Gow­ers stays calm to guide Nor­den into sec­ond round of LCB

Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE - LES BAR­LOW

ASH­LEY Gow­ers played a bril­liant in­nings to guide Nor­den into the sec­ond round of the LWC sup­ported LCB knock­out.

Gow­ers faced 77 de­liv­er­ies for his un­beaten 63 and stayed calm and col­lec­tive as wick­ets tum­bled to an ex­tent that Stags were 94 for six, then 113 for seven when chas­ing a tar­get of 165.

When skip­per Hashum Ma­lik was eighth out Nor­den still needed an­other 26 runs, with only Chris Hart­ley, a player not ex­actly known for his bat­ting, left in the shed.

But Hart­ley wasn’t needed as Chris Humphreys pro­vided sup­port for Gow­ers and rounded off the job with a bound­ary.

Gow­ers’ knock gave him the man of the match hon­ours, but al­most equally im­por­tant had been a wicket taken ear­lier in the day by Martin Smith.

Nether­field pro­fes­sional Obus Pien­aar was the big dan­ger man to Nor­den and ar­rived at Stag Park with the record of a run ma­chine.

He looked in form, but on 17 Smith bowled him with a peach of a de­liv­ery which de­creased a pos­si­ble Nether­field to­tal by a lot of runs.

Smith bowled well, as did Chris Humphreys, Naveed Za­mu­rad, Greg But­ter­worth and Hashum Ma­lik. They chipped away at the in­nings and kept the runs down.

Over­all it was a good dis­play by Nor­den in the field, es­pe­cially with Hart­ley un­able to bowl much due to in­jury.

Nether­field made their way to 23 be­fore Chris Humphreys split the open­ing part­ner­ship. Bradley Earl made to hit to leg, top edged a skier, and Steve Pimm took the catch at point.

Ben Bar­row was next to go when he lofted a de­liv­ery from Smith into the safe hands of Re­han Ud­wa­dia at long off, and when Smith got Pien­aar it was 76 for three.

Five runs later Ma­lik bowled John Huck, then Lewis Edge looped up a catch to Dom Humphreys.

Josh Dixon compiled a de­cent 33 be­fore try­ing to hit Za­mu­rad out of the ground and only found Ud­wa­dia for the catch.

Matthew Goodall was run out by a di­rect hit at the non-stri ke end from Za­mu­rad, and Nether­field looked done at 120 for seven.

But the tail wagged and Nor­den faced a tar­get that was per­haps 20 or 30 more than it might have been.

Greg But­ter­worth bowled Lewis Richard­son for 23, and with the fi­nal de­liv­ery of the 45 overs But­ter­worth had Mark Clark­son stumped by Gow­ers.

What fol­lowed was any­thing but com­fort­able for Nor­den fol­low­ers.

Josh Tol­ley was out to a catch with only nine on the board, and Re­han Ud­wa­dia was then trapped leg be­fore.

Za­mu­rad and Gow­ers took the to­tal up to 44 be­fore the for­mer smacked a de­liv­ery into the cov­ers for a catch. Steve Pimm was out next ball and Nor­den were in trou­ble at 44 for four.

Dom Humphreys and Gow­ers al­most dou­bled the to­tal be­fore Humphreys slashed at a de­liv­ery from Clark­son and of­fered a slips catch which was taken, and it was deep gloom round the ground when Greg But­ter­worth was leg be­fore to Clark­son.

Nether­field had the edge, and that edge sharp­ened with the fi­nal ball of Pien­aar’s nine overs when Martin Smith went for a big hit and lofted a catch.

Ma­lik was out in sim­i­lar style, and at 139 for eight you wouldn’t have put money on Nor­den’s chances.

But with their three lead­ing bowlers hav­ing bowled out Nether­field looked to have run out of op­tions.

Gow­ers and Humphreys took ad­van­tage.

On the day it would have taken some­thing spe­cial to dis­miss Gow­ers who was un­fazed by a cou­ple of very loud ap­peals against him and looked a class act.

Nor­den will be away to Wals­den in the next round on 11 June.

Nor­den in bat­ting ac­tion against Hey­wood

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