Azam makes outstanding debut contribution

PUBLISHED: 08:53 23 June 2010

Hammad Azam of Budleigh Salterton CC seen here in his Pakistani under-19 team kit.

Hammad Azam of Budleigh Salterton CC seen here in his Pakistani under-19 team kit.

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Budleigh ended current champions Sidmouth’s one and a half year unbeaten

streak by thrashing them convincingly at The Ottermouth, writes Lloyd White.

Budleigh made just one change from their crushing defeat in previous fixture against Braunton as James Burke had his final back injections, meaning he was unavailable for

the derby clash.

In came overseas player Hammad Azam. This week, Hammad Azam joins Budleigh as our overseas player and will be with us until the end of the season. Hammad, a fast-bowling all-rounder, was man of the match for Pakistan in the Under 19 World Cup semi-final win over the West Indies in New Zealand earlier this year.

He has played in 18 one-day youth internationals for Pakistan, averaging 41.7 with the bat, and has two seasons First Class experience with Rawalpindi.

The committee is delighted that Hammad has come to Budleigh and feel sure everyone at the club will make him feel most welcome and his stay with us an enjoyable one. Hammad found the crease early at the Ottermouth as Budleigh were put in to bat by

Sidmouth captain Will Murray. Openers Bob Dawson and Sandy Allen looked good

until the latter perished.

Allen played a lazy shot and was caught at cover for just 9. Bob Dawson was somehow then given out caught behind by Devon all-rounder Josh Bess. However there was only half an appeal and it appeared that Dawson got no bat whatsoever on the delivery. However Dawson had to go and was replaced by number four, Tom Viljoen. Viljoen playing in his final game before returning home to Hampshire was caught behind for 0 having faced17 balls.

Number five James Sharkey was also caught behind for a 3rd ball duck as the otters found themselves slip from 30-0 to 71-4. By this time Azam had rolled onto 25 not out and never looked like getting out. Joel Murphy was promoted up the order and came in at number six to steady the ship and did so as Budleigh reached 115-4 with 20 overs to go. Azam was playing beautifully as he hit spinner Matt Cook’s fourth ball for 6 and

played several one kneed sweeps of seamer Murray. Azam reached his 50 from

61 balls as he continued to dominate the bowling.

Nick Gingell then came on for a second spell as Azam hit him for a huge straight six. However next ball saw the undoing for Azam as he tried a reverse sweep and was out LBW for 61.

Ian Bishop replaced Azam and perished for 1 as he hit a full toss to wide mid-on. Lloyd White came and went for 2 as Joel Murphy kept things ticking along until he hit one to mid wicket and fell for a steady 37.

Budleigh finished on 198-9 as Lloyd and Neil Murrin scored a few cheeky runs

to post a respectable score.

At the half time tea, the mood in the camp was that Budleigh may have been 30 runs short, however Azam proved us wrong!

Azam opened the bowling from the river end and struck in his first over having Josh Bess caught at slip. Ian Bishop diving low to his right to take a nice grab. Azam then run through the top order as he claimed Griffiths LBW for 10, Sam Richardson caught behind for 1 and Hilton Cartwright for a first ball duck.

Cartwright leaving a straight delivery which uprooted his off-stump. Devon Captain Neil Hancock played the anchor role for the visitors however the Otters were extremely unlucky not to grab him when they had two close LBW shouts which as Hancock continued to look unsettled against the Budleigh openers. Ian Bishop kept things extremely tight at one end.

Hancock batted with a runner and as pressure continued to build from Bishops nagging line and length, Richardson who was running for Hancock, ran out new batsman Nick Gingell for nought.

Cries of “yes, no yes no, sorry mate” came from the middle as a smart pick up and throw from Tom Viljoen saw Gingell run out. Hancock continued to dig on and reached 50 from 81 balls. Simon Sobczak and Adam Dibble came and went in a flash however a stand of 42 betwen Hankcock and Matt Cooke frustrated the Otters. Joel Murphy replaced Azam from the River end and continued where he left off from last week as he

continued to tie the batsman down with superb control.

Azam came back for a second spell and up rooted Hankcock’s off stump and that was game over. Bob Dawson then finished off the tail claiming 2-5 in his short burst having

Will Murray and Mark Jenkins LBW, both stone dead as Budleigh cruised to a 71 run victory.

Next week sees the Otter travel to relegation contenders Exeter without former captain Bob Dawson as he is away at a wedding. James Burke looks likely to replace him. The Otters also have their Devon Senior Cup match VS Paignton on Sunday (2pm).

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