Skipper Sutcliffe confident that Bhatti will give Todmorden a lift

Flying in:  Bilawal Bhatti
Flying in: Bilawal Bhatti

Todmorden skipper Andrew Sutcliffe is confident Bilawal Bhatti’s arrival will be a major boost ahead of Friday’s home Twenty/20 match against Enfield and Sunday’s trip to East Lancashire.

The Pakistani, who missed the first six weeks of the season after an international A tour call-up, was flying in at 5pm yesterday.

Sutcliffe said Bhatti’s arrival would give the team a “required freshness” after a form dip. “Everyone will be up for the weekend,” he said.

Stand-in pro Timm van der Gugten was unable to play last weekend after injuring his elbow in training. He flew to see the Dutch national team doctor on Tuesday.

Tod drafted in Monton and Weaste’s Simon Harmer as sub pro for the tough Lancashire League game at champions Lowerhouse on Sunday.

They lost by 68 runs, home pro Cobus Pienaar taking five for 29 to dismiss Todmorden for 82 after the champions had made 150.

Sutcliffe said: “They chose to bat first and got off to a flying start at 70 for two off 10. Once we introduced spin the game changed in our favour as Harmer took five wickets.

“The wicket was a good one and we knew if we batted 50 overs we would win the game but we were 40 for four.

“Lowerhouse bowled extremely tightly and increased the pressure. We played some poor shots and we were all out for a disappointing total.”

Sutcliffe said Monday’s T20 at Centre Vale, which included four-team tournaments at senior and junior level, had been a big success.

He thanked those who had helped to raise money for junior cricket at the club.

Rochdale beat Tod and Lowerhouse beat Walsden in the semi-finals. Rochdale chased down Lowerhouse’s 130 in the final over to win the final.

Todmorden were junior winners, helped by Thomas Barker’s 51 from three overs.