Morecambe blown away by Blackpool pro Mitchell

Morecambe's sub-professional Ali Azmat is dismissed for 72.
Morecambe's sub-professional Ali Azmat is dismissed for 72.

Morecambe suffered their first league defeat of the season as they were blown away by Blackpool professional Daryl Mitchell on Saturday.

The New Zealender took 5-41 to help bowl out the Northern League champions for 146 before hitting 98 not out to carry his side to victory at Stanley Park.

Having been asked to bat Morecambe were immediately under the cosh with Northamptonshire’s Richard Gleeson, who recently dismissed England captain Alastair Cook in the County Championship, clean blowing Lewis Smith on his return to the Blackpool side.

When Mark Woodhead then went it was 1-2 but sub-professional Ali Azmat went about rebuilding the innings with Ryan Pearson.

Mitchell’s short-pitched bowling accounted for Pearson for 17 however with captain Josh Dixon joining the increasingly fluent Azmat, deputising for Suraj Randiv as Morecambe still wait on the Sri Lankan’s arrival.

Azmat passed 50 but was running out of partners. Tommy Clough provided resistance late on but the Pakistani sub pro was to depart for 73 from 93 balls having hit five sixes, with Morecambe limping to 146 all out in the 48th over.

The visitors knew they needed early wickets and got just that as Eddy Read tore out of the blocks to rearrange Tom Jefferson’s stumps.

Azmat was also not to be denied as he snared Matthew Houston strangled down the leg side by the stand-in keeper Laurence Read.

Morecambe were on top and were agonizingly close to pushing home that advantage as Eddy Read found the edge of Mitchell’s bat only to see his skipper put down a tough chance at full stretch.

From then on it was the Mitchell show as the Kiwi rode his luck a little but punished the bad balls with aplomb, hitting 98 from 81 balls in an innings that included 12 fours and three sixes.

It all meant the hosts won by eight wickets as Morecambe’s poor record against Blackpool continued.

Dixon’s men next host Fleetwood at Woodhill Lane on Monday.