Ani Singh and Ben Harmison produced dynamic bowling performances on Saturday as Ashington marched on at the head of the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League’s A1 Division.
Singh - playing against one of his former clubs - took 5-25 from 12 overs and Harmison collected 4-3 from nine as Benwell & Walbottle were knocked over for only 81 before the Wansbeck side sewed up a seven wickets win.
Right arm spinner Singh said afterwards: “I was happy. I thought I bowled good lines and there was a bit of help for me from the slow pitch as I was getting a bit of turn.
“Batting wasn’t easy, especially for Benwell and I was glad we restricted them to just 81.”
He continued: “Hassan Raza was playing quite well for them but once we got him out, it opened their innings up and we got the rest of the wickets.
“I was pleased to get five wickets but Ben Harmison also bowled a fantastic spell.”
The 35 year old left handed batsman Singh was then the victim of a stupendous catch inside the boundary by Michael Birrell:
“I tried to hit the ball straight and I thought I hit it quite well,” he said,
“But it hung up in the wind and it was a great catch to be honest.
“I was trying to be positive - the wicket was a bit damp and we just wanted to get the game finished as quickly as we could.”
Meanwhile, despite recording astonishing figures, Ashington-born Harmison revealed that his performance with the ball did not rank as being his best of the season:
“It was hard work because the pitch was so slow and I didn’t think there was much in it for the seamers to be honest,” he said,
“Ani Singh showed that there was a bit in it for the spinners but on pitches like that, you just have to try and do a job and if you are not taking wickets then don’t concede any runs. “I felt as if I did that and luckily got four wickets as well but I didn’t think it was the best I have bowled this season because I felt a little bit sluggish.
“You’ve got to try and find a length on the pitch and bowl nice and full and I felt if we did that at one end then the spinners would get wickets at the other.”
The 30 year old said that the Ashington outfit are concentrating on their own performances and results:
“We are not getting cocky,” he added,
“Neither are we resting or taking the handbrake off.
We want to go through the season unbeaten but are not looking over our shoulders to see how other teams have fared because we are purely focussing on ourselves.”