There were some very close finishes in the heat on Saturday, with sides winning either by one wicket or a couple of runs and some very low scores.

There were some excellent bowling performances in both the matches I watched. I was at Farnworth Social Circle for their game against Ribblesdale Wanderers where Ribblesdale’s professional took 7-55, all bowled, reducing FSC to 95 all out. In reply, Chris Barrow and Jameel Stuart each took four wickets for FSC, bowling Ribblesdale out for 88.

I then went to watch the Farnworth versus Walkden game in Conference South. Farnworth had amassed a total of 344, the highest of the day in any competition with Chris Baxendale scoring 153, and then Michael Dailey took 5-45 so there were some good individual performances regardless of whether it was Premiership games or Conference games.

Last week I mentioned ‘no-balls’ and ways you could be out off one. I was asked about hitting the ball twice, which is one way you can be out off a no-ball. What constitutes hitting the ball twice? This is where the batter strikes the ball with the bat or person and before the ball touches a fielder, he wilfully strikes the ball again. If the umpire decides this was in defence of his wicket, then he will not be out. A batter cannot hit the ball a second time to obstruct a ball from being caught. If he does this then he is out obstructing the field

No runs can be scored off a ball legally hit twice. An umpire can wait until the ball becomes dead, for example crosses the boundary, or he shall call dead ball on the completion of a first run or delay the call to see if a catch is made. No runs are scored other than one run for a no-ball if one has been called or the award of penalty runs

If a batter hits the ball and then proceeds to hit it again towards a fielder, then he is not out under this law anymore. He is out on appeal for obstructing the field. You will see many a batter ask a fielder if it is all right to hit the ball to him to avoid such a circumstance.