ANTHONY AXFORD BOLTON LEAGUE: Horwich pro Babar and Adam are Streets ahead
7:00am Friday 6th June 2014 in Sport
HORWICH captain David White is not ruling out the chance of a treble as he prepares to welcome second-placed Bradshaw to the Recreation Ground tomorrow.
The Ramsbottom Road outfit have already made the final of the league’s T20 competition and are through to the second round of the Hamer Cup.
They have also hit the ground running in the league, losing just two of their opening six games.
After finishing a disappointing ninth last season, White puts their resurgence down to the form of strike bowlers Adam Street and pro Babar Naeem. Horwich were forced to battle on without a regular pro in 2013 after their intended target failed to get a visa.
But Naeem was secured early for the current campaign and the 31-year-old Pakistani all-rounder has made a big difference, with the ball at least, taking 25 wickets in all competitions.
Street, meanwhile, took the league’s bowler-of-the-month award for April and May after taking 24 wickets at an average of 15.29.
“They have bowled so well together that virtually no-one else has had a look in,” said White.
“Babar may not have got into full swing with the bat yet, but his wickets have been crucial, and that has probably been the main difference, but Adam has been exceptional as well. “He went into last season with an injury and didn’t really get going, but he is really at the peak of his powers now.
“He is bowling very quick and is a real handful. I expect him to get around 80 wickets this year if he stays injury free.”
Horwich are nestled in the chasing pack in sixth place, 14 points behind early pace-setters Farnworth Social Circle, but White believes they could easily have been right on their coat-tails.
“The game against Westhoughton was very close, but they just nicked it in the end.
“The next day the lads were all a bit flat. After a punishing afternoon fielding against Westhoughton we then went straight into the field against Kearsley and they basically destroyed us. If that weekend had gone differently, we would have been in second place right now.”
White hopes home advantage will play its part in their next big test against Bradshaw tomorrow.
So far, the club has only managed to get one game on at home and the Horwich captain is eager to test his improving side against Saeed Anwar Jnr’s experienced outfit.
“I feel both sides are evenly matched, with evenly matched pros as well, so I think we will give them a good game,” he added.