Tawseef Ahmed leads the 3rd XI to a rapid victory!
Tawseef Ahmed; Baildon's rubber band man!
One thing is clear from this weekend’s games, we are going to have to ban Steve Mottram from doing the preview piece on the website! He tempted fate a bit too much with his comments about Simon Bailey and of course Bails played the innings that won the game for Keighley. From speaking to people who watched the game, they reckoned we were only 25 runs short of setting the sort of total that would have won the game, a bit of a recurring theme in recent weeks. As with the previous match against Birstall, our batters got in but just couldn’t stay at the crease long enough to produce a match winning innings. James Ford (47) top scored and continued the solid form he has shown this season. After our positive start, James Massheder triggered a middle order collapse with figures of 6 for 29 to turn the game Keighley’s way. The opposition began their chase of our 174 in the worst way possible, losing 3 wickets with only 4 runs on the board, as Abdullah Khan (3 for 31) caused early problems. However, Simon Bailey (60) then wrestled the initiative from Baildon with the games’ top score. Keighley passed our total with 4 overs left and just 4 wickets in hand. So the ones remain a very competitive side but just need to score a few more runs (and perhaps bowl fewer wides…).
The 2nd XI made it two wins in a row with a comprehensive victory away at Hartshead Moor. Home of one of the best teas in the league but quite a tricky wicket – as Darren Wilson’s battered wicket-keeping hands will testify! Balls from Sam Kelly were either scudding along the ground or bouncing head high – unfortunately for Sam it was one of those days when the edges flew straight to the boundary. After winning the toss, we batted first and settled in for a master class in batting yourself back into form from George Barker (71*). Just like Darren last week, George carried his bat through the entire innings alternating solid defence with orthodox drives (through the off-side no less!). Thanks to the platform laid by George, Stefan Mather (64*) was able to come in at the end and punish the tiring bowling attack. With a strike rate of 164 he hit boundaries all around the ground and lifted the total to a challenging 210. Hartshead’s tactic of filling the opposition (with an absolutely belting tea - sorry I can't stop mentioning it!) to a point where they can hardly move seemed to be a winning one, as their batters got off to a fast start. Gradually though, Sam and Stefan worked out the right length and pace to bowl at as we started to claw things back. With good spells from Josh Capper and Dan Metcalfe, we eventually dismissed the opposition for 90 before drinks. Wickets were shared out amongst all the bowlers, with Sam Holmes taking the final wicket due to an excellent one-handed grab by Mini at gully.
Dave ‘Eoin Morgan’ Hodgson tells me that the 3rd XI’s overall run rate this year is 6.32 runs per over, no doubt in part due to Tawseef Ahmed’s match winning century, away at Drighlington this weekend. On a flat deck on a ground with a small boundary, the threes’ bowling attack did very well to hold the home batters to a total of 188 for 9 in their 45 overs. Like the second team, wickets were shared out across the whole attack with Tawquir Ahmed (2 for 24 in 12 overs) the pick of the pack. Then it was time for the Tawseef Ahmed show – 114* from 85 balls, including 18 fours and 2 sixes. For a slightly built man, he generates so much power in his shots from the elastic like quality of his arms, whipping his hands through the ball to dispatch it to all parts. So dominant was Tawseef’s innings that we reached the Drig’ total with 12 overs to spare. He put on an unbroken stand of 96 for the third wicket with Dan Grimmitt (33*) striking it confidently at the other end.
Sadly the 4th XI’s home game against New Farnley had to be abandoned mid-way through the first innings, due to one of the opposition players suffering a bad injury in the outfield whilst in pursuit of the ball. Our thoughts and well wishes go with Emma Lawson and we hope to see her back on the cricket field again in the future. In the cricket that had taken place in the game, Andy Norton’s team were well placed at 118 for 3 with 14 overs to go. This was mainly down to another strong opening partnership from Jamie Denison (50) and Ash Free (37), as they added 77 for the first wicket. New Farnley included ex Baildon junior Sonny Shanbhag in their XI, who took the important wicket of Jamie just after he had reached his second league 50 in a row.