Prudhoe ton comes as no real surprise

Ashington CC's Simon Prudhoe.
Ashington CC's Simon Prudhoe.

SIMON Prudhoe smashed a glorious hundred to spearhead an emphatic victory for Ashington over Cowgate at a sun-baked Langwell Crescent on Saturday.

Prudhoe became the first Collier to hit a ton this term – but it came as no real surprise as the left hander has looked in fine nick despite a season constantly interrupted by the weather.

Once again, Prudhoe dominated the attack, completing his 50 in 91 minutes and from 81 deliveries in the 36th over with a pull shot for four.

His hundred, which included 11 boundaries, arrived in the penultimate over before he fell leg before to Ahmed from the last ball of the innings.

Inspired by Prudhoe – and a late blast from Martin Sexton – Ashington racked up their highest score of the campaign then tore apart their Newcastle-based visitors, routing them for 63 and completing a season’s double.

After a solid opening between Neil Wood and Andrew Gray, Greg Williams’ side began to put their foot on the accelerator.

Following the dismissal of Wood for 12 in the tenth over, who skied Moss and was caught at cover by Ahmed, three significant and fruitful partnerships developed with Prudhoe at the centre of them.

He put on 64 with Gray before the latter fell leg before to Ali for 30 to a ball which kept low, then dominated a stand of 88 with the fluent Daniel Grant who had smacked four boundaries in 25.

Grant’s demise came in the 44th over when he connected with a long hop but sent the ball straight down Ahmed’s throat on the mid-wicket boundary.

The finale was exciting with the aggressive Sexton having license to hit the ball to all parts of the field in a 22-ball cameo knock which yielded five fours and 39 runs.

This coincided at the same time as Prudhoe was nonchalantly edging towards his century, which he duly reached by taking a single.

After tea, Ashington could not have made a better start as Craig Wood had Shah caught at cover by Neil Wood from the first ball.

The paceman then trapped Balasundarum lbw from the first ball of the seventh before Graham Whitworth weighed in with a timely double.

He had Ritchie Crawford caught at second slip by Michael Thewlis then after being hit for four, had the perfect riposte by bowling Ahmed for a top scoring 18 with a ball which nipped back.

That was at 35-4, and the picture got even better for the Colliers as with no addition to the score, Callum Storey removed Varoon and Ahmed in the same over with identical deliveries where he knocked back the off stump.

Thewlis got in on the act to take a return catch offered by Moss, and when Whitworth bowled Ali in his final 15th over up the bank, the visitors had teetered to 60-8.

Shortly afterwards, Adam Nichol took two wickets in three balls to wrap the innings up in the 34th over.

Whitworth finished with 3-31; Wood 2-19; Storey 2-4; Nichol 2-0 and Thewlis 1-4.

Ashington 20 points

Cowgate 2 points

On Saturday Ashington are away to Whickham.