Impressive Morecambe through to semi-finals

Morecambe bowler Lloyd Smith. Picture: Tony North.
Morecambe bowler Lloyd Smith. Picture: Tony North.

Morecambe made it through to the semi finals of the Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery Trophy on Sunday after beating Preston by four wickets at West Cliff.

Morecambe captain Ryan Pearson won the toss and elected to field first as the hosts got off to a decent start, openers Sajid Patel (7) and Irshad Desai (31) helping their side reach 12-0 off five overs.

The Morecambe breakthrough came in the seventh over when Patel was caught behind off Lloyd Smith (4-22), but Preston regrouped and with Lukman Vahaluwala (45) at the crease they accelerated their run rate to reach 85-1 after 20 overs.

Sub professional Tony Palladino (2-17) claimed the second wicket after drinks though, Vahaluwala falling LBW, and the Morecambe man struck again to remove Desai soon after as Preston were reduced to 95-3.

There was then real drama in the 28th over as Smith took the wickets of Mustaq Tailor (5), Yasin Patel (3), andMuhammad Mursaleen (0), with Damian Gudgeon taking all three catches as Preston were reduced to 101-6.

Saif Ullah (4) and Yasin Boda (7) took the score on to 115 but Joel Derham (3-43) soon set the hosts back again when he removed Ullah, Luke Pearson taking the catch, and on the last ball of his last over the Morecambe bowler removed Boda LBW with Preston on 116-8.

Adam Derham (1-20) then got in on the act when he bowled Syed Ajmal Abbas Shah, who went without scoring, and 120-9 soon became 120 all out as Syed Shajjar Shah (4) was stumped by Gudgeon off the bowling of Joel Derham.

Morecambe’s reply got off to a very good start, reaching 30-0 off the first 10 overs but Palladino (18) was then caught by Desai, Heszer Mahmood (1-15) taking his sole wicket of the day.

Adam Derham (13) came to the crease to join Muhammed Patel (11), and the pair took the score to 57-1 at drinks but a second wicket fell soon after when Derham was clean bowled by Syed Shajjar Shah (2-25) with the score now on 59-2.

Muhammed Patel was also dismissed with the score on 59, Mustaq Tailor (1-12) taking his only wicket with the help of Yasin Patel, who took the catch.

Morecambe appeared to be wobbling when they were reduced to 61-4, Ryan Pearson caught in the field by Vahaluwala as Syed Shajjar Shah claimed his second wicket of the match, but Eddy Read came in and alongside Luke Pearson (6) they took the score to 88-4 with 30 overs of the innings played.

The fifth wicket came though when Pearson was caught and bowled by Yasin Patel, which brought Steve Fisher (0) to the crease.

Morecambe reached the 100 mark in the 36th over, with Read leading the charge for the visitors as the Woodhill Lane side required another 21 runs to win.

Fisher was then stumped by Desai off Patel, without scoring a run, to leave Morecambe on 107-6, needing 14 more to win off 18 balls, and with Read and Lloyd Smith at the crease they soon reached their target.

Needing four runs from nine balls, Smith hit a boundary to win the game as Morecambe progressed to the semi finals. They face Netherfield on Sunday.