Dramatic final over sees Chorley reach last eight

Billy Smith appeals after taking a catch
Billy Smith appeals after taking a catch

An outstanding team performance buoyed by a raucous crowd saw Andrew Holdsworth’s Chorley side march into the last eight of the National Knockout.

In a game that went to the final over on Sunday, former Glamorgan bowler Chris Ashling delivered a wide and tailenders Billy Smith and Rex Purnell scampered a single to seal a victory.

Earlier, skipper Holdsworth led from the front by scoring a half century while Smith impressed with the ball, taking four wickets.

Bowling first, Smith and Chris Harty bowled tightly in a fine opening hour at Windsor Park, and the former had early success removing Stephen Ball (4).

Former Lancashire batsman Paddy McKeown was next to fall as a swinging delivery flew into his pads and he was given out leg before.

Nick Murrills came in at No.4 but only lasted a handful of deliveries before he was Smith’s third victim of the day.

Patrick Ashling and Jack Tipton steadied the ship for Bowdon, with Ashling bludgeoning Rex Purnell for four and then a six, before the spinner had the last laugh, bowling him with an arm ball.

Tipton batted till the end, scoring a half-century, and James McDougall hit an important 49 before he was bowled by Smith on the last ball of the innings.

Bowdon closed on 160-6, Smith finishing with figures of 4-24 and Purnell 2-38.

Dave Fisher (11) was the first wicket to fall in the Chorley chase and both Ian Dickinson (7) and Mohammed Jamal (2) fell soon after. Skipper Holdsworth batted patiently but wickets continued to tumble at the other end.

Will Moulton (24) batted impressively before he was bowled by Matthew Tully.

Holdsworth past the half-century mark with a scampered single but player-coach Gaurav Dhar (15) was caught in the deep just minutes later.

Chorley’s tail had to wag as Holdsworth (53) top edged a short ball and was caught yards from the boundary.

Joe Tiffin was caught at backward point for three and it was left to Purnell and Smith to see the team home. The pair manoeuvred the ball around and Chorley went into the final over needing seven to win.

Purnell took an early single before Smith (13*) hit a full Chris Ashling delivery for four which meant two runs were needed off two deliveries.

With the pressure on Ashling went searching for the yorker only to fire a waist-height full toss down leg side.

Purnell (8*) raced through to complete a single only and the umpire signalled a wide to crown Chorley the winners.