Buoyant Boldon look set to unveil their new overseas signing in their home game against Willington tomorrow, with Bangladeshi international Mosharraf Hossain set to make his debut.
Just a few days after bringing Burnmoor’s unbeaten start to life in the NEPL to an end, the club announced they were on the verge of completing the signing of Hossain, who was already in the country and so didn’t need to go through the problems of travel arrangements and acclimatisation – he was due to arrive in Boldon earlier today.
Hossain is 33-years-old and has enjoyed a first-class career spanning 74 matches in which he has scored over 2,000 runs, at an average of 23 and, more impressively, taken 303 wickets at an average of 25.
The slow left-arm orthodox bowler has made three ODI appearances for Bangladesh, the last in 2008 against South Africa.
Hossain will slot straight into the team in place of Durham’s Stu Poynter, who has commitments with Ireland this weekend, and with the team now up to fourth in the table after the Burnmoor win, and just six points behind second-placed Washington, they will be hoping to consolidate against a Willington team who have lost on three occasions so far.
The visitors have to reckon without the services of Max Bailey for three weeks as he’s suspended, so they throw 15-year-old Zack Hemming into the first team fray.
In a strange coincidence, the fixture list has thrown up a top versus second scenario in both the Premier Division and the First Division this weekend, with Chester-le-Street playing South North in the big league, and Brandon taking on Washington in the second tier.
Brandon hold a very useful 29-point lead at this stage of the campaign, and with the halfway point just a few weeks away, the chasing pack will be looking to Washington to do them all a favour.
Both sides are unbeaten, so either something will give or they’ll slug each other to a standstill, with many people’s money on the latter.
Brandon are unchanged and at full strength for this one, while Washington make one enforced change, with Tom Colledge unavailable through university commitments and Jason Jones promoted to replace him.
One team who will be more interested than most at the outcome of the top-of-table clash will be in-form Eppleton, the other undefeated side in the division.
They face a tricky trip to take on an erratic Tudhoe, who are capable of upsetting anyone’s applecart on their day, but Eppleton may well have Paul Davison in their ranks.
Davison has a great background in the game and last played in 2013 for Burnmoor.
He has just signed for Eppleton after recovering from a broken hand suffered seven or eight weeks ago and it’s hoped he will be available to make his debut in an otherwise unchanged side.
Having fallen off the unbeaten horse, it is time to get back in the saddle for Burnmoor as they entertain struggling South Hetton this weekend, and they will be selecting from a squad of twelve with leading player Stephen Meek returning from holiday.
South Hetton show two changes with Ryan Taylor and Nathan Walton replacing Nathan Adamson and Alex Nicholson.
In Saturday’s other games, Sunderland, still bottom three – points below South Hetton, travel to Sacriston where their hosts are likely to be unchanged despite fitness doubt over Callum Appleby, who has a quad strain, and Seaham Harbour hope to have Shoaib Akhtar in their line-up at home to Felling, who could have their overseas man in the team if his visa hearing went well in India earlier this week.