Perera injury brings headaches

Walsden's Joe Hanson in action
Walsden's Joe Hanson in action

WHILE Walsden seem to have found consistency with a settled side an injury to professional Duminda Perera has brought them major headaches.

With Todmorden professional Qaiser Abbas standing in at the last minute last weekend for the injured Sri Lankan, the Scott Street side coasted to an 81-run victory.

Perera suffered a hamstring injury the day before in Walsden’s Twenty/20 game.

While the injury has proved not as bad as first feared, the club are not prepared to risk him for this weekend’s two fixtures.

Officials would have had to wait until Friday to make a decision on his fitness.

If he had failed a fitness test then it would leave them almost no time to find a replacement.

They decided not to wait and cannot afford for him to make the injury worse by playing.

Instead frantic activity managed to secure them replacements for both this weekend’s fixtures.

On Saturday they are at Oldham for a Central Lancashire League match and the following day back at the same venue for a Wood Cup game.

On Saturday they will play Aussie batsman Cullum Creevy, who was their professional player in 2005, and happens by chance to be on holiday in England at the moment.

On Sunday they play Sri Lankan all rounder Anil Rideegammanageder, who has been performing well for several seasons with Ashton.

He is a player Walsden have previously tried to sign.

Cricket chairman Allan Stuttard said it had been a nightmare trying to find replacements for Perera for two games.

“Hopefully the injury has not turned out to be as bad as we first thought, but we are not prepared to risk him this weekend.

“Hopefully he will be okay for the following week.”

Last Saturday Abbas was the nearest option as Walsden officials frantically sought a replacement after Perera was injured the previous night.

He was able to help out as Todmorden’s Lancashire League fixture was not until Sunday.

He scored 41 runs in Walsden’s 233 for seven total and added three wickets as Radcliffe were dismissed for 152.

It was a good day for youngster Jake Hooson, who hit 58 to record his first half century for the first team.

Kris Halstead got in on the act too with 53 and Andrew Butcher hit a cameo 43 off 33 balls near the end of the innings. He hit two sixes and five fours.

Radcliffe never looked likely to get back on terms after Doug Waghorn destroyed the opening of the innings, getting the first three batsmen.

He finished with four wickets and Martin Harlow also got two wickets.

Skipper Chris Dewhirst finished the innings off with the last wicket in only his second over.

l STUART Hanson took seven wickets for Walsden seconds at Radcliffe as the home side made 182 for nine.

But neither he nor most of his team could do much with the bat as they were skittled out for 127, home bowler C Berry also taking seven wickets.

Only opener Josh Highley had any effect on the home attack, hitting 46.