10:52am Sunday 18th May 2014
By Ross McLean
OPENER Daniel Lamb carried his bat and guided Leyland to victory as the reigning Northern League champions continued their unbeaten start to the season against Kendal at Shap Road.
Former New Zealand international Jamie How underpinned a faltering Kendal innings with a top score of 90, as Karl Cross and Steven Pallett claimed three wickets apiece.
Chasing 182 for victory, Leyland cruised to a seven-wicket victory with Lamb finishing unbeaten on 60 as Australian professional Alex Ross also posted a half century.
Before leading the visitors’ charge with the bat, Lamb struck an early blow with the ball as his right-arm medium pace accounted for Darren Moore, who was bowled without troubling the scorers.
How then joined Ben Harrison at the crease with the pair adding 35 for the second wicket before the latter holed out to Ross off Cross for 12.
At 42-2 in the 16th over, Kendal endured a middle-order collapse, with Ryan Shepherd, Terry Hunte, Gary Baker and Paul Dodds all falling cheaply, leaving the hosts reeling at 82-6.
Shepherd was trapped in front by Cross for two as Hunte was bowled by Andrew Makinson for the same score as Leyland started to assert their authority.
Former Lancashire player David Makinson then took centre stage, with his left-arm seam dismissing Baker, caught by Chris Parkinson, and Dodds LBW.
While wickets tumbled around him, How maintained his composure and brought up his half century before rebuilding the Kendal innings alongside Darren Braithwaite.
The pair shared a 73-run stand for the seventh wicket, taking the score to 155 inside the final ten overs until Braithwaite became the first of three victims for Pallett.
Trapped in front for 40, a knock which included four boundaries and two sixes, Braithwaite's departure meant were Kendal 164-7 with five overs remaining.
How looked odds on to complete his second century of the campaign before picking out Nathan McDonnell on the long-on boundary off Pallett for 90.
The 32-year-old Kiwi struck seven fours and four sixes during his 118-ball stay at the crease with Cross and Pallett clearing up the Kendal tail in the final over, ending with 3-40 and 3-21 respectively.
Defending just 181, Kendal required early wickets and Chris Miller duly obliged, with his off-spin seeing off Parkinson, caught by Braithwaite in the deep.
Ross then joined forces with Lamb to good effect, with the pair adding 77 for the second wicket and batting Leyland into the ascendency.
The duo progressed the score to 89-1 at the halfway stage before Nick Lewthwaite brought Ross’ stay at the crease to an end, caught by Braithwaite, for a 64-ball 54.
Ross was in relentless form hitting four fours and as many sixes, including a reverse sweep off Miller which cleared the boundary ropes and the clubhouse.
Leyland’s top-order continued to fire as Henry Thompson was the dominant partner in a 35-run partnership, with Lamb continuing to accumulate runs.
By the time Thompson was stumped by Baker off Miller – who finished with figures off 2-50 off 14 overs – Leyland were in sight of victory at 125-3.
With more than ten overs remaining, the visitors made light work of the remaining run chase, McDonnell smacking three sixes during an unbeaten 20-ball 32.
At the other end, Lamb remained defiant and finished on 60 not out as Leyland cantered to victory with more than five overs to spare.
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