Yorkshire League Cricket: Hallam squeeze through, despite Longhurst’s top innings

Whitley bowler Neil Longhurst takes the wicket of Hallam opener Craig Moffatt
Whitley bowler Neil Longhurst takes the wicket of Hallam opener Craig Moffatt
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The early season derby between Collegiate and Sheffield & Phoenix United was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Saturday as the terribly unseasonal weather continued.

In fact, the only action the sides saw over the Bank Holiday weekend was at Whitley Hall when United played the League Cup game on Monday.

Again the weather has a say reducing the game to 20 overs a side. The hosts were inserted and after the early dismissal of James Moorhouse by Bilal Anjam, former Unitedites Matt Milburn and Neil Longhurst set about the attack.

Milburn was dismissed for 26, and with a quick contribution from another former Bawtry Road favourite Piet Swanepoel (21), it was left to Longhurst to set the target.

Three boundaries and four sixes saw him finish undefeated on 74 off just 51 balls. Whitley finished on 168-5 from their reduced allocation, Anjam taking 2-21 and skipper Azeem Rafiq adding 1-14.

The reply was in trouble at 22-2, but the Rafiq brothers soon turned the tables. They set about the home attack with some vigour with a combined contribution of 119 off just 59 balls!

Danial was dismissed for 60 off 28 balls with six sixes and two fours, with the score at 136.

Callum Bethel then took Azeem’s wicket and the pressure suddenly shifted.

The less experienced middle order succumbed to the craft of Bethel and experience of Swanepoel as six wickets fell for just 25, leaving United needing eight off the last two overs - but with eight wickets down.

Dan McLean, who had watched the collapse from the other end, put the result beyond doubt with two boundaries off Longhurst and United squeaked home by two wickets, to face Cleethorpes in round two.

If the weather improves this weekend, United host Rotherham Town at Bawtry Road. The visitors have former England test bowler Saj Mahmood in their ranks.

Collegiate, meanwhile, make the trip up the M1 to Shaw Lane to play Barnsley.