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Family affair for Ossie

CRICKET: IT WAS the Metcalf show on Saturday despite the debut of Oswaldtwistle's big hitting professional Raja Ali.

ON THE HUNT . . .Oswaldtwistle Immanuel’s opener Chris Burton on his way to 24 against Edenfield
ON THE HUNT . . .Oswaldtwistle Immanuel’s opener Chris Burton on his way to 24 against Edenfield

IT WAS the Metcalf show on Saturday despite the debut of Oswaldtwistle's big hitting professional Raja Ali.

The Indian had been held up because of visa problems in his homeland but finally arrived as Oswaldtwistle faced Edenfield in the Veka Ribblesdale League.

Everyone was poised for a starring performance from the 27-year-old but instead 17-year-old Andy Metcalf and dad - and captain - Gerald stole the show. Andy took 5-30 and Gerald 4-13 to help mop up the lower order as Edenfield struggled in a low scoring game.

Immanuel had made 124-9 with 17-year-old opener Chris Burton making 24 and Jon Wilkin made an unbeaten 49. Liam Bones took 6-59 as he looked to help Edenfield to the victory.

But then the Metcalf family got going and Edenfield were all out for 90.

"It was a good win," said the captain who is looking for his side to finish in mid-table this season after finishing bottom last time out.

"Andrew did well - he got four out in his first seven overs but then we had to take him off because of the young bowling regulations. They did come back into it a bit then but we always thought we would win. It was a good performance from the youngsters. Chris Burton is only 17 and he has kept wicket well and got 24 and Kurt Smithson is another 17-year-old who has come on well.

"And again it was a good fielding performance from us. We have won two out of five games so far and if we can do this all season, we will be happy."

The arrival of Ali has boosted the side and, although he who wasn't able to make an impact in his first game, he still enjoyed it.

"He will win games for us on his own in the future," continued the skipper. "But it is a bonus when you win games when the pro doesn't perform. He was just delighted to be on the winning side. He has settled in socially and seems to be enjoying it. It is the first time he has been abroad and had to fend for himself but he is getting used to the club and we know, from his record, he is a good batsman and he will get runs."

Immanuel visit Blackburn Northern on Saturday looking for another victory to boost their bid to move up the table..

"They have a similar record to us, they have a good pro and it should be a good game. We have been competitive in most of our games so far and, apart from Read, I think we are capable of competing with most sides."

Read are charging away with the title - and Oswaldtwistle have the ominous task of facing them in the second round of the Ramsbottom Cup.

"We met them in the second round last year. We have nothing to lose - they are the favourites. There is no pressure on us. If we cause a shock, then so be it. We will just enjoy the day. Our priority is the league."

Meanwhile Great Harwood enjoyed an important win against fellow title hopefuls Ribblesdale Wanderers.

The game was in the balance until the final over after Harwood, who had decided to bat, had made 215-6 with pro Andy Crook making 63 and Russell Whalley again hitting a half century. Chris Ramsker took three early wickets but Wanderers needed just 20 off their last three overs to seal the win.

But the Harwood spinners kept it tight with Paul Newton - bowling particularly well - nicking two crucial late wickets before Crook saw out the last over and kept Ribblesdale at bay. This moved them up into sixth place in the table but it is another big challenge as fourth place Settle visit Cliffe Park on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Baxenden faced a formidable target at Padiham last weekend.

Pro Kasif Siddique hit a massive 138 - one of the best knocks seen at the Arbories for some time with nine boundaries and 11 sixes - before he was finally caught by pro Jon Harvey off the bowling of James Capstick. And Umar Saddique then scored 92 as Padiham made a huge 270-7.

Baxenden struggled in reply when Simon Payne was removed by Gary Ramshead for just 14 and Harvey - after some big-hitting in recent weeks - fell to Quadeer Ahmed for just six. However, Mark Rishton offered a real threat making 102 before he was run out and Baxenden then fell 100 runs short.

  • APOLOGIES to Great Harwood's Stuart Maher for calling him "Hamer" in last week's piece. An unexplainable mix-up!


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