by Jim Sumner
SHIPLEY Hall and Aston-on-Trent produced a highly entertaining spectacle to share the points in a close affair on Saturday.
The highlight of the game was a remarkable innings from Shipley Hall skipper Ryan North, who blasted a quick-fire 81 in a very short time, with James Cokayne providing excellent support with a patient 59.
Aston batted first and all of the batsmen enjoyed their day at the crease.
In perfect conditions they scored steadily, with most getting getting into the thirties or fourties before being dismissed.
Then, with the score at 158-7, Aziz Rehman entered the fray and enjoyed a brilliant cameo lasting just 20 minutes.
During that time, covering just a few overs, he blasted four sixes and three fours before being run out for 48 - a truly aggressive innings which helped boost his team’s total to a highly satisfactory 236 all out with just one over remaining.
All the Shipley bowlers took wickets achieve maximum bowling points, Danny Hanson with 3 for 57, Graham Farnsworth 1 for 28, Scott Parkin 1 for 42, North 2 for 51 and Cokayne 2 for 56.
When Shipley batted, they too made a steady start but then lost two quick wickets and slumped to 61 for 4.
However, Cokayne and Tom Starr rallied the troops and took the score to over a hundred.
Shipley were still in a vulnerable position but in came captain North who played circumspectly for a few overs before deciding to ‘open his shoulders’.
In a dazzling display of big hitting, including four sixes and two fours in one over off the bowling of Mehmoon Tariq, he powered his way to 50 and then 81 before being run out - a marvellous innings which gave Shipley a chance of victory with the score on 218 and needing just 19 to win.
Farnsworth was then run out going for the runs and the last pair of Martin Starr and Parkin then had to bat out the last three overs.
This they did with confident aplomb and the match was drawn with Aston getting 15 points and Shipley 14 in a very worthwhile effort by both teams.