APPLETON 1ST XI v HAWK GREEN 1ST XI
Hawk Green started their new campaign in the UK Fast League Div 2 with a visit to Appleton, on winning the toss the Greens skipper Josh Unsworth opted to bat first with Josh Hampson and Paul Needham opening the innings facing the Appleton bowlers Aslam and Cooper. On a slow wicket with uneven bounce both batsmen were very watchful but, unfortunately, in the 4th over a misunderstanding led to Hampson being run out, 7 – 1, Needham in partnership with new batsman Sam Messih started to up the scoring rate with some exquisite cover drives and some glorious back foot drives from Messih. With the score on 57 Needham edged the ball to the keeper and saved the umpire from making a decision by walking, a sporting moment appreciated by the Appleton fielders, Ben Littler joined Messih but unfortunately fell very soon after for 2, 68 – 3, Jack Needham and Messih took the score to 74 when the latter received a ball that stopped on him and he was caught at deep square leg for 38. Skipper Unsworth was next to the crease with the opposition obviously delighted with the 4 wickets they had taken not realising the strength in depth of the Greens batting. Slowly at first Unsworth and Needham started to rebuild the innings with the score on 74 with 20 overs remaining, at this stage Appletons slow bowler Jackson had the Greens batsmen in all sorts of trouble but they fought it out and when Jackson was removed from the attack and Aslam was brought back this was the signal for Needham and Unsworth to cut loose and flay the ball to all parts of the ground with both batsmen hitting maximums, and whilst the scoring rate improved dramatically this was done with excellent cricket shots and in the final 10 overs the pair added 115 runs taking the Greens final score to 249 – 4 a total partnership of 175 with Unsworth closing on a briiliant 94n.o. and Needham on an equally impressive 71n.o. The Appleton reply was led by Puttrage and McDonald against the bowling of Jack Needham and Dylan Heginbotham, with both bowling a tight line and neither batsman appearing to show any intention of scoring this was pretty tedious cricket from the batting side until the 7th over when Heginbotham had McDonald caught behind by Josh Hampson for 2, 7 – 1, Shafif was next to the crease and he struck Heginbotham for 10 in one over before being bowled by Lee Hallas for 10, 19 – 2, which quickly became 19 – 3 when Hampson took an excellent catch off the bowling of Heginbotham to remove Puttrage for 4. Logan Jeffs replaced Heginbotham, who had the excellent figures of 8 overs for just 15 runs and 2 wickets, with dramatic effect as Hallas had Wright trapped in front for 5, 32 – 4, which quickly became 32 – 7, following a hat trick by Jeffs, the first Morrison caught behind by Hampson, the second Aslam clean bowled and the third another great catch behind by Hampson. During this carnage Hallas was bowling with a strength and purpose as he started with 6 consecutive maidens and closed his spell on 8 overs 6 maidens 2 – 8. Piercin batting at number 6 stood firm as he bludgeoned his way to 25n.o., the final wicket fell on 65 when Jackson was brilliantly run out by Sam Clarke, Jeffs finished with 5 -24. A comfortable victory but it would appear that the Green must show patience as they did today when bowling second and teams shut up shop to play for a draw.