THE waters subsided and cricket was played in the Warmseal Durham Senior League yesterday, with all six scheduled matches going ahead.
Castle Eden continued on their untroubled path at the top of the table, winning at Philadelphia by four wickets, but Burnmoor kept right on their case, lopping another seven points off their lead as they halted Durham City’s mini revival.
Castle’s success at Bunker Hill owed much to Indian pro Swaru Purkayastha who mesmerised the home batsmen in an 11 over spell which included six maidens and returned him figures of five wickets for just 12 runs.
With two wickets apiece for Jude Dinushan and Alan Unsworth Phili were bowled out for a modest 83, and even though Castle lost six wickets and used up 32.3 overs in reaching their victory target, defeat never looked on the cards at any stage as they racked up win number seven.
Durham battled through nearly 50 overs at Burnmoor with Nick Hobson (44) and Phil Parker (40) lifting them to a total of 158 against a tight home attack in which Martin Thursfield shone with a return of 4-37 from 12.3 overs. The Moor then rattled off a five wicket win with Jimmy Daley playing a remarkably soothing role with nine boundaries in an unbeaten 65.
Mark Elliott’s first team debut for Whitburn turned into a red letter day in more ways than one for the off-spinner as he turned in a man-of-the-match performance to topple Eppleton.
Kyle Davis was in his usual free flowing form for Eppleton, hitting nine fours and two sixes in a good looking 60, but with Elliott’s introduction to the attack the visitors slid from the relative tranquillity of 83-1 to an all out 121, their final nine wickets crashing for just 38 runs as Elliot ran amok.
He bagged 7-12 in 11.4 highly effective overs to leave his side with a relatively comfortable target, one they reached inside 20 overs after Neil Ayre hit 10 fours and a six in an unbeaten knock of 60 which took his side to an easy seven wicket win.
Boldon turned in perhaps their best performance of the season when they toppled champions Kimblesworth by seven wickets.
The title-holders were completely outfoxed – Graham Fox to be precise who took 6-42 as Kimbles collapsed to 131 all out, Phil Shakespeare chipping in with 3-41 from his 15 over spell. Skipper Chris Ellison then lofted four sixes and struck three more boundaries to see his side through to a fine win with 60 not out, victory arriving inside 34 overs.
South Hetton’s woes continued as they were hammered by 115 runs at Felling. After being set a target of 180-6 Hetton were humbled for just 65 in 29 overs as Paul Leonard (4-19 in 12 overs) and Ant Trotter (3-11 in 7 overs) ripped them apart.
Horden had to fight hard for their three-wicket win at Norton, Adam Dixon their standout bowler with a return of 4-20 as the Teessiders were put out for 133. The visitors kept losing wickets regularly in their reply, but with contributions throughout the order Jon Kean (5-63) was held at bay as he tried to inspire the home side.
Only one game defied the elements on Saturday when Marsden were hammered by Kimblesworth.
Stephen Meek caused havoc in a superb spell of bowling which skittled the home team for just 56. Meek bowled an unbroken eleven-over stint in which he claimed eight wickets for just 18 runs.
Marsden were actually relieved to make it up to 56 as it took a late flurry from Paul Cassell batting at number ten to provide a modicum of respectability. He cracked two sixes and a four in a defiant 21. He then had the additional satisfaction of trapping Meek lbw when Kimblesworth batted, but that was as good as it got as Paul Craig (32no) and Craig Burke (21no) rushed the title-holders to victory inside 12 overs, the whole game done and dusted in just 34 overs.