247-run weekend for alwis

Todmorden v Church.Geeth Alwis
Todmorden v Church.Geeth Alwis

Todmorden skipper Andrew Sutcliffe has hailed Geeth Alwis’s contribution with the bat last weekend as “sensational.”

The Sri Lankan hit an unbeaten 149 at Colne on Saturday - the highest in the Lancashire League this season - and followed up with 98 at home to Church on Sunday.

The left-hander’s runs, which took him to 670 for the season, were only enough to earn the Centre Vale men one win from the two games.

However, Alwis’s much-improved form after a slow start has raised hopes that Tod can climb the table after an injury-hit first half to the campaign.

Sutcliffe, back after a month out with a fractured wrist, said Alwis’s batting had been a pleasure to watch.

“He timed the ball to perfection from the first delivery on Saturday, hitting boundary after boundary.

“It is really pleasing to see his ability shine through, as we always knew it would.”

As well as playing two long innings, Alwis also bowled 27 overs of inexpensive spin in batsman-friendly conditions.

Sutcliffe won the toss at Colne and Alwis was soon at the crease after the loss of an early wicket.

Sutcliffe added: “His knock was sensational – he made it look so easy. He took a liking to their professional (Shadley van Schalkwyk), hitting him out of the attack twice.”

Alwis hit 23 boundaries and one six to help Tod total 253 for seven and Colne were dismissed for 203 in reply. There was an impressive spell from Elliott Gilford, whose three victims included South African van Schalkwyk for 61.

“It was good to get the full 12 points,” said Sutcliffe.

Against Church, Tod made 204 for eight with another fine Alwis knock, which ended when he was run out. Oliver Wood made 35 not out and Freddie Priestley 18 off eight balls but Tod felt they were 25 short. Church’s batsmen came out aggressively and raced to 100 without loss with pro Kasun Bodhisha dominant.

He went on to make 102 from 110 balls and put on 127 with Levi Wolfenden (56).

Three wickets fell on 199 and Gideon Foster finished with three wickets but the visitors won by five wickets.

Todmorden will be without Oliver Wood for Saturday’s trip to Rishton and Paul Senior on Sunday when Haslingden are visitors.

Todmorden seconds consolidated their place in the top six when veteran leg spinner Stuart Priestley took six for 18 to bowl out Church for 164, chasing 246 to win.

LANCASHIRE LEAGUE

P W T L NR Bt Bw Adj Pts

Accrington 15 13 0 2 0 4 22 0 156

Lowerhouse 15 10 0 4 1 0 18 0 121

Enfield 15 9 0 3 3 9 13 0 121

Haslingden 15 9 0 5 1 8 16 0 117

Ramsbottom 15 8 0 4 3 0 19 0 108

Burnley 15 8 0 5 2 4 13 0 103

Church 15 8 0 5 2 0 8 0 94

Nelson 15 7 0 6 2 1 17 0 94

East Lancs 15 5 0 9 1 12 14 0 79

Rishton 15 5 0 9 1 9 16 0 78

Todmorden 15 5 0 8 2 1 16 0 73

Rawtenstall 15 3 0 9 3 5 15 0 59

Bacup 15 3 0 10 2 4 14 0 54

Colne 15 0 0 14 1 10 7 -1 19

Bridgeholme seconds piled up a club record score of 440 for four against Augustinians in Division two of the Foster’s Halifax League last Saturday.

A partnership of 207 between Gary Wilson (112) and Ahmed Hussian (113) was followed by an unbeaten 64 not out as Bridgeholme exploited a short boundary on their already small ground.

Augustians’ reply was undermined by the swing bowling of Zach Harris (three for 28) and they were out for 218.