Bolly bounce back to widen gap at the top
BOLLINGTON CC TOM HORSFIELD
FOLLOWING last week’s narrow away draw to Upton, where Bollington bounced back with victory against fellow league frontrunners Widnes.
With both teams eyeing the top of the league table, a win for either would cement their place as promotion contenders as we approach a third of the way through the season.
With the pitch looking extremely favourable for the batting sides, Widnes won the toss and elected to bat.
Bollington were the team who started the strongest and enforced early pressure on to the batting side from ball one.
With the overs and runs scored level with 10 gone, the league’s leading wicket taker Sabir Mallie struck, bowling Widnes opening batsmen Matt Burns for two.
Mallie and Jahangir continued to frustrate the Widnes batsmen with some tight bowling which restricted them to 50-1 at the first drinks break.
Widnes’s batsmen started to gather some momentum with McCoy and Kirby seeing their partnership pass 50.
Bollington spurned several chances in the field before Stuart Plant (1-58) dismissed the dangerous McCoy for 40 after some fine glove work by Ged Mckernan.
A further 30 runs were added to the score before Mallie bowled Kirby for 44, seeing the score at 100-3 with 17 over remaining in the Widnes innings.
A further two useful partnerships saw Widnes’ score increase to 134 before a fabulous low catch in the covers by Rick Hough off the bowling of Mallie and a run out by Plant saw the scores at 152-5 with 10 overs to go.
Widnes’ lower order came out with their bats swinging hoping for some late runs. However, Mallie and Horsfield bowled an economical and rewarding final 10 overs, seeing Mallie take a further two wickets which gave him final figures of 5-63 off 20 overs.
Horsfield (2-27) also bowled a tight final spell, bowling two and running out the last batsman to restrict Widnes to 181 off their 50 overs.
Bollington started well in their response with Tom Barrass hitting early successive boundaries alongside Hough.
Bollington lost the wicket of Barrass for 13 after being bowled by Widnes overseas amateur James Menzies, which left Bollington 33-1.
Mallie was next to the crease and looked to put Bollington back on track.
A change in fortune for the Widnes bowling attack saw the removal of the two danger men, with Hough out for 39 off the bowling of Campbell and the following over saw Singh bowl Mallie for 18 leaving Bollington in a vulnerable position at 79-3.
Plant and Horsfield were next to the crease and looked to stabilise the innings and put Bollington back on track to victory.
However, Menzies had other ideas, creating a torrid atmosphere for the incoming batsmen.
The pressure soon became too much as Menzies dismissed Horsfield for two and Kirton without scoring, leaving Bollington at 89-5 with Plant the only batsmen digging his heels in for the visiting side.
Confidence was rising amongst the Widnes team as they could taste victory with a collapsing Bollington middle order in their sights.
However, Plant had other ideas and continued to keep the score board ticking over.
Henshall scored a vitally important 10 before being bowl by Menzies which left Bollington needing 67 with just three batsmen remaining.
A partnership between Plant and Jahangir took Bollington to within a whisker of the required total before Plant was caught in the gulley of the bowling of Menzies for a crucial 33.
Jahangir put in a tremendous batting performance to score 43 off as many balls alongside Paterson (10*) who helped carry Bollington home with just two overs remaining.
The win saw them extend their lead at the top of the table to 27 points over second-placed Warrington.
Bollington welcome Brooklands to the recreation ground on Saturday and hope to register their eighth win of the season.