Australian pro Threlfall takes centre stage

Calum Storey bowling for Ashington. Picture by Steve Miller.
Calum Storey bowling for Ashington. Picture by Steve Miller.

POP star Jessie J was scheduled to be performing in concert at Alnwick Castle on Saturday night until she had to withdraw due to illness, but elsewhere in the town, Alnwick Cricket Club saw their own star perform in the shape of Australian Michael Threlfall.

The 18-year-old hit a brilliant unbeaten 124 to steer his side to a seven wickets victory over local rivals Ashington and avenge a defeat suffered at Langwell Crescent earlier in the campaign.

Threlfall struck 14 boundaries and one six in his innings, with his century coming in 125 minutes from 134 deliveries.

He came to the crease at the fall of the first wicket – in the second over as Callum Storey pegged back Michael Brewis’s off stump – and proceeded to dominate in a chanceless knock.

Ashington, having posted 201 from their 50 overs – had to wait patiently after getting off to a flying start, and it was the 21st over before they broke through again.

Even then it was in fortuitous circumstances as left hander Ayre, on 29, went forward to chop a low ball from Greg Williams behind to wicketkeeper Daniel Grant who quickly whipped the bails off to stump him.

That was with the score on 77 – but Threlfall received further support from Guy in a stand worth 73.

The right hander completed his 50 with two successive boundaries and only lost partner Guy in the 36th over following a smart diving catch at mid-wicket by Neil Wood.

Guy went for 17 but Alnwick – who kept up with the required rate throughout – were inspired and with the target was whittled down to 31 required from seven overs.

Threlfall reached his century with a two in the 44th over before leading his side home by scoring the winning runs in the 48th over.

Earlier in the afternoon sunshine, the Colliers lost their way after being in what appeared a commanding position.

Despite the loss of Neil Wood, bowled by Threlfall in the eighth over, Andrew Gray and Simon Prudhoe added 114 for the second wicket before it all began to go wrong.

Gray had registered a fine half century in the 31st over, but in the 36th, Prudhoe, who had moved onto 47, was bowled middle stump by Scott.

Events then centred around the mid-off part of the field as Ashington lost three quick wickets.

Daniel Grant and Greg Williams were both caught in that area, and sandwiched in between, Gray, having hit nine fours in 67, set off for a single only to be run out by a direct thrown from Ayre.

Having taken four wickets for 20 runs, Alnwick had turned the game on its head, but a late flourish from Martin Sexton (28) helped the Colliers to cross the 200 mark.

On the day, however, it still proved insufficient as Threlfall took centre stage in more ways than one.

On Saturday, Ashington are away to Greenside.

Alnwick 18 points

Ashington 6 points