By Chris West
ON a day of attritional cricket Dawdon became the only side in the Durham League’s top flight to retain a 100 per cent record after just two rounds of matches, and with a home game against secondplaced Burnmoor to come this afternoon the chance is there for them to make a clear statement of intent in the championship race.
Opening day winners Easington fell quickly to Dawdon’s attack, their all out score of 73 littered with six ducks as Anthony Watson ran through the lower order to end with 5-21. Stephen Gale’s opening 36 then virtually ended the match as a contest and Dawdon romped to an eight-wicket win.
Meanwhile, Burnmoor were involved in a long drawn out ball dominated stalemate in their home game against Boldon CA. The champions looked in serious trouble with seven wickets down and just 79 on the board, but skipper Alec Linsley (33no) then joined youngster McKenzie Wright (50no) in an unbroken eighth wicket partnership of 87 that eased concerns. Set a target of 166-7, Boldon (77-7) hit the buffers almost immediately in their reply, and were 49-7 when skipper Tommy Nixon (35no) along with Ian Male (10no) necessarily took on a passable resemblance to barn doors which Burnmoor couldn’t break down.
Moor remained in second spot despite dropping points, but Tudhoe blasted out a warning to the rest of the pack with an impressive 84- run home win over Hylton.
Simon Davies was at his very best for the hosts, cracking 6 fours and 7 sixes on his way to 112, and that innings lifted Tudhoe to a 44th over declaration on 210-9. Hylton were then rolled over for 126 inside 38 overs with Ian Grainger (4- 25) heading the strike force.
After a first week washout, Esh Winning kick-started their campaign with a 20-run home victory over Marsden in a low scoring game. Jalat Khan took the undoubted man-of-the-match accolades in this one, his knock of 66, which included 3 sixes and 7 other boundaries, underpinning Esh’s 41.2 over total of 131-9, and he then went on to claim 5-20 as Marsden were bowled out for 111 despite Connor Elliott carrying his bat for an undefeated 58.
Mainsforth, Castle Eden and Horden all claimed their first wins of the season, the latter’s the most impressive as it came against the fancied Philadelphia.
Horden look to have found a useful overseas player in Sahil Madgaonkar from Mumbai.
The Indian dominated the home game against Philadelphia, cracking a 98-ball 84 with 6 fours and 1 six as Horden posted 150 all out, and then claiming three cheap wickets as the visitors were bundled out for 121, Adam Dixon (4-29) providing the most effective support.
In the other top flight matches Gary Cummings’ five wickets did for Evenwood who lost by 42 runs at Mainsforth, while Prateek Dabholkah and Richard Ede shared eight victims as Castle Eden defeated Crook by four wickets.
In Division Two, Durham City lead the way following a surprisingly comfortable 50- run victory over Seaham Park. City were bundled out for a modest 102 but then found the match winner in Tom O’Neill who bagged 5-12 to leave Seaham stranded on 52.
Bill Quay are second following a 96-run home win over Langley Park, the success mainly inspired by Berwick Hall’s blistering 94 which included no fewer than 7 sixes, and after a free week on the season’s opening day Whiteleas produced a maximum points haul from their 74-run beating of Murton to move into third spot with a game in hand on the two teams ahead of them. New “pro” Hamad Ul-Hassan (82 not out) earned his debut corn.
Ryhope gave credence to the view that they will be amongst the promotion contenders with a six-wicket home victory over Ushaw Moor. Connor Cheal (4-15 from 7.4 overs) undid the Moor for 135, and then Adrian Hedley cracked a 33-ball 47, which included 3 maximums, to propel the hosts to their success in just 28 overs.
Silksworth were the day’s other winners, John Hayes (3- 41) and Michael Underwood (4-29) combining to bowl Peterlee out for 109, and despite young Aussie Chris Moran causing a few flutters with a five wicket bag it couldn’t divert the Silks from a four wicket success.
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