Darwen batting proves too strong for Morecambe

Morecambe opener Josh Dixon in action against Darwen.

Morecambe opener Josh Dixon in action against Darwen.

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After starting the weekend with victory over Lancaster, Morecambe came crashing back down to earth on Saturday at the hands of Darwen.

Ammer Mirza’s 87 helped the visitors to Woodhill Lane post 236-5, giving Lewis Edge’s side a mountain to climb.

A well-made 52 from Josh Dixon kept the home side in touch, but unsure whether to stick or twist, Morecambe lost a flurry of wickets before batting out the overs to secure a losing draw and three points to the East Lancashire side’s nine.

Darwen won the toss on a wicket that looked full of runs, Mirza and fellow opener Christopher Clarke finding the boundary with regularity early on.

Morecambe bowlers Gareth Pedder and Jono Gates toiled with no reward and change bowlers Suman Shrestha and Reg Cupit looked to change Morecambe’s fortunes.

Both began to find something in the pitch with Shrestha picking up the wickets of Clarke and John Cordingley.

Cupit was unlucky he had Mirza dropped twice but bounced back to remove Darwen professional Alan Kruger.

Mirza finally fell to professional Vishal Tripathi, caught by Dixon at mid-off looking to go over the top.

Darwen however weren’t finished there and Gareth Cordingley’s aggressive 64 ensured Morecambe had a serious run chase on their hands. In reply, Dixon and Shrestha started patiently in the face of excellent bowling from Kruger and Neil Cordingley.

Morecambe lost Shrestha for 20 and Tripathi was soon to follow caught and bowled by John Cordingley.

Dixon was still there and he and Ryan Pearson looked to run aggressively between the wickets which in turn brought a flurry of boundaries.

Dixon began to accelerate and with Morecambe needing 130 from the last 20 overs the game had suddenly become something of a 20/20 affair.

Dixon brought up his second league 50 of the season but fell soon after, triggering the fall of several wickets, including Pearson for a solid 26.

Morecambe’s hopes of further bonus points had gone and it was left to skipper Edge and Cupit to see out the final overs, finishing on 153-7.