Read hits half century in battling Blackpool draw

Professional Ashan Priyanjan in action on his Morecambe debut. Picture: Tony North
Professional Ashan Priyanjan in action on his Morecambe debut. Picture: Tony North

Morecambe took plenty of positives after battling to a losing draw against Blackpool at Woodhill Lane on Saturday.

Having won the toss and elected to field, home skipper Ryan Pearson saw the visitors post 242-5 batting first, Tom Jefferson making an impressive 90 as Eddy Read and Tommy Clough took two wickets apiece.

In reply, Read completed a fine all-round day as his unbeaten 53 helped Morecambe hang on as they finished on 217-9 to pick up four points to Blackpool’s 12.

Early in the piece the hosts had hoped for a quick start but saw Clough appeal in vain as he thought he had Ciaran Johnson (11) caught behind.

Clough was then unable to grab a chance off Read at gully when Matthew Houston (54) was in single figures.

Houston was eventually dismissed in the 35th over when he was trapped in front by Lewis Smith (1-49) while Clough (2-45) removed Johnson who was caught at mid-wicket by Pearson.

Jefferson, who hit 10 fours and a six, made Morecambe toil though, with his 110-ball innings eventually ended by Read (2-82) who bowled tirelessly with minimal luck but saw this one caught behind by Steven Fisher.

Blackpool professional Anurag Verma (51) then hit a better than a run-a-ball half century to finish off the innings and set an above-par score for Morecambe to chase. In reply, the hosts raced to 50-0 in seven overs before Lewis Smith was cleaned up by Verma (2-65).

Newly arrived professional Ashan Priyanjan (25) replaced him and batted aggressively after making a long 36-hour journey that saw him arrive just in time for the game.

At the other end Viraj Bhatia (41) showed his class at the top of the order but failed to go on and was disappointed to lose his wicket caught at long off.

This was to prove a sign of things to come as Morecambe batsmen came and went without making a decisive contribution.

Skipper Pearson (18) looked good before being caught at mid-wicket off Jefferson (3-51) who had a great day all round.

Clough (14) and Luke Pearson (19) then both made cameos with only Read playing a real innings of note.

His half century, which included five fours and three sixes, kept the Blackpool attack at bay and came just two runs short of handing the hosts all possible bonus points.