MOLD 82-3

CONSIDERING the heavy rain of Friday and early Saturday, it's definitely a surprise that a cricket match took place in the Vale of Clwyd over the weekend.

Somehow, Ruthin's North Wales Cricket League Division One contest at home to local rivals Mold was able to go ahead.

Understandably, the start was delayed due to the wet weather and it was reduced to 48 overs per side.

Ruthin skipper Rhys Hilditch won the pre-match toss and his message back to the changing room was for the opening batsmen to don their pads.

This didn't turn out to be the best of decisions, though, and the home side soon found themselves in a spot of bother.

Opener Dafydd Roberts departed for a duck when he was caught behind by George Deniz off the bowling of John Crane.

Soon afterwards, Duncan Roberts departed the crease when he was run out by John Crane and when Josh Duckworth was caught by Crane off the bowling of Keith Embleton, Ruthin found themselves on a perilous 6-3.

Only a further six runs had been added to the tally when Ruthin lost their next wicket.

William Jones departed cheaply, with Usman Butt taking the catch to hand Embleton his second wicket.

Mold continued to have the upper hand and skipper Hilditch was dismissed by Crane, leaving his side on 17-5.

A mini recovery then came, with a 16-run stand for the sixth wicket.

This was put together by opener Michael Parton and Harry Pooler, with the latter supplying all of the runs in the partnership.

Pooler was eventually caught by Isaac Allen off the bowling of John Crane.

The biggest partnership over the course of the innings was one of 30 for the seventh wicket.

Parton and Llyr Williams improved the home side's prospects, taking the team total beyond 50 in the process.

Eventually, Williams was out for 14, being caught-and-bowled by Usman Butt.

The one constant up until this stage was patient Parton, whose innings was brought to a close by Richard Crane.

Parton made 25 from 92 deliveries to hold down one end.

Ruthin were staring down the barrel when Olly Gray was dismissed with the score on 67, while the final pairing of Sandeep Anantharaman and Jamie Hulse put together a partnership of 10.

This meant that Ruthin were bowled out for 79 in the 38th over.

Mold's bowling and fielding was hugely disciplined and they only conceded three extras in the field.

Richard Crane (3-18) and John Crane (3-31) were the main wicket-grabbers, while there was also success for the likes of Keith Embleton (2-15) and Usman Butt (1-15).

Early wickets would have been foremost in Ruthin's minds during tea, but Mold were able to make a solid start to their innings.

Openers Richard Crane and Richard Deniz put together a first wicket partnership of 40.

This would eventually come to a halt when Crane was caught behind by Michael Parton off the bowling of Sandeep Anantharaman for 15.

Only a further four runs had been added when there was further joy for the home side.

Harry Pooler accounted for the wicket of Duane Williams, aided by William Jones' catch.

Another league point would be picked up by Ruthin when they gathered another wicket.

Anantharaman bowled opener Richard Deniz for 31.

There would be no further wickets and a 24-run stand for the fourth wicket secured victory for Mold.

Usman Butt (13 not out) and John Crane (10 not out) led the visitors to a winning 82-3 in 22 overs.

For Ruthin, Sandeep Anantharaman finished up with a fine 2-7 return from seven overs, while Harry Pooler claimed 1-26.

Mold took 13 of the 15 points that were on offer.