Salman get visa cleared in time to play for Cornwood against Chudleigh

Sandford
Sandford's Matt Theedom - still opening the bowling at 39

MOHAMMAD Salman makes his belated return to Cornwood’s side for the game against Chudleigh.

The former Pakistan Test star was re-recruited by Cornwood at the start of the month, but his arrival was delayed by visa paperwork.

It’s later than Cornwood would have liked, but Cornwood aren’t too concerned.

“ We aren’t worried that’s it nearly half way through the season as what Sal can do for our younger players in his coaching role is worth a full season to us,” said Cornwood’s director of cricket Duncan Boase.

“Aaron Richards, Owen Gannon, Dan Skeemer, Josh Goodliffe, James Richardson have all made massive improvements this year and will only improve again with Sal here.

“That’s not to mention some of our even younger players who are developing nicely.

“He will bring a much need spark to the club, I’m glad its finally confirmed.”

Salman was Cornwood’s overseas player between 2005-2007, scoring nearly 1,800 league runs at an average of around 60.

After breaking into the Test team in 2011, Salman was back at Oak Park again in 2012, scoring 472 runs to help the Corns clinch promotion back to the Premier Division.

Chudleigh are languishing close to the relegation places without a win for a month.

Cornwood should be favourites, but Boase says the effort required to beat lowly Brixham last week proved there are no easy games in the A Division.

“Chudleigh cannot be under estimated, but we are hopeful of continuing the form shown against Brixham,” said Boase.

“We battled hard when they were 120 down for two to bowl them out for 141 and batted very sensibly - Matt Skeemer and Steve Lambert in particular - to bring the win home.”

Chudleigh have some work to do to get away from the A Division basement after going down by 130 runs at Budleigh Salterton.

Chudleigh aren’t in the bottom two yet, but only have a 16-point cushion between them and Brixham in the second relegation place.

Chudleigh’s last win was five rounds ago when they beat Plympton by 46 runs and another is now overdue.

CAN Hatherleigh reach the halfway stage of the season with their 100 per cent record intact?

That is the question facing the A Division leaders going into the eagerly awaited clash with Lewdown this Saturday.

Hatherleigh are 32 points ahead of Sandford at the top of the table and 51 clear of third-placed Budleigh Salterton.

As two sides go up from the A Division, Hatherleigh are odds-on already for one of the spots.

Two dropped points in the five-wicket win over Plymstock last Saturday were barely worth worrying about. Hatherleigh have only dropped five all season!

Lewdown are Hatherleigh’s only local rivals in the A Division this season so the game has a derby flavour.

Mark Lake, the Hatheleigh skipper, said he will tell the players to carry on doing what they have been doing.

“It is going to be a tough game against local rivals who will be keen to beat us,” said Lake.

“Nine from nine would be one hell of an achievement, but it won't be given to us.

“We have to stick to what we have been doing play our brand of cricket and the result will look after itself.”

Kiwi Matt Thomas has had plenty to do with Hatherleigh’s winning run – and is Lewdown’s number one target.

Last season they had run machine Johannes Wessells and before that Marco Marais clocked up score after score.

“We know what it's like having the player of the division and the importance of their wicket and seeing them off,” said Lewdown club captain Harry Geering.

“We will be doing our best to get Thomas early and try and make sure we value our wickets when facing him.”

Geering said Lewdown respect Hatherleigh’s achievements so far, but aren’t in awe of them.

“Hatherleigh are having a remarkable season and are most definitely the in-form team,” said Geering.

“I'm sure they will want to keep the unbeaten streak going so the pressure will be on them to do so.

“We always seem to have competitive games with them in recent years and I'm sure this game will be no different.

“Concentration in all aspects will be key for the full course of the game if we are to get the points we want.”

PLYMPTON, bowled out for 90 by Lewdown, need to find some consistency.

So said skipper Craig Donohue in the wake of last Saturday’s six-wicket defeat.

“We need to add consistency to our game and not win one and then lose one,” said Donohue, whose side face Budleigh tomorrow.

“We have discussed how it's important to put last week to bed, remembering we are a good side but making sure we learn from it and put in a similar position again dealing with it better.

“As we approach the second half of the season, availability improves so we are looking for lads to put in performances that I know they are capable of.

“It's going to be a tough game this weekend against a Budleigh side who have put a few wins together.

“We are looking to get back to winning ways and perform better than we did last week.

Batter Andy Walter is unavailable and Plympton also make two other changes with Freddie Eyeston and Tom Richards dropping down.

In come Chris Bunney, Dave Wrench and James Degg.

“The two lads dropping down to the twos have done nothing wrong, neither looked out of place at this level,” said Donohue.

“I would expect to see both back in the ones in the weeks to come.”

SANDFORD, at home to Plymstock, make three changes to the side that won at Ivybridge last time out.

Skipper Richard Foan and keeper-batter Marc Bettis both return after a weekend off.

Aussie teenager Paddy Rowe also appears having flown over with his family from Melbourne for what is becoming an annual visit.

Rowe, only 17, made half a dozen appearances for Sandford last summer, taking a ton off Plympton in the process.

Since returning to Australia last August, Rowe has been playing First Grade cricket and for Australia U19s.

“Now we are starting to get all our players back, it is making selection difficult, which is a good position to be in,” said Foan.

Sandford recovered from defeats by Lewdown and Plympton to win by six wickets on their first league visit to Fillham Park.

“I am looking to kick-on from a good win last week and get another run going,” said Foan.

PLYMPTON, bowled out for 90 by Lewdown, need to find some consistency.

So said skipper Craig Donohue in the wake of last Saturday’s six-wicket defeat.

“We need to add consistency to our game and not win one and then lose one,” said Donohue, whose side face Budleigh tomorrow.

“We have discussed how it's important to put last week to bed, remembering we are a good side but making sure we learn from it and put in a similar position again dealing with it better.

“As we approach the second half of the season, availability improves so we are looking for lads to put in performances that I know they are capable of.

“It's going to be a tough game this weekend against a Budleigh side who have put a few wins together.

“We are looking to get back to winning ways and perform better than we did last week.”

Batter Andy Walter is unavailable and Plympton also make two other changes with Freddie Eyeston and Tom Richards dropping down. In come Chris Bunney, Dave Wrench and James Degg.

“The two lads dropping down to the twos have done nothing wrong, neither looked out of place at this level,” said Donohue.

“I would expect to see both back in the ones in the weeks to come.”

ELSEWHERE in the A Division, Brixham are at home to Ivybridge.