Syl’s record smashed in season’s final game

Todmorden Cricket Club's pro - and record breaker - Qaiser Abbas
Todmorden Cricket Club's pro - and record breaker - Qaiser Abbas

A NEW club record, the league’s top amateur batsman and a double winning weekend made it a great season’s end for Todmorden.

Professional Qaiser Abbas took seven for 69 in Todmorden’s three wicket win at Haslingden to finish as the league’s leading wicket taker with 108 victims.

Simon Newbitt also finished as the leading amateur run maker after hitting 32.

Abbas broke the bowling record that was previously set by Syl Oliver back in 1966 as Todmorden put in back to back wins over Ramsbottom and Haslingden to finish in third spot in the Lancashire League.

Skipper Andrew Sutcliffe is eagerly awaiting next season, which celebrates the club’s 175th anniversary and the return of Abbas.

“Qaiser has been a consistent performer all the way through the season and everyone at the club had a good night on Sunday saying farewell to him, but we are all excited for him to return next year,” said Sutcliffe

“Simon finished as the leading amateur run scorer in the league which is a great feat to achieve with so many top quality professional bowlers in the league.

“Simon has proven he is the best amateur batsmen in the league this year and I am really pleased for him.”

He said the season as a whole had been highly enjoyable from a personal point of view.

“If you offer a club two semi-finals and a third place finish in the league then it shows that we are on the right track for success and as long as we keep the nucleus of the side together over the next couple of seasons then I am confident that we can bring some trophies to the club, which is what we are all striving for,” he said.

In the last game of the season, Haslingden were all out for 166. Abbas then hit 77 with five sixes and four fours to pass 800 runs for the season.

Todmorden’s win secured third place in the table, while Abbas became the first Todmorden bowler to take 100 wickets in a season since 1966 when he took seven for 40 in his side’s seven wicket win over Ramsbottom at Centre Vale the day before.

Skipper Andrew Sutcliffe also took two for four as Ramsbottom were bowled out for 130. Keith Webb top scored with 53 as he put on 77 for the first wicket with Tom Parton (18) before Abbas removed them both along with professional Shanan Stewart who was trapped lbw without scoring.

Abbas then ran through the middle order making Richard Rothwell his 100th victim of the season.

Ben Sutcliffe hit 42, passing 500 runs for the season, Newbitt got 33 and Abbas was 41 not out.

Skipper Sutcliffe said: “I would like to thank all the players who gave their best for Todmorden Cricket Club from the under-11s all the way up to the first team throughout the season, and also everyone who volunteers and does so much work behind the scenes at the club, which is very much appreciated by the players.

“Next season is a big one for us and our club as it is the 175th anniversary.

“The club is expecting a big year with several functions and events planned throughout the year and we’re all hoping it will be a memorable one both on and off the cricket pitch,” he said.