For once the sun was shining and NWCL games could be played despite heavy overnight rain. There were a couple of early pitch inspections but the programme went ahead.

At the game I watched, there were three very good batting performances. Elliott Colclough was 100 not out and Jameel Stuart made 152, of which there were 14 sixes and eight fours. These two helped Farnworth Social Circle to a total of 310. Then followed an excellent innings of Farnworth’s professional, Milinda Siriwardana, who fell 19 runs short of his century. I did notice he managed his ton on Sunday, though. There was certainly some big hitting by all three and spectators had to be wary of balls going round the ground.

It is very pleasant sitting round a table having a quiet drink and a chat at the cricket, but spectators do have to keep an eye on what is going on in the field. There were a couple of very near misses of getting hit by the ball where people were not watching.

I was asked what is classed as significant movement by fielders. A fielder cannot suddenly change direction while the bowler is running into bowl. He can move forward a few paces as long as he stays on the same line and doesn’t alter his position, He cannot move sideways nor run backwards. This is classed as being unfair.

The striker is entitled to know where the fielders are and is usually concentrating on this while the bowler is running up. A fielder on the boundary usually moves in more paces than a close-in fielder, who can make slight adjustments to their stance. A fielder can move in anticipation of a shot played by the striker e.g. a reverse sweep. All these are classed as fair.

If either umpire deems the movement to be unfair, then he calls and signals dead ball and the bowler’s end umpire awards five penalty runs to the batting side, allowing a ‘no-ball’ or wide to be recorded as well, if applicable. Because five penalty runs have been awarded then a report to the league follows.

Wicketkeepers cannot start off a good way behind the stumps and end up right behind them, either, as the bowler runs in, anticipating a slower delivery. This is unfair and invokes the same rule as above.