On Saturday Delph lost their 4th league match in a row, in yet another nail-biter, which went down to the final over. Winning the toss and batting, Delph were soon in trouble, losing openers Irfan Zahoor (10), Bruce Cruse (19) and overseas player Kevin Hook (8), to leave them struggling at 3 for 40. Arron Lilley and Faisal Butt looked to rebuild before Lilley was caught behind for 22.
Butt scored his first half century of the season, but soon after passing the mark was bowled. Matt Norvall and Luke Hargreaves then gave the innings some impetus with some hard hitting. Norvall reached 58 before skying a return catch to the bowler and Hargreaves hit 2 4’s and 3 6’s to help set a challenging target of 249 for 9. Alex Scholefield took 5 for 72 for Skelmanthorpe. He then opened the innings and scored 49 out of 53 before edging to keeper Grant Jones.
Steady batting, lead by Louis Aspelling (57) gave Skelmanthorpe a basis to launch a sustained attack in the last 10 overs. They still needed 10 to win off the last over, when Roebuck won the game with 2 balls to spare. Adnan Ghaus took 3 for 63.
However, on Sunday, Delph bounced back their first win in 5 to overcome a determined Scholes and secure a Sykes Cup quarter final place. On a lovely day and in front of a good crowd, Scholes won the toss and chose to bat. With former Indian test player Wasim Jaffer looking very secure they made a solid start before Tom Boorman holed out for 27. Iqbal Khan and Jaffer took the score to 138 before Khan fell to a stunning diving catch by keeper Grant Jones. James Noble joined Jaffer and with the score on 174 for 2 a big target looked sure.
However, wickets began to tumble and although Jaffer scored his inevitable ton the final total of 243 was below expectations. The final over finished spectacularly with Matt Norvall taking a hat-trick. Delph then paced their reply perfectly, despite losing Irfan Zahoor early on. Solid knocks from Bruce Cruse (78), Kevin Hook (40) and Arron Lilley (51) steered Delph close to the target and a flurry of 4’s by Faisal Butt enabled Delph to progress with 5 overs to spare.