Matt Glayzer won the toss and elected to bat, confidently expecting to post a big score for Southport and Birkdale to chase.
The plan looked to be going pear shaped when early wickets fell cheaply to leave the score on 46-4 albeit that there was plenty of batting to come and crucially Josh Bohannon, last season’s top run maker, who had come in at number three was still there. He entertained the crowd with some glorious strokes and when he did lose his wicket the score had risen to a somewhat more respectable 130-6 with him having recorded a personal tally of 79. The big final total at this time, however, still looked to be a wishful dream.
As if to prove that dreams do sometimes come true late order batsman Nicky Caunce set about the S& B attack with an assault that left the bowlers stunned and the Ormskirk supporters in rapture. In the space of 49 deliveries he scored 59 runs to include four 4s and five 6s. In one over, bowled by the unfortunate Chris Cunningham, he hit three successive 6s ! It was a remarkable exhibition of big hitting and transformed the whole outlook of the outcome of the game.
Nicky returned to the Pavilion with the score on 205- 9 and with Scott Lees (13), Alex Mason (7*) and Tom Hartley (17*) adding useful runs. The innings was declared on 228-9. The dream, interrupted by the occasional nightmare had come true.
The Southport & Birkdale reply got off to a poor start with three early wickets going cheaply. Scott Lees and Nicky Caunce took the wickets in their opening spells.
With the visitors on an modest 26-3 things were looking good but no account had been taken of the skill and stubbornness of Chris Brownlow and Adam Phillips who saw off the opening attack and took the score steadily along to 95. Josh Bohannon was called in by Matt Glayzer to break the partnership and he answered his skipper’s call taking the wickets of Adam Phillips (34) Isaac Lea (0) and Nick Knight (0) to leave S & B on 99-7. Chris Brownlow, however, showed no signs of capitulating and it took a brilliant catch by John Armstrong, off the bowling of Tom Hartley, to capture his wicket. He scored a very creditable 55 runs but once he had gone the rest was a formality. With Alex Mason taking his first Premier League wicket the visitors’ tail end batsmen were unable to cope with the bowling and the innings came to and end with the score of 127, leaving Ormskirk victors by 101 runs and a further 25 points in the bag.
It was a generally sound all round performance highlighted by two outstanding contributions. Nicky Caunce’s unmitigated big hitting will be remembered for a long time but the best overall performance came from Josh Bohannon. His super innings of 79 runs and his bowling achievement of 3-45 earned him the accolade of “Man of the Match”. With the all round cricketing talent of Josh in the side, Ormskirk will always be in with a good chance of winning games.
He is a fine talent.
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