Batting duo shine to inspire in-form Willoughby - The Rugby Observer

Batting duo shine to inspire in-form Willoughby

Rugby Editorial 11th Aug, 2020   0

A CENTURY partnership between Hassan Nawaz and Ashley Rayner guided Willoughby to a fourth straight win in Northamptonshire League Division Six as they triumphed by eight wickets at Rothwell Town 2nds.

The pair came together at the only the second ball of the visitors’ reply and were to put on 106 for the second wicket as Willoughby easily chased the hosts’ score of 118-7 off their 40 overs.

Earlier, the Willoughby attack had done their bit by restricting Rothwell to something of a modest total.

A diving catch from skipper Ben Hollis off the bowling of Kamesh Ganti gave them the early breakthrough before Jake Quinney (0-14 off eight overs), Rayner and Nikesh Mistry combined economically to stunt any Rothwell progress.




Their remaining opener Swingler and number three Henshaw made slow progress in the heat by putting on 57 in 19 overs until Mistry (1-31) claimed Swingler’s wicket to finally break their somewhat patient partnership.

As Rothwell finally realised the need to up the run rate, Willoughby were finally rewarded with wickets late in the innings.


Two wickets in an over for Rayner (2-23) was backed up by Ganti (2-22) and Fell (2-15), including the wicket of Henshaw who departed in the penultimate over for a top score of 52.

Despite Willoughby’s reply suffering another first over loss, Nawaz and Rayner were largely untroubled and looked set to see matters home until the latter departed having made exactly 50.

Nawaz, however, remained and ended up 42 not out as Willoughby reached their target with 12 overs still in hand.

WILLOUGHBY’S second string also made it four games unbeaten although they were pushed all the way in an entertaining four-run Division 11 win over Haddon 3rds at The Green.

Batting first, the hosts lost openers James Goodwin second ball and then Matt Cartridge to be reduced early on to 16-2, however Martin Nichols and Justin Hanks renewed their partnership of the previous week to initially steer them out of any further trouble.

Hanks made 67 and with Matt Goss adding 24 they were the top-scorers in Willoughby’s total of 162-9 off their 40 overs.

Jonathan Gibson took 4-28 and Adam Parton 2-27 for the visitors.

The home side’s total looked slightly below-par on the surface and in reply Haddon looked to be on course for victory in reaching 100 for the loss of only two wickets.

However, their runs dried up mid-innings after the loss of opener David Browne for his side’s eventual top score of 22 yet the game ebbed and flowed with Willoughby taking wickets but with Haddon edging towards the total.

It brought an exciting finish with 23 required off the last two overs and 12 off the last but, despite the efforts of Gibson (26no) and Neil Balliston (21no), the visitors fell short on 158-7.

Willoughby’s bowling saw Hanks finish with 4-26 with a wicket apiece for father and son Fergus and Michael Deery (1-22 and 1-23 respectively).

Saturday’s fixtures (11am): Northamptonshire League Division Six – Willoughby v Geddington 3rds; Division 11 – Heyford 3rds v Willoughby 2nds.

Sunday (1.30pm): Friendly Willoughby v Martins.

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