Bolling­ton stretch lead at top as Mal­lie stars

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BOLLING­TON failed to win for the first time this sea­son but Sabir Mal­lie’s hero­ics en­sured they came off bet­ter in the draw against Warrington.

The vis­i­tors could have over­taken the home side with a win, but that out­come never looked likely.

Look­ing to con­tinue their 100 per cent win­ning start to the cam­paign, Bolling­ton came up against fel­low pace set­ters Warrington, who were also un­de­feated ahead of this clash.

Warrington won the toss and se­lected to bowl first in or­der to try and take ad­van­tage of the favourable bowl­ing con­di­tions that were on of­fer on a very wet recre­ation ground.

The vis­i­tors started well, with both Richard Hough and Tom Bar­rass look­ing com­fort­able early on with runs com­ing with ease.

Warrington’s bowl­ing attack then started to get a foothold in the game, cre­at­ing pres­sure and see­ing the ground dry up. This brought Bar­rass’ innings to an end for 12 and left Bolling­ton at 30-1 off 14 overs.

South African over­seas Mal­lie was next to the crease, look­ing to con­tinue his for­mi­da­ble form along­side Hough.

Their part­ner­ship con­tin­ued to grow, sur­pass­ing 50 off as many balls and putting Bolling­ton in a strong po­si­tion come drinks at 94-1.

Both bats­men were look­ing com­posed at the crease, and soon af­ter drinks they both passed 50. Mal­lie then con­tin­ued to tor­ment the Warrington attack, tak­ing on ev­ery­one in his path.

Bound­aries from both Hough and Mal­lie were a com­mod­ity as both play­ers tar­geted their hun­dreds.

Mal­lie reached his maiden cen­tury for Bolling­ton, glanc­ing the ball off his legs for four. Hough was also in the hunt but fell ag­o­nis­ingly short on 88 af­ter a fab­u­lous catch on the bound­ary.

Mal­lie hit an ar­ray of bound­aries af­ter scor­ing his cen­tury be­fore be­ing re­moved by fel­low over­seas Nathan Green for 115.

With only four overs to go, Bolling­ton lost a fur­ther two wickets to fin­ish on an ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive to­tal of 234-5 off their 50 overs.

Warrington’s re­ply was some­what timid at first af­ter los­ing open­ing bats­man M Agar off the third ball of the innings from Mo Ja­hangir (1-60).

Af­ter his hero­ics with the bat, Mal­lie was the next to strike re­mov­ing the sec­ond opener for just seven.

Fol­low­ing the two early wickets, Warrington shut up shop im­me­di­ately to res­cue as many points from the game as pos­si­ble.

Adam Green was the first Warrington bats­man to put up any re­silience and dug in for a hard fought 67, be­fore some fine glove work from Ged McKer­nan stumped Green of the bowl­ing of Stu­art Plant (1-17).

Tom Hors­field (1-19) gave Bolling­ton a glim­mer of hope in the mid­dle overs which also saw the re­moval of Sam Houghton for five.

Mal­lie con­tin­ued to dev­as­tate the Warrington mid­dle or­der to­wards the end of the innings, fin­ish­ing on fig­ures of 4-32 of 17 overs and top­ping off an in­cred­i­ble day for the South African.

With Bolling­ton only man­ag­ing to take seven Warrington wickets the matched ended in a draw, with Bolling­ton tak­ing 14 points to Warrington’s five. The re­sult saw Bolling­ton’s lead at the top of the ta­ble in­creased to 27 points.

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