Simm frustrates Morecambe despite Smit brilliance
A huge total of 258, thanks mainly to a wonderful 158 from sub professional Daryn Smit, enabled Morecambe to take a winning draw and 10 vital points at home to Lancaster to continue their good run of positive results in the fixture.
Morecambe CC skipper Josh Dixon had no hesitation in batting first on a straw coloured flat pitch and with Gareth Pedder unavailable Viraj Bhatia opened the batting alongside him.
However, it wasn’t long before a huge Lancaster appeal saw Dixon adjudged LBW butBhatia was joined by sub professional Daryn Smit and the pair instantly got into their stride, moving Morecambe quickly past 50.
Lancaster skipper Ben Simm ran the changes bringing himself into the attack but this was to no avail as Bhatia moved into the 40s.
Smit was looking equally classical, the Ramsbottom professional bringing up his 50 with another well timed stroke into the legside.
Morecambe were in control and well on top, however the change bowling of Lancaster professional Abhimanyu Khod brought about Bhatia’s demise as the Lancaster University man could only guide the ball to point for a well crafted 44.
Lewis Edge (20) looked in better nick as he combined with Smit. Smit, well into his stride, seemed to be able to work the field at will moving through the gears into the 80s and beyond.
Smit was to bring up his 100 again with a well timed stroke through the offside, a tremendous chanceless innings which received a standing ovation from the Woodhill lane faithful.
He was not finished yet however as he went though the gears again to bring up his 150 with three overs to go, launching Liam Moffat for a huge maximum high towards the football ground.
Smit’s innings was to come to a close with three overs remaining as he was caught in the deep.
He left the ground to nothing but applause from all 22 players and supporters, a wonderful innings one of real class.
Luke Pearson added some late runs to ensure Morecambe reached a good score of 258-7, again a score of 250+ on this Woodhill Lane pitch.
Lancaster’s response started as Morecambe’s did with an early wicket, Eddy Read the man removing Rajat Agarwal’s middle pole early in the piece.
That was to be Morecambe’s only success early on as Lancaster professional Abhimanyu Khod looked in fine touch.
Linking up with Charlie Swarbrick (18) he looked to be aggressive against the new ball, striking a plethora of boundaries.
Dixon decided to change things bringing on Smit and Clough to stem the flow of boundaries. This worked as Smit struck to remove Swarbrick LBW.
Morecambe restricted the professional’s strike and Luke Phillips (6) chewed up a lot of balls in his attempt to get that single and rotate the strike.
Tommy Clough’s disciplined line and length was soon to pay dividends when he found the edge of Phillips bat followed by that of Lancaster professional Abhimanyu Khod.
With him back in the pavilion it really was game on as Morecambe squeezed and upped the run rate. Kieran Moffat (36) batted well alongside Danny Welbourne (25) but caught in two minds whether to stick or twist Welbourne was well run out and Moffat edged behind.
Morecambe were eyeing up a potential victory, however Lancaster put pay to that shutting up shop at just six wickets down.
Needing 80 from the last 12 overs the game was well set, however Simm had other ideas, quite content to reduce the points available he batted alongside Laurie Atkinson to kill the game and with it Lancaster’s hopes of victory.
Lancaster finished on 191-6 claiming just three points to Morecambe’s 10.