PRESTWICH CC: Skipper Andy Bradley reaches landmark 1,000 wickets

Prestwich captain Andy Bradley

Prestwich captain Andy Bradley

First published in Sport

Prestwich captain Andy Bradley reached a landmark 1,000 wickets for the first team on Saturday.

The 40-year-old’s tally stood at 996 before Saturday’s league clash at Thornham, but his six-wicket haul sent him spiralling past the magic number.

He was already the club’s all-time leading wicket-taker, having surpassed Bob Hinchliffe’s total of 891 in September 2012.

However, the skipper’s 6-67 return could not inspire his side to victory as they disappointingly fell 21 runs short of the 190-run target set by the home side.

Bradley and professional Carl Hey (2-54) bowled the majority of the 50 overs on a slowish, turning wicket, restricting Thornham to a total below the normal par score for the ground.

Bradley reached the four-digit milestone when he dismissed opener Liam Grey for 49, well caught in the deep by vice-captain Tom Gibson.

Fittingly, his 1,000th victim came on the ground where it all started for him as a 16-year-old pace bowler on May 27, 1990.

He had been drafted into the first team who needed a fifth bowler for a cup-tie and the youngster was not overawed.

His first-ever scalp proved to be the Thornham professional of that era Parekh who had scored 69, caught, coincidentally, by first-team stalwart Steve Orrell, who has since become Prestwich’s record run-scorer.

Bradley was his side’s most successful bowler that day with 3-54 off his 10 overs but that was to be his only first-team match that season.

He did not become a first-team regular until 1992 when he took 52 wickets in his first full campaign.

When injury forced him to turn to spin, and having honed his slow bowling for a short spell in the second team, he found more success, taking 104 wickets in the 2011 season.

Saturday’s game saw the emergence of another growing talent as 17-year-old Zach Wood top scored in the Prestwich innings with an excellent 44.

Gibson continued his good form with 31, but no other batsmen made their mark, epitomising the season so far, where the batting has had no real consistency.

Even when Prestwich had a chance of victory with under 50 runs needed and three wickets left, Tom Scott was undone by the ball of the day from Liam Grey (3-32).

Lewis Jarvis struck a cracking boundary but was then run out with a smart piece of fielding, and Wood was last man out with the score on 169.

It’s a busy cup final weekend for Prestwich as the second team contest the Hulme Trophy final at Flowery Field on Sunday, after the game was postponed due to heavy rain last week.

The club’s third team also compete on the same day in the final of Hodson Cup against Clifton, which will be played at East Lancs Paper Mill in Radcliffe.

Meanwhile, the first team are in league action on Saturday at home to Stretford, starting at 12.30pm.

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