Early Netherfield bowling onslaught fails to stem Blackpool tide as Stanley Park outfit claim six-wicket Parkside Road win

Early Netherfield bowling onslaught fails to stem Blackpool tide as Stanley Park outfit claim six-wicket Parkside Road win

Early Netherfield bowling onslaught fails to stem Blackpool tide as Stanley Park outfit claim six-wicket Parkside Road win

First published in Sport
Last updated
by , Reporter

AN unbeaten half century from Stephen Twist formed the bedrock of Blackpool’s reply as the Stanley Park outfit consigned Netherfield to a six-wicket defeat.

Twist finished undefeated on 59 after a Saliya Saman-inspired Netherfield reduced the visitors to 23-4, with the Sri Lankan claiming three early wickets.

The hosts were chasing an unlikely victory after slumping to 116 all out, with Marc Brown top scoring with 42 as Namibian professional Christi Viljoen and Richard Gleeson shared seven wickets.

Blackpool won the toss and invited Netherfield to bat on a pitch offering movement, with Gleeson proving to be the home side’s initial tormentor-in-chief.

The right-arm seamer uprooted Ben Barrow’s leg stump as the opener departed without scoring, before trapping Ben Phillips in front the very next ball.

With Netherfield 1-2 in the fourth over, skipper Marc Brown and new batsman John Huck set about rebuilding the innings, with the pair adding 41 for the third wicket.

Brown’s straight drive off Gleeson found the boundary rope to get the scoreboard ticking as Huck clobbered Viljoen for a six down the ground

However, Huck became the first of four victims for Viljoen after edging to Twist at first slip and departing for 23, as Gleeson clean bowled Saman for two in the 22nd over.

Batting for the first time in senior Netherfield colours, Joe Atkinson joined Brown at the crease with the Parkside Road club struggling at 45-4.

The pair looked assured as Brown continued to accumulate runs, driving Viljoen through mid-wicket for four before glancing Steven Mercer’s first ball to the fine leg boundary.

Atkinson then took 12 off Viljoen's next over, including a hooked six to fine leg, before holing out to Blackpool skipper Paul Danson at mid wicket off Mercer for 21.

And in almost a carbon copy dismissal, Brown chipped to Danson at mid on with Danny Gilbert the wicket taker, with Brown falling for 42 – a knock which included seven fours.

Brad Earl and Brendan Herron brought up the 100 in the 39th over before the latter clipped Mercer to Viljoen at mid on with the Netherfield tail offering little resistance.

Viljoen claimed the wickets of Earl, who made 14, Mark Clarkson and Nathan Chambers to end with figures of 4-48 as Gleeson posted 3-34 from his 13 overs.

Chasing 117 for victory, the Blackpool reply was only three overs old when Matthew Houston edged Saman to Barrow in the slips for three.

With Netherfield sensing an opportunity to take advantage of Blackpool’s occasional brittle batting, Clarkson cleaned bowled Gleeson three overs later to reduce the visitors to 11-2.

Viljoen was the next to fall, edging the dangerous Saman to Huck for five before the Sri Lankan returned to bowl Danson for nine with Blackpool teetering dangerously at 23-4.

With plenty of work to do, Andy Furness dug in as Twist looked to the play the more expansive innings where appropriate, with the Blackpool 50 brought up in the 15th over.

Stuart Nixon and Nathan Chambers took some punishment before Twist reached his half century with a boundary through extra cover off Earl.

In total, the left-hander struck eight fours on his way to an unbeaten 59, while Furness clobbered two sixes and settled matters with three boundaries off Saman to end 33 not out.

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