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Lancaster university men’s cricket team recorded a narrow victory over Hull in what was a tense finish to this BUCS league encounter. Needing 3 runs from the final over of the match to claim victory, it was left to tail-enders Weller and Walton to secure Lancaster’s first win of the season; seeing off the visitors with a boundary from the final ball of the match.
Having won the toss and elected to bowl, Lancaster were initially unable to break Hull’s opening partnership. However the bowling pair of Lee and Purvis began to find their rhythm and blew away the cobwebs from pre-season; Lee taking 2 wickets, including that of Hull’s opening batsman and captain. Purvis recorded excellent figures of 4-19 in his 10 over spell, including 3 maidens and was the pick of the Lancaster bowlers.
Having provided stubborn resistance, Hull’s Barrow was unable to form any convincing partnership with his team mates as the away side’s middle order collapsed. It was left to Lancaster’s Pronob to bowl Hull out in the 48th over; sending a teasing ball down the off-side with the batsman edging behind to gleeful wicketkeeper Aspden.
Chasing a moderate target of 137, Lancaster would have been confident of victory, however their innings did not start brightly, with opening batsman Markey bowled for a duck. The arrival of debutant Isherwood to the crease soon turned the tide back in the home sides favour. Isherwood showed his side and the crowd of what he’s capable of and scored an impressive 60, including 8 boundaries, from 129 balls.
Like their counterparts, Lancaster too suffered a middle order collapse and were reduced to 125-8, needing 12 runs with 3 overs remaining. However some good running between the wickets, something which had been missing overall from the Lancaster side, left them requiring 3 runs to win the match. Having scored 1 run on the first ball, followed by 4 dot balls, Weller and Walton knew what was needed; Weller edging a full-toss from the sixth delivery of the 50th over to the boundary rope for a precious 4 runs.
Lancaster can take some great positives from this opening match of the season, not least the performances of Isherwood, Aspden and Purvis. Some food for thought nevertheless may be the number of extras in this match, the Lancaster bowlers gifting Hull 37 runs, around 25% of their total score.
By Matthew Todd and Ben Smith