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Stretford Cricket Club
12:51pm Tuesday 24th April 2012 in Sport
A CHANGE, as the saying goes, is as good as a rest. But Stretford Cricket Club’s foray into the new surroundings of the Lancashire County League is likely to prove that other idiom correct: That there’s no rest for the wicked.
With a gruelling 28-game league schedule ahead of them, senses of anticipation and expectation are running high down at Lesley Road.
New and returning players will bolster the squad, as will Namibian professional Raymond van Schoor whose services have been secured for the season. Named as Player of the Tournament at last month’s world T20 qualifiers, he is sure to make a big impression when he debuts this weekend.
Stretford’s long-held policy of giving opportunities to home-grown juniors is paying off more than ever with youthful squad members settling in to established roles in the first eleven. The perfect case in point is 19-year-old captain Tyrone Lawrence, now in his sixth full season in the 1st XI, whose calm yet determined approach could prove the tonic for success.
Among the others to watch are 15-year-olds Calum Turner and Chris Laker. Both on Lancashire’s books, Turner already has a 1st XI century to his name and Laker a hat-trick.
Stretford got a flavour of things to come in Saturday’s home game against Denton West.
With some players away, including wicket-keeper Ian Jackson, who ran the London Marathon on Sunday, the game was always going to be difficult but a great effort was made nonetheless.
Having lost the toss, Stretford were all out for 168 in the 50th and final over of the innings. Chris Turner (33), Tyrone Lawrence (61) and Robert Grant (27) provided most of runs whilst Mo Akhtar took 6-37 for the visitors.
Chris Laker’s 2-27 from eleven overs and Chris Barlow’s five wicket haul was unfortunately not enough to stop Denton West winning by two wickets in the final over at 169-8.
The 1st XI entertain Stand at Lesley Road on Saturday, with the second team fixture reversed.