Oakworth Cricket Club 2018 Third Xl

The really good news was that a regular Captain was found with Keith Gilert bringing his enthusiastic approach to leadership. As expected Ollie Bishop and Thommo were both at Haworth, but Khaliq, Iestyn, Steve Cox and Dave Picton were along with talisman Jim Staton again set to be regulars in the Mighty Thirds! The season would see 27 players turn out at one time or other but only 5 managed double figures in appearances.

It was to be a damp start with an abandonment at Wilsden on 28th April. The following week brought Bradley lls up to Penistone Hill. The visitors batted first and there was early success for u15 Ellis Marshall who removed Harry Andrews for 2. His opening partner Lewis Brown also got in on the act with Watkinson and veteran Tim Rudden both bowled. But Bradley had a rock, a county rock in Lily Bell whose defence proved impregnable. She anchored the innings scoring a terrific 63 not out. Josh Toner picked off a wicket, as did leggie Subhaan Ahmed to contain Bradley at 143-7 after their 45 overs. Ellis returned to pick up another and returned 12-2-25-2 with partner Lewis 12-2-31-2 a fine opening left-right combination. There was to be a steady flow of Oakworth wickets falling thanks mainly to Frank Watkinson who ultimately returned 4-26. Lewis made 10 but it was Subhaan who gave us hope of overhauling the modest total. Together with Dave Picton we edged nearer but our run-rate was off the mark. Two didn't bat but we tallied only 109-8 with Subhaan unbowed on 25 not out. Dave chipped in a sterling 19.

The visit to Ingrow was to be tackled with just 8 men and not surprisingly, only 772-7 was made. 24 came from Subhaan and 15 from Josh Toner, but ducks for the openers had set the tone. Ingrow skipper Adie Weatherall blitzed our bowlers racking up 50 to add to his partner Simon Bolton's not out 19 and the points were gone in just 47 balls. An early pint at Wide Lane was the only reward. P3, 0-1-2. Batting first again at Penistone Hill with 11 men against Wilsden lls the team showed much more solidity in scoring 126 in 41.3 overs. Steve Cox found form and opened with 22 and with 10 from Keith Gilert coupled with 14 from Khaliq Ahmed a better total was in prospect. The middle order failed but once again Subhaan Ahmed showed his quality, again remaining not out, this week on 37. An entertaining 25 from no 10 Dinesh de Soysa helped boost the total. Wilsden youngster Ben Mitchell came up with 6-28 fro his team. Nick Staton steamed in and grabbed 3-45 from 9.5 overs and James Hunter added 2-33 in his 8. But when running up against no 5 Ben Reynard our progress was severely curtailed as he punished the attack taking 68 not out. The Bingley side reached 131-6  in just 26.5 overs thanks to Reynard's assault. P4, 0-1-3. The next match against Airedale was conceded as we could not raise a team, and the next week again saw no action with an abandoned match at Denholme. P6, 0-2-4.

The trip to Cowling was made with 9 men and again batting first a poor total was posted of 69-8. Khaliq looked good with 21 before being run out and opener Steve built his season's tally with another 15. A very rapid and wily opening bowler for Cowling, Qamar Zaman did most damage with 5-14 in 8 overs. Experienced Steve Dalby was winkled out by Subhaan for 27  but 35 not out from Tahir Mahmood finished the match at 70-1 in 85 balls. P7, 0-2-5. The battle of the Thirds was next up at West End and a cracking encounter it proved. An opening stand of 21 was ended with Steve caught behind for 10 but Keith [30] and Khaliq went great guns adding another 41 to take us to 62-2 with Keith bowled by Nutter. But the third wicket stand was most pleasing as Khaliq was partnered by his son Subhaan and the pair made hay. The Ahmeds more than doubled the score with a partnership of 68 when Khaliq was caught for a valuable 39. At 130-3 anything was possible bearing in mine we again had only 9 men. The innings fell away despite 24 for Subhaan and whilst the total of 147-7 was the best to date, it perhaps could have been even better. The Congs opened with 56 for the 1st wicket with Kirwan [29] and Stow [20] setting the chase in motion. Higgins added another 29 as the score reached 105-3 and victory looking certain. But the introduction of leg-break twins Charlie Raby and Subhaan becalmed the batsmen. Subhaan grabbed 2-26 and Charlie 1-23 in their 17.1 overs. Congs concluded at 150-5 but took 35.1 overs to get there. P8, 0-2-6.

The following week was the return match at Sandy Lane, where the wicket proved a minefield and potentially dangerous with an offending ridge. Our boys [8 of them] did well to reach 76-7, Iestyn leading the way with 21. The lad from Wycoller., Jim Staton knocked in 17 and a promising stint by young Charlie was unluckily ended on 10. At 24-0 after just 3 overs the heavens opened and an early tea was taken. Sadly the wicket was saturated and no further play was possible. P9, 0-3-6. On our bikes again to a favourite destination, a team of 10 took on Gargrave lls in the Dales. From the off the ball was keeping very low and causing the batsmen all sorts of problems. Charlie was lbw for 13 and Keith also lbw for 8 and the day's menu was set from the off. But one man found little difficulty in batting. Khaliq really showed his mettle with a magnificent unbeaten 88 with 13 fours to his name. Iestyn [18], Dinesh [14] and Ellis Brown [16] all gave Khaliq support and we reached a titanic 181-6, four of the wickets lbw. The Gargrave innings relied heavily on opener Russ Nixon whose long stay brought him 25 but the bowling of Charlie Raby proved irresistible. the youngster showed all his tricks and he ended his spell of 8.1 overs with 5-25 to undermine the Gargrave response. Spin twin Subhaan resurrected their tandem act and he returned 2-18 from 8. Gargrave ended at 89-9 and |Oaks had a first win for the 2018 season, P10, 1-3-6.

Back at West End with the glow of having got the win column into action, our 11 men faced Cononley lls. At 20-2 batting first may not have seemed a good idea but skipper Keith [44] and Subhaan [87]  showed last week's win was no fluke. Contributions from Iestyn [18] and Andrew Stephens [13] helped the main pair build 212-7. After tea the Cononley riposte began with David Phillips leading their batsmen with 72 before he was run out by Nick Staton. Peter Hatton [38] and Ben Whitlock [25] continued his good work and suddenly the prospect of losing with over 200 on the board looked a possibility. But young bowler Ellis Brown with 4-43 and Nick Staton with two late wickets [2-30] brought the Cononley resistance to an end at 203-9. 415 runs in a great day's cricket and more importantly a successive win. P11, 2-3-6. Happy days. The euphoria soon dissipated with the next three matches at Bradford & Bingley [Cup], Long Lee and Glusburn were conceded as we failed to raise a team. P13, 2-3-8.

We finally got back into action on 21st July at picturesque Airedale. But the pre-break form had deserted us and the attack conceded 239-6. Warren Coppack [60] and Yusuf Mohammed [59] were the lading lights for the home side. Spin due Subhaan [2-47] and Charlie [1-47] in their combined 22 overs found the going harder. Dave Picton picked up another couple but conceded 29 from his 4 over burst. u13 James Powell made his debut but he too found bowling a task [0-55]. With the bat, only Paul Carter [25] and Iestyn [12] made any inroads in the face of 4-24 from Josh Coppack and 3-31 from Stuart McLennan. Our total was just 69-9 in 24.3 overs. P14, 2-3-9. The match at home to Ingrow lls was a rain-curtailed draw. P15, 2-4-9. Only 7 men travelled in hope to Chatburn and James Powell showed his emerging talent as top-scorer with 24. 73-6 was a worthy effort thanks to the Statons, Jim [18] and Nick [15].  The Chartbrn side reached their target but our bowlers took 3 wickets on the way,1 each to James, Subhaan and David. P16, 2-4-10.

Another match conceded [to Denholme] prefaced two more; to Skipton CI and Foulridge. P19, 2-4-13. On 1st September we resumed cricket at West End with the arrival of the strong league-leaders Silsden. This time we had 10 men but it made little difference. The Silsden boys were in no mood to let up their promotion chase and 333-3 [2 of them retired] was posted against our weary bowlers. Jack Lister added 103 and Jack Roberts 84 not out as their batsmen had a field day. Only young James managed a breakthrough with the wicket of Robert Jones for 56. He returned a very creditable 1-33 from 10 tidy overs. Jake Keslinke and Jacob Davies both also made their debuts. As expected Kieran Lawrence dominated the Silsden bowling attack and he picked off 8 of our batsmen for just 9 runs in 9.5 overs. The 31 all out rubbed salt into the earlier wounds on a day to forget. P20, 2-4-14. The match with cowling was rained off before the final fixture away at Cononley. A match-winning 5-35 from Subhaan Ahmed constrained Cononley to 101 all out and 3 wickets for Paul Carter was also of worthy note. Ben Whitlock again scored well with 29 and Matthew Hogg added 20. When Oakworth batted the skipper dug in for a solid 20 and Paul did most of the rest with 50. Quite appropriately Subhaan finished the job with 18 not out to help us end the year on a high note. P21 3-4-15.

Team outcomes

At home Thirds again picked up a solitary win, 4 defeats, 4 concessions and 2 abandoned, and on our travels, 2 wins and 4 defeats, 3 concessions and 2 abandoned.

No times batted 5 6 11 5 5 10
Runs Scored 625 645 1270 960 648 1608
Wickets lost 41 47 88 30 16 46
Average score 125 107 115 192 129 161
Wickets lost / match 8.2 7.8 8.0 6.0 3.2 4.6
Scoring rate 15.2 13.7 14.4 32.0 40.5 35.0
Runs / wicket taken 32.0 40.5 35.0 15.2 13.7 14.4

The team stats don't make good reading but as always there were highs and lows. 181-6 at Gargrave and 212 at home to Cononley show what can be achieved with a 10 or 11 man team, when at least 1 batsman excels. Khaliq, Paul and skipper Keith showed that this year. The bowling was dominated by Subhaan who took 16 of the 46 captured. But Charlie, Nick and Ellis Brown could all progress well in 2019 if available more often. Nevertheless the base objective for the team to give youngsters opportunity with adults taking a back-seat, was once again very well met with the results of no real import.

This year Subhaan was a clear stand out with both bat and ball. He has possibly played his last match for the Thirds, likely headed for the Second XI. Lewis and Ellis Marshall were soon promoted. Henry, Ben, Josh and Ellis Brown appeared only infrequently and all but Henry seem uncommitted to the game. Charlie was an absolute revelation and he too may well find a place in the Second XI very very soon. James, Jake and Jacob made debuts and should be regulars in 2019, as indeed hopefully will be Elis Jones, Jacob Stephens, Charlie Jackson and Stan Lloyd.