Durham Cricket League: Alan cuts the Mustard for Hylton, but Horden have the better of draw

Ryhope bowler Alex Catcheside steams in against Marsden, watched by visiting batsman Steven Neilson
Ryhope bowler Alex Catcheside steams in against Marsden, watched by visiting batsman Steven Neilson
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Hylton skipper Alan Mustard blasted 16 fours and three sixes on his way to a magnificent, 125-ball 117 at winless Horden, although both sides had to settle for a share of the First Division spoils on Saturday.

Horden picked up 15 points to their opponents’ eight.

Scott Birks was the pick of Horden’s attack, taking 3-48, with a shoulder problem again stopping professional Sahil Madagaonkar from bowling. Carl Watson, Lewis Broom and Adam Dixon took two wickets apiece as Hylton were all out for 197.

Horden reached 54 before losing their first wicket, and a classy fourth-wicket partnership between Madagaonkar, who hit six boundaries and a six in 68, and Scott Birks (32) had them on course before Hylton rallied strongly, restricting them to 178-5.

Ryan Dowens bagged 3-32, with a wicket apiece for Marlon Black, Adam Bewick and Graeme Shovlin.

The late and weather-beaten start to the season has resulted in an intriguing contest developing, with eight teams separated by just 28 points as clubs head into mid-summer.

It was expected that leaders Dawdon would be tested by Mainsforth, and so it proved, with no quarter given in a game neither wanted to lose. The resultant draw provided the chance for other teams to make their move on the leading positions and several did just that.

But while many teams are eyeing up the leading positions, Boldon CA’s struggles continue, and it was just their luck to come up against an international cricketer making his debut.

There can’t have been many better first games than that enjoyed by Esh Winning’s new overseas star, Suhrawadi Shuvo, who arrived the day before the game yet still managed a century and five wickets.

The Bangladeshi international hit 19 fours and two sixes, skipper Dave Lawlor (63 not out) happy to play willing accomplice in a partnership of 190 of which Shuvo made 124.

The declaration came on 200-1 after 37 overs, and it was a similar number before Boldon CA eventually fell for 110 as Shuvo rounded off a perfect day with 5-23. Defeat left Boldon pointless, and having amassed just seven in all from their six games to date they already look destined for some rest and recuperation in Division Two next summer.

Meanwhile, Dawdon, leaders at the start of the day, just could not get out of the traps when set a target of 233-8 by Mainsforth, the visitors having run scorers throughout their order, with Gary Cummings adding the impetus with a breezy 69, the vast majority of which were boundaries.

The loss of three early wickets blunted Dawdon’s ambitions in the run chase, and they dropped anchor to ensure they were not beaten as they ended on 125-6. John Leslie was the Green Drive side’s star turn, taking 3-27 and hitting 58 runs.

Crook are in the leading group of eight after they finally pulled off their first win – although they must have been worried at the interval, having bowled Philadelphia out for 194, an almost identical score to that which Dawdon posted the previous week in that remarkable tie.

This time there were no late calamities as Steve Chapman (74 not out) and Andrew Pratt (75) secured an eight-wicket success.

In Phili’s innings, David Baxter (63, with seven fours and a six), Shaun Smith (51) and Adam Maguire (40) steadied the ship after the Bunker Hill men were reduced to 19-3.

Durham City beat visitors Easington by five wickets with youngster Scott Steel (3-34 and 29 not out) their leading performer. Easington were all out for 106, with Jason Moses (32) top-scoring. Dane Wilson bagged 4-47, but City eased home.

Castle Eden had 14 runs to spare in their win at Bill Quay, Liam Irwin’s 77 being crucial.