Home defeats for Fleetwood and St Annes in T20 openers but Blackpool march on

Home advantage counted for little for the Fylde coast's Northern Premier League cricket clubs on the opening day of their Readers T20 competition.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 5:35 pm

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Fleetwood and St Annes played two home matches apiece on Sunday and lost both.

Blackpool maintained their outstanding form by inflicting one of those defeats on Fleetwood by a 46-run margin at Broadwater.

Sam Dutton scored an unbeaten 81 as Blackpool won their first T20 match at Fleetwood

There's a new format for the tournament this year, with the 12 division one clubs split into two groups of six.

This was the first of four matchdays for the group games, with home teams facing two visiting sides in morning and afternoon starts.

Fleetwood couldn't have asked for a tougher start in group two than facing the NPL's current top two, Blackpool and then Morecambe, who won by 53 runs.

Blackpool chose to bat and set a target of 202-5. Sam Dutton dropped down the order to five and scored an unbeaten 81 from just 33 deliveries, with six fours and as many sixes.

Dutton shared a fourth-wicket stand of 73 with Jake Muncaster (34 off 32), after professional Shivam Chauhan had given the innings early impetus with 35 from 18 balls (six boundaries).

Fleetwood began the chase with determination, reaching 75-1 as pro Dyllan Matthews maintained his fine form with 60 from 26 at the top of the innings, hitting three fours and six sixes.

But momentum was lost after Matthews' exit and Fleetwood closed on 156-8 despite Tom Wilson's 30 from 22 balls.

Chasing Morecambe's 178-5 also proved too much as opener Rongsen Jonathan made 61 after his side chose to bat.

This time Matthews fell without scoring and the Fleetwood reply never threatened the target. Captain Adam Sharrocks topped the scoring with 23 in his side's 125-7.

Setting the early pace in group two are Longridge, who were the day's other host club and beat both Kendal and Fulwood and Broughton, who host Fleetwood when the tournament resumes on July 11.

St Annes fly the Fylde flag in group A but lost close contests to Leyland and Lancaster.

Vernon Road captain Tom Higson chose to bat against Leyland and showed why with his 30 from 13 balls (26 in boundaries), leading the hosts to 71-1.

But from there they would have hoped for better than 127-8 as Iain Critchley took 3-19 from his four overs.

Leyland completed their chase at 130-8 with four deliveries remaining, Janith Liyanage making the vital contribution with 42 from 37 balls (seven boundaries).

In St Annes' other game, Higson took three wickets as did Mitch Bolus as Lancaster set a target of 164 all out in exactly 20 overs after electing to bat, David Rippengal making a fine 55.

The St Annes reply then fell eight runs short at 156-9 despite solid contributions from the top order, especially opener Luke Jardine with 48. Irfan Qayyum took 3-20.

Chorley were the other home side in this group, beating Garstang but losing to Netherfield.

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