Jonny lost the toss on what looked like a flat pitch with small boundaries that screamed a score of 200+. As we have all been accustomed to the way Walsden like to dominate with bat. A brilliant fielding effort reduced Walsden to 156 including some outstanding catches from Sam Price and Ghulum Abbas. Jonny showed his class and experience returning 3-33 adding the big scalps of the professional and Joe Gale. Dan Pyke once again showed how valuable his addition to the club has been. He has continued his impressive T20 form by taking 3-27, boasting his skills with the new ball and at the death amongst those hooping yorkers.
So the Rams were set the target of 157. Brad and George opened the innings. The fireworks began from the second ball as George hit a huge six over the bowling greens into the housing estate. Three balls later his innings was over, as he mistimed one to square leg. Alex joined Brad at the crease. Both continued their blistering T20 form with their third consecutive partnership of 40+. Brad being the main aggressor smashed a quick-fire 39 before he was trapped leg before by the Walsden professional Karunaratne.
Enter Ben Parkinson. Now Parky has been in sensational form for the 2nds and this continued as he went into full whack mode smoking the ball to all parts of the ground. It was a delight to watch from the other end, as his hard work is paying off and continues to knock down the door on the First XI. It must also be said his glove work behind the stumps was top class. Another big partnership of 68 between Alex and Parky frustrated the Walsden fielding unit as they began to argue amongst themselves. Unfortunately, Parky went one shot too many and fell for a dazzling 36.
JJ joined the crease and hit a six first ball to ease the nerves on the balcony. Next ball, the most bizarre incident happened. With the team needing 15 off 9 balls, Alex called through for a single when both the bowler and fielder both shoulder charged (a clear red card in rugby terms) Alex as he was running through. It all kicked off as the Walsden fielders and their supporters hauled abuse. The umpire decided to penalise Walsden with 5 penalty runs. Game on! With 8 runs needed off the last over, both JJ and Jonny departed. After some fumbles from the Walsden field, Alex hit the winning runs on the second last ball to finish on a mature 40 not out and see the Rams home to the quarter final.
With six changes from the previous game, this was the Rams best performance of the season showcasing their exciting brand of cricket. We look forward to hosting Todmorden next Friday in the quarter final.