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Into the archives:  Cleckheaton v Pudsey St Lawrence 2009

Into the archives: Cleckheaton v Pudsey St Lawrence 2009

3 May 2020

Following the publication of the first Jimmy Lee's Scrapbook article, Pudsey St Lawrence scorer Phil Raistrick wanted to redress the balance by recalling another match against Cleckheaton on April 25, 2009, which had a happier outcome for his club. Here are his recollections of that encounter.

Another typical spring day, and another typical spring wicket.  Again James Smith won the toss – an event that seemed to become rarer as following years proved.

A young Chris Marsden was one of seven home-grown players in the St Lawrence side  Picture: Mike Baker

St Lawrence fielded a side containing seven players who had come through their youth ranks, James Smith, Mark Robertshaw, Chris Marsden, Kasir Maroof, Gareth Clough, Taimour Shahid and Luke Duckitt.

 This time he asked the home side to bat, despite not having the injured paceman Gary Severn in his bowling armoury.  Nevertheless, Gareth Clough made the early breakthrough, and batting was made to look like very hard work as Cleck crawled to only 51 by the drinks interval.

With the urgent need to press on, the batsmen began taking risks and sacrificed wickets to the change bowlers:  Alex Stead
(3 -49) and Chris Marsden (2-41) were the beneficiaries. 

But then the seventh -partnership between Neil Nicholson (65*) and Ian Wood (21*), aided by some uncharacteristic slipshod fielding, added 75 and gave their astute captain, John Wood, a handy 173 to defend and attack from.

The usual St Lawrence openers, Mark Robertshaw and Alex Stead made their customary solid start, notching 44, but both perished when looking well set for substantial scores.  Shortly afterwards at, 53-3, the tie was very much a well balanced contest.

Enter the captain. Starting with a first ball six, he otherwise ground out a very studied 50 to wrench back control of the match before being given out, for the first and only time in his career, hit wicket.

Youngster Taimour Shahid played sensibly to help his side to their target  Picture: MIke Baker

By this time, Gareth Clough was at the crease and looking good, but there were still 55 runs needed with 5 wickets down and he needed support.  It came in the shape of 17 year old Taimour Shahid. 

Taimour had played a handful of games for the 1st XI in 2008 without making an impression, but was on Yorkshire’s books and performing extremely well in the junior ranks.  In this match, he played the perfect foil to Gareth. 

With calm confidence and skill, he contributed 15* to the winning partnership of 58: himself stroking the final boundary with fiveovers to spare.

Cleckheaton173-6  (Neil Nicholson 65*, Mark Cummins 47, Alex Stead 3-49)  PSL 176 for 5 ( James Smith 50, Gareth Clough 47*, John Wood 3-41)

PSL win by 5 wickets PSL 16 points, Cleckheaton 4 points

Pudsey St Lawrence: James Smith (capt), Steve Thompson (wkt), Mark Robertshaw, Alex Stead, Chris Marsden, Kasir Maroof, Gareth Clough, Taimour Shahid, Iain Priestley, Luke Duckitt, Matthew Lumb

Top picture: Gareth Clough who steered St Lawrence to their taerget

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