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East Leeds A v Cross Bank Meths A 30th June 2018

Report by John Steel

Cross Bank Meths A   165-10       East Leeds A        166-4

East Leeds were on the back foot again this week following the withdrawal of Michael Clarkson to be left with only 10 men and the absence of league MVP, Bobby Mushtaq, topping up his tan in Dubai and with skipper Dan Thewlis losing yet another toss, the home side was facing an arduous period in the field under a baking sun.

Fortune smiled immediately however as Shamraz angled his first ball across Razeeb Raja to take the edge with Dan Thewlis pouching the catch at first slip.

A suicidal call for a run to Sam Thewlis in the 3rd over left Martin Sellars short of his ground as Sam’s cool, underarm throw hit the stumps to leave the score 6 for 2.

Nigel James played some attractive shots off both Hussain and Tarvaz to move the score on to 46 before the introduction of Javed Aslam at the Abattoir end brought about his departure; an airy drive being well taken by Tarvaz at mid-off.

Surviving opener, Max Thompson was the next to go having made 13 from 45 balls; comfortably taken at slip to give Thewlis his second catch and Aslam his second wicket.

Thewlis had replaced Tarvaz at the pavilion end and whilst he struggled to find the accuracy of last week’s spell, he struck when Shahban, (14) chased a wide ball to be caught by Jones at point to leave cross bank on 70 with half the side back in the tent.

Sam Thewlis replace Aslam and suffered an expensive first over as the experienced and multiply retired Wayne Lawford took liberties with the young off-spinner, but Sam was to have his revenge in fairly short order to send Lawford back bowled for an entertaining 22 from just 23 balls.

Jamie Blackbrow replaced Dan Thewlis at the pavilion end and put an immediate brake on the run rate with the overs ticking down which contributed to the next wicket, number 6 Wasim Latif, who had made a steady 20 tried to up the pace and scythed an off-break over mid-wicket which looked like a boundary from the moment it left the bat until the running Darrell Jones stuck out a hopeful right hand to take the most astounding catch the East Leeds ground has seen in many a year.

The experienced Clough and 16 year old Tom Hosley played sensibly to pick up runs without risk whilst Dan Thewlis rang the bowling changes at the pavilion end before the latter was well stumped by Adam Lines to give Sam Thewlis his fourth wicket of the innings and the returning Blackbrow finished off proceedings by bowling Shuttleworth.

165 looked under par given the fast outfield and East Leeds could be proud of their fielding effort despite extras being the top score on 37. Two catches apiece to Thewlis, Tarvaz and Jones supported the bowlers well.

Sam Thewlis took 4-52 from 10 overs with Aslam, (2-15) and 1 each for Dan Thewlis, Hussain and the accurate Blackbrow.

In reply, East Leeds tried yet another opening partnership with John Steel and Zahid Tarvaz walking out together for the first time since 2008 to face up to Razeeb Raja and Tom Hosley; Raja immediately got the ball swinging and seaming away from the right handers whilst Hosley with a furious run-up, a stop and a hop sent down gentle medium pacers from the Abattoir end; Tarvaz , (6) struck Raja for a sumptuous, off-driven boundary before steering Hosley to Nigel James in the gulley to bring Jamie Blackbrow to the crease. Jamie hammered a couple of 4s off Hosley but found Raja a rather more challenging proposition and feathered a catch through to the ‘keeper Sellars for 10.

Steel after an early let off; dropped at long-off by Lawford off Raja settled down to play with more care and attention, dismissing the bad ball from Hosley whilst maintaining a watchful defence against the probing Raja. Nigel James replaced Hosley and was driven beautifully through the covers by Dan Thewlis, (10) before the skipper aimed a pull at a Raja delivery which wasn’t quite short enough for the shot to drag the ball on to his stumps and depart leaving the home side 76-3.

The arrival of Jones provided the perfect foil for Steel and whilst it would be fair to say that the old geezer has perfected the art of making a 2 into a 1, the pair took advantage of overly negative field settings to maintain the rate required.

Having seen Raja out of the attack with excellent figures of 2-22 from 12; the pair accelerated to add 83 for the fourth wicket before Steel, who had brought up his hundred by smiting Max Thompson into the allotments beyond Red Road took one liberty too many and was well caught by James in the covers off Joe Shuttleworth for 105 from 101 balls with 16 boundaries and 2 sixes.

Lines came in to administer the last rites to finish on 6 not out with Jones (3x4s) left on an invaluable 19 from 59 balls.

A welcome return to winning ways with a full 20 points putting East Leeds into 6th place.