Wirksworth win well as returning Janjua stars

Aafan Janjua returned to action for Wirksworth with an impressive innings of 88.
Aafan Janjua returned to action for Wirksworth with an impressive innings of 88.

Wirksworth & Middleton began the new campaign with a fine six wicket win over last season’s Division Four South champions Swarkestone.

Asked to bat first, Swarkestone made a cautious start – 45 for the first wicket – with Max Marshall especially niggardly - his seven overs costing just eight runs.

The introduction of Jack Pollard brought the first wickets. Stephen Lowe and new signing Sinethemba Mjekula from South Africa then bowled largely unchanged.

Aided by two fine catches from keeper Michael Jefferiss and Jack Allen in the slips, Lowe finished with 5-43, Mjekula 3-42 and Pollard took 2-12.

For the visitors, Lewis Hearne, batting at number seven top-scored with 27.

The whole innings lasted just 36 overs giving W & M the unused ten overs, making 56 altogether.

They needed just 25 of them although they didn’t have it all their own way at first – losing three wickets for just 25 runs.

Then followed a master class of batting from Aafan Janjua who made a stylish 87 with very few alarms.

He and Pollard (15 not out) put on 88 before, with the scores tied, Janjua was well caught in the covers, the match wrapped up soon afterwards.

For Swarkestone Ben Winfield took 3-31.

The match was generously sponsored by MacBeth, Cash and Co.

Wirksworth’s third XI beat Alfreton by 51 runs.

Mike Harwood with 68 and Jordan Duffy on 24 were the stars of the show for the thirds after four wickets had fallen cheaply.

One or two others chipped in with a few and there were a couple of run-outs as well in a somewhat uneven batting display.

Nevertheless it was a decent total of 155-9 giving the bowlers something to defend.

They did it splendidly with Lewis Heap leading the way taking 5-44. Harry Wanford 2-33, Josh Prince 2-9 and Paddy Turner 1-9 also bowled well as only E McNeil, batting at number ten, offered much resistance.

All the thirds’ home matches, usually at the restored and much-improved Middleton ground, are generously sponsored by the Smedley family.

To complete a successful weekend, W & M’s Sunday team travelled to Hollinsend in the Mansfield & District League and won the game by some 40 runs to make it two wins out of two.