Bridge make history with their first Hamer triumph

·3-min read
WINNERS: Astley Bridge skipper, Yasir Rashid, celebrates lifting the Hamer Cup with David Cryer, right. . Picture by Harry McGuire
WINNERS: Astley Bridge skipper, Yasir Rashid, celebrates lifting the Hamer Cup with David Cryer, right. . Picture by Harry McGuire

ASHER Zaidi put in a man-of-the-match display to fire Astley Bridge to their first ever Hamer Cup win in 92 years on Sunday.

The Bolton Cricket League showpiece took place at Farnworth and Zaidi hit a century before taking three wickets to help his side beat league leaders Westhoughton.

Shahzad Patel (23) and Jack Bentham (34) set Bridge on their way with a quickfire 48-run opening partnership before Zaidi, batting at four, hit 106 from 89 deliveries, including three sixes and 12 fours.

Shivan Perera contributed 32 in a vital 98-run partnership with his professional, while Ayaz Tasawar (3-33) and Marlon Welcome-Goodman (3-37) were the pick of the Westhoughton bowlers.

Losing wickets at regular intervals, Westhoughton were indebted to Tasawar for keeping the game alive with his 69 - the last-wicket partnership being worth 49 in their 169 all out.

Zaidi took 3-32 to add to his century, and Haaris Akhtar also took three wickets.

They may have suffered cup heartbreak, but Westhoughton may be just a couple of matches from securing the championship.

On Saturday, Joe Curme, with 61, and Rob Houghton, with 53, guided them to 229-7.

A half-century from Milinda Siriwardana steered Farnworth to a handily placed 179-5, but they ended 24 runs short thanks to Ayaz Tazawar’s 5-66.

Elliot Coleclough struck 84 and David Tonge 71 in Farnworth Social Circle’s 251-7, Ankit Lamba taking 3-84 for Blackrod. Lamba then smashed 158 from 135 deliveries to take Blackrod to a two-wicket victory, despite Ben Hamilton’s 5-51.

There was also a two-wicket victory for Horwich. Astley Bridge reached 216-6, Andy Mills (68 not out), Rick Northrop (53) and Millan Patel and Perera (33 apiece). For Horwich, James Enslin took 3-39 and Jack Berry 3-72.

Horwich were well on top at 151-3 in the reply, Josh Little (58) and Tom Billington (43), but Irfan Puda and Patel combined to take six wickets, leaving a much closer margin of victory.

Lostock lead the Association Division having won four out of their five matches, with Atherton, Kearsley, Little Hulton and Little Lever all winning three.

James Evans contributed a half-century to Lostock’s 173, Luke Wainman taking 4-23 for Eagley and Luke Booyson 3-25.

From 53-5, Wainman (41) and Josh Fallows (47) added 78 for Eagley, but Akbar Ur Rehman’s 5-42 secured a 10-run victory for Lostock.

Abel Mokhuane (63), Tayler Heyes (49) and Cameron Murray (45) were the main contributors in Kearsley’s 288-8.

Alex Rodzoch made 98 and Craig Naylor 40 at the top end of Tonge’s batting order, but they were dismissed for 217 with Mo Jameel taking 5-67.

Shan Ali top scored for Little Hulton with 70, and the last two partnerships were worth 46 in their 213-9.

Adnan Mufti took 3-17 for Walkden then hit 30 as they were dismissed for 119, Amman Afzal 4-51.

Aneeq Hassan was another centurion with 136 for Little Lever, including a 99-run partnership with Andy Flear (34) rescuing their side from 131-6.

Chasing Lever’s 260, Zain Abbas was personally responsible for 152 of Atherton’s 229 runs, Aneeq Hassan taking 4-43, Nipun Gaikwad 3-52 and Flear 3-27.