Westmorland Cricket League: Shireshead hold nerve to see off champions Arnside

Paul Yates.
Paul Yates.

Shireshead’s bright start to the season continued with a three-wicket win at champions Arnside on Saturday.

James Rafferty starred with the ball as the visitors won the toss and bowled the home side out for 98 before finishing on 103-7.

Shires’ decision to field initially looked to be the wrong one as Arnside flew to 28 without loss from 5 overs.

However that soon became 30-2 as Rafferty (6-42) and Danny Wilkinson (2-34) removed both openers in consecutive overs. Better was to come for the visitors as Arnside were soon struggling at 45-5.

Alex Davidson and C Baron added 30 as they stabilised the innings, but the introduction of Uzair Shah (2-16) ended the fightback as he clean bowled the pair of them.

In reply, Shires skipper Paul Yates and Liam Parkinson added 26 for the first wicket with few alarms to make a big hole in the 99 required for victory.

Cameos from Peter Wilson and Simon Gould took Shireshead to 59-2 and in sight of victory until a mid-innings wobble saw the game take on a different complexion at 63-5.

Steve Yates (29 not out) was impervious to the nerve-jangling nature of the situation however, and with a mix of hard hitting and a slice of luck Shireshead got home with three wickets to spare.

Adrian Lee (3 for 32) was the pick of the home bowlers.

Shireshead had begun the defence of their Twenty20 title with a comprehensive eight-wicket win at Silverdale on Friday night.

Having elected to bat first on a slow wicket, Silverdale struggled against Shireshead’s opening attack of James Rafferty 
(2-14) and Danny Wilkinson before Phil Oliver (5-14) ensured there would be no late order rally as the hosts were bowled out for just 66.

In reply, Shireshead began briskly and never looked back in a comfortable victory.