PERCY Main’s newly appointed professional Anirudh Singh only arrived in the north east last Friday – but made a sensational debut for his side as they swept away a solid challenge from Ashington at St John’s Green before running out victors by 43 runs.
“I picked Anirudh up from Manchester Airport at 8am on Friday morning,” said Blyth Duncan, secretary of Percy Main.
“He flew in from Dubai and his flight was around the nine hours mark.”
But how the Colliers wished Singh’s arrival into this country had been more than 24 hours later.
Jet lag certainly did not appear to be an issue as he stroked an elegant half century as the Villagers ended on 205-8.
Then with Ashington looking to capitalise fully on a firm foundation, Indian right arm off spin bowler Singh wrecked their dreams with a stunning spell with the ball and ended with figures of 5-17 from only six overs.
Ashington skipper Michael Thewlis won the toss and put the Villagers in to bat.
But although the Colliers bowlers performed admirably, it was hard work against Percy Main’s stubborn early order.
The breakthrough did come in the 13th over when ex-Hampshire player Chris Morgan was bowled off-stump by Stephen Boyd.
However, Doherty and Singh combined to add a century-plus stand for the second wicket, Doherty completing his 50 in the 29th over before he fell lbw to Boyd for 67 in the 37th.
James Richards, who had plugged away, eventually got his reward with the first of four wickets when he bowled Peart for a single in the next over.
Singh reached his 50 with a single but shortly afterwards chopped a delivery from Richards onto his stumps with the home side on 151-4.
Wickets continued to fall until the Main finished their allocation on 205-8 with Phillips unbeaten on 31.
Richards took 4-52 from an unbroken stint of 15 overs and Boyd 2-36 whilst Craig Wood eventually got a consolation wicket towards the end after luck had deserted him throughout the innings.
Ashington openers Jack Jessop and Scott Thornton conducted a highly impressive reply with a flurry of boundaries in the early stages.
The pair had added 43 before Thornton was bowled by Phillips in the tenth over for 18.
Scott Dunn partnered Jessop and again the pairing forged a good stand until Percy Main applied the brake through spinners Ritchie Walker and Chris Morgan, the latter also removing Dunn who was caught at slip by Singh for 25.
Jessop reached his half century before, with the score on 126-2, Singh was introduced.
And it all began to go wrong for the Colliers as they chased down a further 80 runs from the last 14 overs.
Main’s professional bowled Andrew Gray for 26 then took a wicket in his next four overs as the Colliers slumped to 162 all out from the fourth ball of the 48th over.
In between, Jessop – top scorer with 65 – was also removed by Morgan, who completed a fine 15 overs stint with figures of 3-30.
Percy Main 20 points
Ashington 7 points
ASHINGTON completed a quickfire double over near rivals Morpeth last midweek.
Following hot on the heels of their league success, the Colliers advanced in the Tyneside Charity Bowl after winning the contest at Longhirst by six runs.
Openers Jack Jessop (54 not out) and Scott Dunn (66 not out) batted throughout, forging an unbroken partnership of 126 in 20 overs.
The home side replied on 120-5 with Poxton top scorer after hitting 32.
On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Lanchester.