Morecambe’s poor form finally comes to an end

Josh Dixon.
Josh Dixon.

Morecambe’s poor run of results came to an end on Sunday with a crushing eight wicket defeat of Kendal at Woodhill Lane in the Northern Premier League.

In a dominant performance Morecambe professional Saeed Anwar Jnr made an undefeated 108 to ensure victory.

Kendal skipper Chris Miller won the toss and decided to have a bat first and it looked to be the right decision as both Miller (53) and Syed Ali (29) looked in imperious form.

It was Irfan Qayyum who made the key breakthrough, removing Ali, well caught at mid-on by Izair Ullah, but Miller continued on his merry way despite the loss of his professional.

However, with the loss of overseas amateur Ben Phillips for just 16 Miller’s job suddenly became much more difficult.

Darren Nightingale (28) provided good support for Miller but the left arm guile of Anwar Jnr and the seam of Ullah seemed to be the perfect combination as Ullah removed the dangerous Miller.

Anwar Jnr accounted for Nightingale, Shane Hyland and Ethan Ellwood and suddenly Kendal were in big trouble.

Their lower order battled hard but runs became very hard to come by as Dixon squeezed his field. The Kendal innings eventually subsiding for 156 despite being 100 for the loss of just two wickets.

In reply, Dixon played his natural game while Anwar Jnr played his part, striking the ball to all corners of the ground from ball one.

Despite Dixon only making 17 the pair added 100, Anwar Jnr swatting almost anything Kendal threw down at him.

When his skipper and Lewis Edge fell the in-form man Eddy Read was the next spectator as Anwar Jnr hit another glorious boundary through the leg-side to secure a much needed victory for the Woodhill Lane men as Anwar Jnr finished on 108 not out.

*Morecambe lost to St Annes on Saturday by five wickets in a competitive affair at Woodhill Lane.

Batting first Morecambe grafted hard despite only fielding three of last season’s championship-winning side.

Luke Pearson fell early to St Annes captain Matthew Grindley but both Lewis Edge and his skipper Josh Dixon (12) battled hard against the aggressive bowling of Shadley Van Schalkwyk.

Van Schalkwyk was to be the main destroyer as he removed both Dixon and Edge, Saeed Anwar Jnr again worked hard for his 18 but when he was trapped LBW the Morecambe top order was left in tatters.

Cue Eddy Read (52) and Adam Derham (42), who took the innings by storm and increased the scoring rate on a slow pitch.

Their luck, however, was to run out as they were caught on the boundary for 52 and 42 respectively as Morecambe reached 156-7.

St Annes’ reply began with Gurman Baines (23) coming out all guns blazing, striking a succession of boundaries.

Read, however, was to have the last laugh, pushing the ball wide as Baines advanced taking the edge to see a smart catch by Anwar Jnr at first slip.

St Annes’ overseas amateur De Wet Swart came and went for just nine and Irfan Qayyum produced a wonderful delivery to remove Van Schalkwyk for 23.

It seemed Morecambe were on top however the dogged batting of Luke Wilks (23) frustrated Morecambe.

When he fell pouched at second slip by Dixon the game was in the balance, Morecambe sensed they could clean up the tail with one more wicket.

However Tom Higson (50) has other ideas he batted superbly to make an excellent half century to dash Morecambe’s hopes.