Praise for Todmorden’s record breakers

Winning combination: Ben Sutcliffe (pictured)  and Kristian Garland  added 186 and both posted their best scores in the Lancashire League
Winning combination: Ben Sutcliffe (pictured) and Kristian Garland added 186 and both posted their best scores in the Lancashire League

Todmorden prepare for what should be a bumper weekend of Lancashire League cricket boosted by heroics from Ben Sutcliffe and Kristian Garland.

The pair carried the Centre Vale men to a much-needed eight-wicket home win over East Lancashire last Sunday with a club record third-wicket partnership of 186.

Sutcliffe was unbeaten on 120 and Garland on 73 - both their league bests - to help Tod erase the memories of the previous week’s 68 all out against bottom side Burnley.

Sutcliffe hit 17 boundaries and a six while Garland struck 11 boundaries.

The pair eclipsed the club’s previous best third wicket stand of 176 by John Crowther and Harold Dawson in the 1938 League play-off against Haslingden at Burnley.

Tod skipper Andrew Sutcliffe, cousin of Ben, said: “They both batted superbly and it was a pleasure to watch as they played very correctly and hit the ball clean on a good deck.

“ They came together at 38 for two and knocked the rest off, scoring the last 135 off 22 overs.”

East Lancs had elected to bat and Tod were happy to keep them to 220 all out, Minhaj Bhada top scoring with 75 and home pro Michael Nesser picking up four for 53 and rattling a visiting batsman’s helmet.

Sutcliffe said: “Days like that, with the sun shining and the deck rock hard, are made for batting.

“ Neser was the best bowler by far and it was the quickest he has bowled all year.

“ A couple of chances went down off his bowling, due to the pace, and he deserved five or six wickets as he kept running in at full tilt and consistently beat the bat.”

Tod had regained some confidence on Friday with the narrowest of wins at Colne in Group C of the Twenty/20 competition.

Elliott Gilford made 37 and Zeshan Shoukhat an unbeaten 27 in the visitors’ 132-6.

Colne professional Ali Azmat made 46 and Billy Jamil 29 in reply but Colne were unable to get eight off the last over and three off the last ball, finishing one short.

There was controversy as Colne batted when a spectator obstructed a fielder chasing the ball to the boundary, the umpire ruling a dead ball.

Andrew Sutcliffe said: “Friday night was a must win game for us to stay in the T20 competition.

“We looked down and out after 10 overs of their innings with their pro (Ali Azmat) in the 40s but the introduction of spin slowed the run rate and Paul Senior dismissed him.

“We knew we had Neser to bowl two of the last three overs and he won the game for us as the Colne batters struggled to get him off the square. “

Todmorden continue their Twenty/20 quest away to holders Lowerhouse on Friday.

They go to Accrington in the league on Saturday and host Nelson on Sunday.

LANCASHIRE LEAGUE

P W T L NR Bt Bwl Pts

Lowerhouse 11 8 0 3 0 3 19 102

Ramsbottom 11 8 0 2 1 0 14 97

Church 11 8 0 3 0 2 12 94

Enfield 11 7 0 3 1 3 14 90

Haslingden* 11 7 0 3 1 5 12 89

Rawtenstall 11 7 0 4 0 5 10 85

Nelson 11 6 0 5 0 9 12 81

Accrington 11 6 0 5 0 5 10 75

Todmorden 11 4 0 5 2 7 6 59

East Lancs 11 4 0 7 0 2 7 49

Rishton 11 3 0 8 0 7 6 43

Colne* 11 2 0 8 1 0 15 37

Bacup 11 2 0 8 1 5 6 34

Burnley 11 1 0 9 1 1 12 26

* 1pt deducted