Cricket: Morley spearheads crucial Heywood victory over Denton
Date published: 28 August 2019
Jack Morley, Heywood Cricket Club
Jack Morley led the way again for Heywood on Saturday 24 August as they made it one down, three to go after successfully achieving their first objective of a crucial four-game conclusion to the 2019 season.
Heywood overpowered Denton by eight wickets at a sun-soaked Crimble to move into joint fourth place in Division 1A of the Greater Manchester League.
Morley produced another commanding all-round performance to set up the much-needed maximum six-point victory, claiming 7-27 to help topple the visitors for 115 then hitting an unbeaten 52 as Heywood eventually coasted to their target.
It leaves them tied with Flowery Field, nine points behind leaders Moorside and five behind second-placed Glodwick and Denton West.
Heywood go to Uppermill on Saturday, followed by a home clash with Flowery Field and a final last game crunch at Glodwick, knowing that they can still make it a successful season.
Victory in all three would give them a chance of finishing in the top two and earning automatic promotion back to the Premier League.
And a position in the top five would assure them of the secondary prize of a place in the new Premier Two set-up for the 2020 campaign.
Heywood overcame a couple of unpromising situations to eventually subjugate Denton.
The visitors looked well placed when, after being put in on a damp wicket, they passed 70 for just one wicket down despite a 1-31 return from 10 overs by Simon Dawson and a miserly 0-14 spell in seven overs by James Mills.
But once skipper Sean Burrill turned to an all-spin attack the picture changed emphatically.
Morley, who came on from the Lake End for the 20th over, mesmerised Denton with his quality left-arm deliveries and received good off-spin support from professional Faisal Iqbal then James Kettleborough.
Yet it was Morley who was the destroyer, running through the visiting batting order aided by four lbw decisions to complete his seven-wicket haul from just 12.2 overs.
Iqbal and Kettleborough also claimed a wicket apiece.
A target of 116 looked reasonably straightforward for Heywood but Denton seamers Roche and Neill set some alarm bells ringing with disciplined opening spells.
They exploited the conditions with line and length bowling, and when Bobby Cross tried to break free after making 12 out of a total of 26 balls he only succeeded in slicing a catch to mid-on.
Then, without further addition to the total, Neill bowled Kettleborough for 13 with a ball that jagged back alarmingly from outside the off-stump as the Heywood opener shouldered arms.
So, when Iqbal joined Morley at the crease it was clear that both needed to show good concentration until they assessed the conditions.
Roche and Neill maintained their control and, at 38-2 after 20 overs and another 78 runs still needed, there were a few nerves amongst some Heywood supporters.
Yet the batting duo judged the situation perfectly and eventually broke free to lead the gallop to the finishing line with almost 18 overs in hand.
Morley was in particularly commanding form, racing to 52 from 78 balls with six boundaries and a six. And Iqbal was equally impressive to finish with a classy contribution of 37 from 54 balls containing four boundaries.
- U Waheed c Morley b S Dawson 11
- A Ismail lbw b Morley 31
- R Halpin c Iqbal b Morley 16
- O Butt lbw b Morley 6
- C Roche b Kettleborough 17
- S Neill lbw b Morley 0
- J Stringer lbw b Iqbal 0
- R Bardsley lbw b Morley 0
- Unsure not out 4
- S Miller b Morley 5
- Unsure c A Dawson b Morley 7
- Extras 18
- Total (43.2 overs) 115
- Fall of wickets: 15-1, 71-2, 78-3, 87-4, 91-5, 95-6, 99-7, 100-8, 105-9, 115-110
- Bowling: S Dawson 10-2-31-1, J Mills 7-2-14-0, C Hilton 2-0-15-0, J Morley 12.2-3-27-7, F Iqbal 6-2-14-1, J Kettleborough 6-0-12-1
- J Kettleborough b Neill 13
- R Cross c Butt b Roche 12
- J Morley not out 52
- F Iqbal not out 37
- Extras 2
- Total (for 2 wkts, 32.2 overs) 116
- Fall of wickets: 26-1, 26-2
- Bowling: C Roche 11-4-34-1, A Neill 15-7-34-1, U Waheed 4-0-36-0, S Miller 1.2-0-6-0, A Ismail 1-0-6-0
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