Rastrick 1st XI hosted bottom of the table Meltham as they attempted to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season at Elland.
Captain Jacob Waterson won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry Round Hill pitch and the hosts found scoring difficult in the early exchanges and soon lost opener for just 1 run with the score on 26. Fellow opener Ovais Hussain battled his way to 31 but was adjudged LBW to leave Rastrick on 43/2 and it was left to youngster Tom Barrett and Leon Risdon to rebuild with a patient partnership of 45 before they both fell in quick succession, Barrett reaching 23 and Risdon departing for 21. With the perfect platform for some late acceleration, the Rastrick crowd were stunned when a disastrous run out saw Asif Afridi leave for just 1 run and with the struggling Matthew Lambert leaving for 2 shortly afterwards, Rastrick were in trouble at 98/6 with the overs running out. Captain Jacob Waterson held things together and found a willing partner in Wasim Javed as they edged Rastrick towards a competitive total. Waterson eventually fell for 33 and Javed finished on 32 not out to leave Rastrick on a below par total of 165/7.
Defending the modest total, Waterson employed some aggressive tactics by opening with his overseas spin bowler Afridi, pressurising the Meltham batsmen with a number of close fielders. This proved to be a tactical masterstroke as Afridi and his fellow opener Jack Pearson soon had Meltham in real trouble at 20/3. The makeshift opening pair carried on taking wickets, with the pick of these a spectacular catch by Tom Barrett at mid-off to dismiss Robinson and give Pearson one of his 5 wickets. Barrett, who stands at somewhere in the region of 7ft 6, moved like a drunken Ostrich trying to fly as he sailed through the air and somehow managed to cling on to the chance. Meltham were soon in disarray at 70/8 and it seemed at that point that Rastrick would cruise to a simple victory, however Kamran Muhammad played an excellent counter-attacking innings as he put together a partnership of 58 with Meltham number 10 David Bebb. At 128/8 and with Afridi nearing the end of his allotted overs, the match was becoming evenly poised but it was Afridi who managed to bowl Muhammad in his penultimate over for a brave 49, including 6 fours and 3 sixes. With the crucial breakthrough made, Wasim Javed managed to wrap things up taking the final wicket to bowl Meltham out for 132 and secure a 33 run victory which gives Rastrick 5 league wins out of 6 and sees them maintain their position towards the summit of the Huddersfield League Championship. Afridi finished with 5/43 off 14 overs with Jack Pearson taking 4/61 off 10.
Rastrick face a tricky trip to Skelmanthorpe next week as they bid to continue their solid start to the season.