Local cricket: Sefton Park are their own worst enemies in heavy defeat to Wigan


Sefton Park came a distant second against Wigan on Saturday, losing by 140 runs and slipping to the bottom of the Love Lane Liverpool Competition ECB Premier Division.

Skipper Jimmy Dixon had spoken ahead of the game about the quality of the opposition, in particular former New Zealand Test player Aaron Redmond and Indian left-arm spinner Vinay Choudhary.

Both contributed to Wigan’s victory – Redmond with a determined 52 to help set a competitive total of 207, and Choudhary with a breezy 33 followed by 6/13 to seal the win.

But on too many occasions, the hosts’ toughest opponents were themselves, particularly with the bat.

It’s not easy opening against John Richardson and Josh Boyden with a moving ball, or an overseas pro with a turning one; it’s not supposed to be. And Sefton deserve some slack for the amount of turnover they’ve had since winning promotion behind Wigan in 2019.

But the loose shots by which much of their top order perished on Saturday were symptoms of a lack of application and experience, not a shortage of talent.

Huzaifa Zubair, promoted to three following his maiden senior 50 the previous Saturday, was the pick of the bunch but when he walked past a Choudhary delivery to be efficiently stumped by Patrick Howson to make it 62/6, the gig was up.

The first half of the game had seen Wigan in control but never quite in command; every time they threatened to get away, a cluster of wickets fell. Redmond was scratchy at first, particularly against Dixon, but soon found enough short balls to get going in a 62-run partnership with captain Charles Taylor – when the Kiwi fell, beaten in the flight and stumped by Bajan off-spinner Kemar Smith, the innings was teetering at 90/4.



Vinay Choudhary hits out for Wigan Liverpool Competition Cricket – Sefton Park v Wigan – May 29 2021 Pictures by ROB PAISLEY

Choudhary got it going again, hitting two big sixes off Smith, but Zubair found his edge with the first ball of his second spell and it took a patient, mature 61 from Jake Leyland alongside the tail to edge the visitors over 200.

Elsewhere, Southport & Birkdale came agonisingly close to pulling off an unlikely win at Bootle, only for the defending champions to prevail by two wickets.

Chris Cunningham’s young side looked out for the count at 27/4 following an opening burst from Keith Barker and Toby Lester, before a breakthrough 84 from Lancashire Academy prospect Basil Sultan, in a partnership of 94 with Charlie Byrne, enabled them to post 208. Then, when Will Hale’s 79 propelled the hosts to 189/3 in reply, all seemed lost – but they lost 5/15 before they could crawl over the line.

The day’s heavyweight clash saw Northern edge out Ormskirk at Moor Park. The hosts were foundering at 116/6 before a stand of 105 between skipper James Cole (52*) and Justin Snow (50*) enabled them to post 221; fifties from Taylor Cornall and Gary Knight anchored the visitors’ chase, but the middle order subsided, and only Josh Thompson’s punchy 31 got them close.

Rainhill’s Peter Kelly took a career-best 8/59 at Formby – but it was all in vain, as the visitors fell well short of the 213-run target. Another spinner, Jackson Darkes-Sutcliffe, stole the show with 5/9 – his maiden 1st XI five-for.

Orrell Red Triangle introduced Duvindu Tillakeratne – son of a Sri Lankan Test captain, and himself boasting an impressive first-class record – to the Liverpool Competition against Leigh. As is customary for left-arm spinners, he proceeded to take a hatful of wickets – 7/49 – but the twist in this familiar tale is that the hosts’ 153 proved to be enough, with Derbyshire all-rounder Mattie McKiernan taking 5/45 to secure a 23-run win.

Yesterday’s Wirral derby saw a win for Wallasey over New Brighton, after home skipper Alex Eagles and Greg Beaver both scored fifties to set up a total of 217/8. Chris Bourne showed his supremacy over the visitors’ middle order with 4/22.

  • Half the games in Division One ended in five-wicket wins.

Liverpool’s middle order fell to pieces against Ainsdale – from 41/1, they needed an unbeaten 45 from Varun Chopra to post 111. Skipper for the day Daniel Kelly took four cheap wickets, but Indian all-rounder Shubham Ranjane broke the back of the chase with 66*.

Another Indian import, Sajayeet Bachhav, took 6/30 with his slow left-armers as Birkenhead Park dismissed Northop Hall for 74 before wrapping up the win.

And Rainford had an unbeaten 60 from William Shuttleworth to thank for their win at Colwyn Bay, who’d set them 155 to win thanks to fifties from George Johansen and Adam Campion.

Highfield are top of the league despite not getting the memo about five-wicket wins, instead crushing St Helens Town by 103 runs. No-one scored more than 28 in the hosts’ 157, but it proved more than enough – Sam Rotheram was the pick of the bowlers with 4/8.

Newton-le-Willows’ Dominic Chambers took a personal best of 8/26 – five of them bowled – to run through Old Xaverians for just 66 and set up a 10-wicket triumph.

And Fleetwood Hesketh beat Lytham thanks to Sabbir Patel’s 5/33, which ensured the hosts’ total of 142 was more than enough, despite Joshua Holden’s 5/55.

  • Two batters called Greg made exactly 103 in Division Two.

Maghull’s Gillespie set up a convincing 110-run win over Hightown St Mary’s. Nobody else in the match scored more than 34 as the hosts never looked like getting close to the target of 227.

But the result didn’t go as well for Alder’s Harvey, who was ninth out playing a lone hand as his side chased the 213 set by Wavertree thanks to fifties from Chris Heath and Stewart Guy. The West Derby side, who had been 107/7, eventually fell just 17 runs short.

Lloyd Eastham bowled Caldy to victory with 7/9 at Parkfield Liscard, as the visitors comfortably defended their total of 180.

Southport Trinity kept Norley Hall at arm’s length in their pursuit of 191 – the Wigan side fell short by 121 runs.

And Spring View’s Suleman Khan took 5/29 to dismiss Sutton for 95 and set up a seven-wicket win – made more fraught than it needed to be by an early collapse to 29/4.

  • In the Southport & District League, Mossley Hill’s Mike Kelly achieved a rare feat – a hat-trick with the first three balls of an innings, followed by another wicket in the same over, against New Victoria.

Cricket being cricket, he ended up on the losing side. But that bit will be edited out of the story he tells his grandchildren one day…





Source Linkwww.liverpoolecho.co.uk

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