Birkenhead Park CC 1st XI have won their seventh game in a row in all competitions, after a commanding 119-run victory over Lytham on Saturday, thanks to 73 and 5 for 57 from Satyajeet Bachhav and 61 from captain Stephen Hird.
Winning the toss on a baking hot day in Lytham, Park skipper Hird won the toss and elected to bat. However early inroads from Lytham, including three wickets for overseas slow left-armer Avinash Yadav left Park 42 for 4.
Bachhav combined with Sam Beadsworth to provide temporary respite for Park with a stand of 49 for the fourth wicket, before Yadav caught the edge of Beadsworth’s bat for 17, leaving the score 91 for 5.
Elegant strokeplay from Bachhav saw him pass fifty for the third time in the league this season and take the Park score into three figures.
The Indian all-rounder struck 9 fours on his way to 73 (87 balls, 9 fours, 1 six) before Joshua Holden held onto a chance off his own bowling. The score now 129 for 6.
Hird and Alex Harris then began to take advantage of the fast scoring conditions as they looked to accelerate Park towards the 200 mark.
Harris found the rope regularly on his way to a quick-fire 26 before Yadav took a high catch off his own bowling to dismiss the big-hitting all-rounder and pick up his five wicket haul.
Hird, now joined by Khalid Wahbi, continued from where he left off against Bowden last Sunday and score quickly to take Park past 200. The park skipper bought up a well deserved half-century in the process as he found the boundary with ease.
The rate of scoring remained healthy for Park, as Wahbi joined in on the act with a pair of glorious straight drives for four and two other boundaries on his way to a fluent unbeaten 31.
Hird eventually fell for a brilliant 61 (73 balls, 9 fours) and called time on his sides innings with the score an imposing 247 for 8. The Park engine room, led by Hird and Bachhav, recovered the score from an uneasy position at 42 for 4 to help put the 1s in a strong position heading into the second innings.
Alex Baker immediately put Lytham on the back foot as he beat the defences of Richard Staines in the first over, before snaring Myles Child down the leg side, with skipper and keeper Hird taking the catch. The score 3 for 2.
Park didn’t have to wait long for their next breakthrough as Baker picked up his third wicket of a fiery opening spell, with Matty Langford taking a sharp catch on the second grab at cover to dismiss Guy Roberts for 17.
Bachhav turned provider with the ball, as he and Mike Barnes at second slip combined to bring the end of Matthew Wood for 13. Park well on top with the score 35 for 4.
Park continued to assert their dominance as Bachhav picked up the key wickets in of Yadav and Lytham captain Matthew Taafe, who nicked off to the safe hands of Mark Rowland at first slip. Lytham now reeling at 53 for 6.
Holden went on the counter attack with a series of boundaries, including a big six over mid-wicket. However he continued to watch wickets fall around him as Bachhav claimed another two to secure a five wicket haul (20 overs, 6 maidens, 5 wickets for 57 runs) to go alongside his 73.
Wahbi’s off spin ripped and caught the inside edge of Thomas Hessey’s bat to leave the home side nine down, with Hird’s tidy glove work helping him take the catch.
Holden reached a gutsy 51 (59 balls, 8 fours, 1 six) to take the score 128, but Wahbi forced him to top edge a ball into Jack Dixon’s hands at extra cover to give Park an impressive 119-run win. It was a brilliant team performance that keeps the 1s in third place, with the promotion challenge still in a healthy position.
Next up for Park is the next round of the National T20 away at Sefton on Friday, before taking on Ainsdale at Park Drive in the league on Saturday.
The 2nd XI also ran out comfortable winners against Lytham 2nd XI on Saturday. Louie Evans’ 5 for 15 from 9 overs helped Park bowl Lytham out for just 109, before 46 from Craig Reid and 32 not out from Jon Crofton saw Park win by 7 wickets. Next up for Danny Jordan’s men is an away trip to Leigh on Saturday.
The 3rd XI also picked up an impressive 48-run victory on Saturday against local rivals Wallasey. 63 from Jack Lambert and an unbeaten 51 from Mason Cockcroft saw Park post an imposing 239 for 4 declared, before four wickets apiece from Delwar Hossain and Cockcroft saw Wallasey bowled out for 191 and give Park all 25 points. Next up for the 3s is a home game versus South Liverpool on Saturday.
The 4th XI unfortunately fell to an eight wicket defeat against Maghull on Saturday. 27 from Sam Hubble and 25 from Lewis Foran saw Park post 125 for 9, before Maghull chased their target down for the loss of just two wickets. Next up for Miles Lambert’s side is an away trip to Bootle 3rd XI on Saturday.
Image: Birkenhead News