Classy knock puts paid to Rochdale bid
AKBAR Rehman, Crompton’s Pakistani professional, made a sumptuous and enthralling undefeated century at Glebe Street on Saturday and led his team to a four-wicket victory over Rochdale.
His was innings played in classical fashion. No ugly slogs nor indiscriminate reverse sweeps.
Just authentic batting, finding gaps and only hitting the ball as hard as it was necessary.
And he kept it on ground. Apart from once when he was dropped at gully as the game entered its final and crucial stage.
Dale had been expected to win this one, particular as Crompton were without four key players.
And for nearly three quarters of the game, nothing happened to alter this prediction. Batting first they travelled along at almost 6 runs per over, and although the introduction of Rehman and Andrew Yates into the attack slowed things down a little thay were still handily placed at 110 for 1 at the half way stage of their innings.
Jack Avery and professional Henry Cooper had put on 77 for the second wicket, but on the resumption Avery edged Yates to the wicketkeeper, and a further drop in momentum followed.
However, Cooper found a willing ally in Kelton Aughey and these two pushed the score past the 200 mark. Cooper fell in the last over just seven short of a maiden century.
Still, 222 seemed defendable, despite the favourable batting conditions, and when Michael Harling accounted for Yates and Stephen Wright Crompton were wobbling.
Simon Wright helped Rehman to shore things up, but wickets continues to fall regularly and at 120 for 6, and Crompton needing more than six an over the game appeared to be done and dusted.
But Rehman had been calmly and unspectacularly accruing runs and in Alan Good he found a more durable partner. Nor was Good content to play merely a passive role, as he denied Dale’s attempts to keep him on strike.
Dale were unable to contain either batsman and Rehman led his team home with a comfortable two overs to spare.
A surprise defeat for Rochdale then, but on this evidence, and when they return to full strength, Crompton are likely to rain on other parades.
Rochdale professional Henry Cooper