Pathan adds to Walsden’s strength

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Walsden should have overseas amateur Riyaz Pathan in their ranks ahead of a key weekend in the Central Lancashire League.

The Canadian-born player, who has an Indian background, was due to arrive today, having at last obtained a work permit.

The 24-year-old Pathan, who has played for Canada Under 19s, arrives as Walsden prepare for Central Lancashire League games at Norden and Heywood.

Pathan has replaced Indian Shubum Harkal and Walsden spokesman Kenny Gale said: “He’s a top order batter who bowls a bit of off-spin.”

However, Pathan will not be plunged straight into first team action. He has been named in Walsden’s second team for two games this weekend.

Walsden will have Sri Lankan Umesh Karunaratne back after his trip home for his brother’s wedding and skipper Chris Dewhirst will return on Sunday for his first game of the season following suspension.

Ex-Minor Counties player Matt Dawson, yet to play for the champions in 2014, is still troubled by a back problem.

Norden are the early pacesetters while Heywood beat Walsden in last year’s Wood Cup final and are usually tough nuts to crack.

Walsden, bidding for a third successive title, will be looking to bounce back from a poor batting display at Littleborough last Sunday.

They were dismissed for 86 in reply to the home side’s 109 and Gale said: “There were too many rash shots.”

Walsden appeared to have done the hard work with the ball, substitute pro Sam Saman, a Sri Lankan who plays for Netherfield in the Northern League, taking four for 34 by bowling a good line and length.

However, ex-Todmorden veteran Mo Box dismissed James Rawlinson, Nick Barker and Saman in quick success .

The visitors never recovered from being five for three with Bux taking five for 34 and ex-Royton left armer Matthew Hodgson four for 26.

Josh Gale (20) and Cameron Hanson (16) were the visitors’ top scorers.

Walsden had made it three from three with an eight-wicket win at home to Clifton the day before.

Jamie Shackleton rolled over the openers and Jake Hooson dismissed the next four batsmen to leave a young Clifton side reeling on 46 for six.

Walsden’s stand-in pro Usman Tariq, who plays for Church in the Lancashire League, helped clear up the tail with two for 10 and then added a stylish unbeaten 51.

He wrapped up victory, against an attack lacking injured Steve Cheetham, with a boundary to complete his half-century.