Salford Blue Jays win LMS thriller


Salford Blue Jays claimed a thrilling eight-run victory over Fighting Lions following a low-scoring contest in their latest Last Man Standing League encounter.

SBJ survived a monumental scare in their latest encounter against the Fighting Lions at Cheetham Hill CC on Tuesday as they managed to defend a modest target of just 75 runs.

This was, in part, to a wonderful batting display by Robert Dietz and an incredible bowling spell by Yasir Riaz. Batting on a difficult wicket the Blue Jays got off to the worst possible start losing two of their star batsmen in the first over under controversial circumstances.

With a number of the Lions failing to turn up Dietz was delegated to sub in as a temporary fielder, and as is the cruel nature of sport it was Dietz who caught Indy Sharma in the first over, and due to the double-play rule Grant Parker was ran out during the same ball.

Things went from bad to worse as the top order collapsed to a combined 28 runs with only Wassem Hassam offering any resistance with a solid 19 runs.

Fortunately for Salford the tail stepped up to the plate and helped to make a respectable score. When Dietz went out to bat he looked like a man on a mission after the events of the first over, and managed to put in a match defining innings as he scored an impressive 29 runs off only 22 balls.

Yasir managed to form what turned out to be a match-winning partnership scoring 18 runs pushing the total to 75 runs by the fall of the last wicket.

Leaving a small target, SBJ's bowlers managed to salvage a victory from the jaws of defeat. The pick of the bowlers was Yasir who managed to put in a man-of-the-match performance taking four wickets for just five runs. He managed to cause the batsman all sorts of problems during his four-over spell, maintaining an accurate line and length. However this was not just a solo effort, with Josh Henry, Ross Bloomberg and Wassem Hassan all taking a wicket each.

However, this did not deter their opponents and with the Lions closing in on the required target the final wicket came from a wonderful direct hit run out by the captain Bloomberg which caused pandemonium on the field and sparked celebrations as much as relief from the Salford team.

SBJ's focus now switches to the next game in what is being described as a title decider against Team Infinity who are at the top the table and are the only side to have beaten the Blue Jays in this competition.

However, after showing their winning spirit and desire to collect silverware this season with the last couple of performances Salford can go into the game with a lot of confidence.

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