A double hundred by Norden opener Simon Harman gave Sean Gibson’s Radcliffe an “impossible task” as his side crashed out of the Central Lancashire League’s Wood Cup in the opening round on Sunday.
Harman, playing in his first CLL campaign, scored an unbeaten 202 with Melbourne professional Daniel Salpietro and Nick Brierley also hitting 63 apiece as the Premier Division leaders notched up, what Gibson described as a “ridiculous” score of 359-2 at tea.
In reply, Hafeez Afridi’s 33 was the only score of note with Jimmy Dixon (17), Gibson (13) and Nadeem Ashraf (12) the only other batsmen getting into double figures as the visitors were hammered by 248 runs.
“We were chasing 359 which was a ridiculous score for us to follow,” said Gibson.
“It was a case of how do you chase a score like that?
“It was an impossible task. The 111 runs we scored is not really much of a view of how we batted because it didn’t really matter at that point.
“All we could do was go out there and try to smash it and hope it came off early.”
The Radcliffe bowlers did have some success with both Gibson and Dixon taking a wicket each. Gibson was particularly pleased to dispose of pro Salpietro.
“It was good to get Salpietro out as he’s been on a good run of form over the past few weeks. “He looks like a really good player but in the end it was Harman who did the damage.”
The Radcliffe captain was left to rue the difference in the strength and depth of the squads as the higher league opponents picked their way through the visitors’ batting order.
“They are unbeaten at the top of the Premier Division. They’ve got a really good team. If there’s one good player out, another just as good comes in to replace him,” he said.
“It’s hard for us. With cup games you are limited to 10 overs per bowler as well, so we have to use five bowlers. “That’s usually okay, but our fifth bowler Afridi injured his back after a couple of overs which meant young bowlers (Charlie Hamilton and Dan Farley) were coming on to bowl against a guy who’s already on 100, so it’s not really fair.
“Over the next month we’ve got a number of players missing because of exams, including Farley. We can’t even call up players from the second team because they’ve got the same issues.”
With one win in their opening four matches, sixth-placed Radcliffe return to league action on Sunday as they host fifth-placed Ashton.