League leaders forced to settle for winning draw

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Morecambe came out of Saturday’s encounter with Kendal with a positive winning draw which continues to see them lead the Northern Premier League with just six games to in what has been a thrilling season so far.

Batting first after winning the toss Morecambe made a more than competitive 163-5 before falling just two wickets short of what would have been a 15 point victory as Kendal finished just short on 150-8, Morecambe taking eight points to Kendal’s three.

Batting on a green looking Morecambe pitch openers Josh Dixon (15) and Mark Woodhead made a steady start but found life a little tricky against the pace and sideways movement of Kendal professional Eldred Hawken.

With no breakthroughKendal skipper Chris Miller turned to Saeed Bariwala who was an instant success as his off breaks accounted for Morecambe captain Dixon as he was well stumped by wicketkeeper Richard Herron.

Woodhead (57) was joined by his professional Suraj Randiv and the pair continued the work done before.

Woodhead passed his second 50 of the season with a powerful boundary over mid-on and the Morecambe stalwart looked set for a big score.

A single other boundary was to follow however the ever-present Miller was to snare Woodhead as he looked to again go over the top.

Morecambe however had now passed the 100 mark and Dixon sent the in-form Lewis Edge up the order to kick the innings on with eight wickets left in the hut.

Again the lack of pace accounted for both Edge (7) and Randiv (36), however Ryan Pearson (24 no out) and Gareth Pedder (11 not out) batted intelligently taking Morecambe forward.

Pearson in particular was able to find the boundary on a couple of occasions late on and this coupled with some strong running ensured Morecambe reached a very competitive 163-5.

Morecambe tore out of the blocks through Jamie Cassidy who instantly removed the off pole of Paul Dodds (0).

Eddy Read, full of enthusiasm as ever, searched hard for a breakthrough and was to get it in his sixth over, Lewis Edge taking a smart catch stood up to the wicket to remove Bariwala for a quickfire 29. With the dangerous Bariwala back in the pavilion Morecambe looked to kick on but found resistance first in Joseph Dodds (10) and then more so in professional Eldred Hawken (22) and Darren Nightingale (38) who compiled what was looking to be a strong potentially match winning partnership.

Dixon looked to the spin of Tommy Clough and Randiv to undo the dangerous pair, however Nightingale counterattacked striking Randiv for a huge maximum onto the clubhouse roof.

Randiv was to have the last laugh however as he firstly got Hawken to play onto his stumps before he piled the pressure on Nightingale, who looked to repeat his earlier maximum only to send a steepling catch to Dixon who took a smart catch at long off.

Kendal’s winning chances were fading and the faded even faster when Randiv removed Miller lbw for nine and then next ball he clean bowled Lewis Richardson.

Morecambe suddenly sniffed victory however Shane Hyland (28 not out) had other ideas as he and Marcus Hill (5) batted put the last over to secure a 
draw.