington 6
  • F Iqbal b Kemm 19
  • A Dawson b I Khan 7
  • S Burrill c Percival b Kemm 15
  • W Hunt b Kemm 4
  • S Dawson run out 12
  • M Witts lbw b Mahmood 0
  • S Asildada run out 5
  • C Hilton run out 1
  • Extras 4
  • Total (47.1 overs) 177
  • Fall of wickets: 1-18, 2-42, 3-62, 4-73, 5-97, 6-105, 7-146, 8-146, 9-166, 10-177
  • Bowling: R Harrington 9.1-2-33-2, N Lategan 7-0-28-0, E Kemm 15-0-54-3, I Khan 12-0-40-1, S Mahmood 4-0-21-1

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