Pawar century puts Lancaster to the sword

Charlie Swarbrick chipped in with bat and ball for Lancaster and Barrow.
Charlie Swarbrick chipped in with bat and ball for Lancaster and Barrow.
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A dominant century from Barrow pro Kaustubh Pawar handed Lancaster their second loss in as many weeks.

Ernest Pass has rarely been a happy hunting ground for the Lune Road men and Saturday proved to be no exception as they lost by 93 runs.

The Indian professional’s 125 set the hosts on their way to a commanding 265 leaving Lancaster chasing the game.

Early signs were positive for Lancaster - Liam Moffat asked difficult questions of Pawar and his opening partner Dean Williams but couldn’t find the crucial breakthrough.

But Iain Perrieman’s absence continued to hurt Lancaster with Moffat’s opening partner and professional, Abhimanyu Khod, leaking runs early on.

Charlie Swarbrick’s medium pace got its first significant outing in five years and it started well when he flummoxed Williams (28) with a slower ball at 60 for 1.

Pawar survived a tight LBW shout off Moffat but reached his 50 in relative comfort. Swarbrick got his second when Sam Dutton drove straight to Danny Welbourne at cover and when Toby Mowat nicked a lifter from the returning Khod, Lancaster were in with a chance at 98 for 3 at drinks.

Lancaster’s spinners lacked the control of weeks gone by and Pawar found support in the shape of Michael Wellings (32) and Greg Reynolds (17) to help in putting a glut of four balls away.

Rajat Agarwal picked up Wellings holing out at deep mid-wicket but the damage was becoming irreparable. Once Pawar reached his hundred he hit out, planting maximums and boundaries straight and through the covers at will.

Swarbrick and Moffat fought gamely, the former claimed Reynolds when he nicked behind and Pawar finally departed for 125 after Ben Simm caught a steepler at long-on off Moffat.

Javed Khan added insult to injury as Barrow flew past 220 - the right-hander plundering four huge sixes during a cameo 32.

Moffat eased the pain of the prospective mammoth chase by claiming maximum bowling points for Lancaster as Khan and Chris D’Leny were cleaned up looking for quick runs.

Facing a mountain to climb, Lancaster’s chase got off to a stuttering start when Metcalfe was castled playing across the line for a duck.

Jamie Heywood and the impressive Swarbrick gave Barrow food for thought as both attacked the short ball and took the visitors beyond 50.

Swarbrick looked in good touch after his 17 over spell with the ball despite twinges of cramp and continued to put an attack without talisman seamer Darryl Wearing to the sword.

It required a moment of magic to dislodge Swarbrick - the number three toe-ended a Gary Collins long hop only to see a leaping Michael Wellings to cling on to a one-handed catch at 90 for 2.

From there the wheels of the chase came off. Heywood, who had looked good for his 36, was stranded after walking past a stock Collins delivery.

Agarwal fell soon after to a Reynolds slower ball and Khod couldn’t replicate his opposite number’s heroics spooning another Reynolds off-cutter to mid-on for 13 - 108 for 5.

With any chance of outright victory gone, survival was the order of the day but the pitch made staying in a tough prospect.

Brendan Hetherington was done by a ball holding up in the surface and spooned a simple chance to cover to give Collins his third.

Kieran Moffat’s first 2016 outing wasn’t a happy one as Javed Khan snuck a Yorker under the left-hander’s bat on 16.

Khan did for Welbourne and Lee Sparks - the latter surviving two dropped chances before Tom Penny finally clung on to a regulation edge.

Nine down with 150 on the board, Liam Moffat and Simm defended gamely and made Barrow briefly regret their decision not to declare their innings earlier.

But with just 23 deliveries to survive a full length ball from Khan burst through the top and Simm was already through his shot.

The ball ballooned to Wellings at cover and he hung on giving the hosts 15 points and leaving Lancaster heading South with just three as they were bowled out for 172.