Collapse costs Chorley in National bid

Ian Dickinson playing the cut shot after an excellent knock- Picture by Mike Mead
Ian Dickinson playing the cut shot after an excellent knock- Picture by Mike Mead

Distraught, gutted and frustrated were all words heard as Chorley CC threw away victory in the National Knockout.

In a tie Chorley all but secured victory, a horrid last seven overs saw Chorley collapse and fall five runs short of 169 needed to win.

On a batsmen-friendly wicket, hosts Shrewsbury elected to bat and Andy Holdsworth opened the bowling with Chris Harty and Billy Smith.

The bowlers struggled to make early impact but a moment of class from Harty saw Chorley rattle Shrewsbury as they took two wickets in two balls.

The first to fall was Will Parton as a straight drive hit back at Harty was tipped onto the stumps leaving a helpless Parton ran out for 29.

Harty then ran in and a huge edge behind and a stunning catch from Smith at slip meant Shrewsbury had gone from 46-0 to 46-2.

Will Moulton (2-27) then claimed his first wicket, removing Henry Blofeld, and Iain Critchley dismissed wicketkeeper Matthew Swift, who was out leg before for 1.

Shropshire county player and Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster made his way to 38, but Foster failed to pick Gaurav Dhar’s googly which saw him trapped in front of all three, giving the umpire an easy

decision.

Barnard scored a vital unbeaten 51 as Kieran McCullagh (2-26) claimed two late wickets as Shrewsbury finished 168-8 off their 45 overs.

Special praise must go to Harty who bowled excellently taking 1-19 off nine overs.

The Chorley chase could not have got off to a better start.

Andrew Griffiths motored on from his 50 scored the previous day as he hit shots to all areas of the Shrewsbury ground.

Sixty-three was posted for the first Chorley wicket before Griffiths finally fell trying one big shot to many and exited the field for a well made 43.

Ian Dickinson then joined Fisher at the crease and the former Leyland boys who have made their positions at the top of the order their own built an excellent partnership and frustrated the Shrewsbury bowlers.

The score constantly moved on and Fisher passed 50 in a patient innings.

But as Fisher passed 50 and Chorley within 30 runs of victory, Dickinson fell leg before for 36 off the bowling of off spinner Blofeld.

Jack Bentham then joined Fisher at the crease but as the number of balls left decreased and the scoreboard seeming to stick, wickets started to fall.

Bentham was ran out for three and then came the huge dismissal of Fisher, as again more poor running saw him ran out for 54.

Still with wickets in hand, Chorley fancied their chances but with two new batsmen at the crease.

But what had been a silent London Road gradually got louder as the home side sensed victory.

Iain Critchley fell leg before for two trying to hit

across line .

And Will Moulton chopped on, also for two, meaning Chorley found themselves needing 11 off the last over.

Dhar had to wild swings at the first two balls and missed and the victory all but escaped Chorley.

Only six was hit off the final over and an almost guaranteed victory was snatched as Chorley lost by five runs.