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Half-Centuries for Herron and Bhatti highlight of Walmley’s 9 wicket defeat at Attock

Half-centuries for Callum Herron and Sarmad Bhatti provided the highlight of Walmley’s nine-wicket Warwickshire Premier League round 15 defeat at Attock.

The third-wicket pair took the visitors to 124 for two, however after losing their last eight wickets for 68 in the face of a fine spell from Maroof Azam, Walmley were then hurried to defeat by an excellent Omar Ali century.

The talented left-hander raced to an unbeaten 115 from just 81 balls as Attock completed their 198-run chase in just 29 overs.

This result leaves Walmley locked alongside Rugby in seventh place in the table with seven rounds of action remaining.

Skipper Jono Newis acknowledged that Attock had outplayed his side and thoroughly deserved their win.

“Attock are a very good all-round side,” he said.

“They bowled very accurately throughout and forced us to go very hard in the closing stages of our innings as a result.

“That can take you in one of two directions and unfortunately it didn’t quite work out for us.

“That said, we thought a score around 200 wasn’t a million miles away from being competitive but Omar Ali is a class act.

“We didn’t bowl our best lines early on but they capitalised really well and once they got away to such a good start it was difficult to reel them in.

“Sammy (Bhatti) and Callum both played well with the bat and got us to a reasonably good place but Attock’s discipline with the ball was very good and we were never able to get away.”

After winning the toss, Walmley lost openers Dan Bromley and James Bristow by the time the score had reached 37.

But this brought Pakistani ace Bhatti to the crease where he proceeded to build an 87-run third-wicket partnership with Herron.

With both batters having reached half-centuries the visitors looked set for a big score until the introduction of Azam turned the game on its head.

The slow left-armer initially trapped Herron lbw for an 89-ball 55 containing 11 boundaries before going on to snare the prized scalp of Bhatti who was caught by IPL star Anureet Singh for 62 after striking nine fours during his 83-ball stay.

This left Walmley at 157 for four with ten overs remaining. However, Sachin Dubb’s dismissal by Anureet was then quickly followed by Azam’s removal of Peter Shackleford, Newis and Harry Wyatt and when the lower order soon followed Azam finished with the fine figures of 5-43 from 12 overs.

This left Attock chasing 198 in 51 overs and their openers began in positive mode against Newis and Jamie Hall.

Omar and Hasan Mahmood raced to 50 in even time before doubling their opening stand in the next 41 balls against a five-strong visiting attack.

Slow left-armer Kiefer Woods eventually made the breakthrough when he bowled Mahmood for a 50-ball 47 containing a six and seven fours.

With Attock still needing 89 the visitors knew more quick wickets were essential, but now in the company of the experienced Mo Ishtiaq, Omar had other ideas.

Having completed his half-century from 43 balls shortly before the dismissal of Mahmood, Omar’s second 50 came from just 30 further deliveries before he went on to an unbeaten 115. In total he found the boundary 15 times and cleared it on a further seven occasions.

Omar and Ishtiaq (26no) added 88 in their unbroken second-wicket alliance while the only successful visiting bowler was Woods who claimed 1-45 from nine overs.

Walmley host Aston Manor next Saturday.

Picture credit – Paul Devine

Words – Stumped4Words Paul Smith

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