Read denied vital victory

Warren Eastham
Warren Eastham

A DESPERATE race for victory ultimately cost Read captain Warren Eastham £2 at the weekend.

With Kyle O’Connor at the striking end, requiring just two runs to beat Earby from the final ball of the afternoon, the pair secured a single which effectively tied the game though, in a heroic bid for triumph, Eastham was run out for a diamond duck!

“Earby bowled a tight over at the end and we just couldn’t get over the line,” he said. We needed two runs off the last ball and we got one. I was run out for a diamond duck which cost me £2 but seven points are better than nothing.”

Read were plucky, though slightly fortunate to gain a tie in what was a ‘quacking’ finale. Former Whalley Road amateur Craig Walton returned to his former stomping ground, where he lifted the league title in three consecutive seasons from 2002, and captained his men to a 180 total from the alloted 21 overs.

Walton himself was inspirational as he survived the innings on 70, while professional Ali Azmat smashed 87 in that rain-reduced period. Eastham gathered three wickets from a five-over spell for the hosts.

“It was a good game and probably a deserved tie,” said Eastham. “We invited them into a slogging fest with the game reduced to 21 overs, which probably suited them. Craig Walton didn’t want to play the match because he thought the surface was unfit, but we did well to get the game played, though the conditions were difficult.”

He added: “Craig and their pro batted exceptionally well and we only picked up wickets in the final over, which didn’t help. Our bowling was going to all parts of the ground. Then we were hit and miss with the bat, edging ourselves into a position where we could’ve won the game and then we’ve ended up scraping a tie.”

There were nine fours and six sixes in Read professional Stuart Hornby’s knock of 90 from 54 deliveries while Will Driver added 44.