LEFT-ARM spinners with a semblance of control have proved their weight in gold over the years in the Bradford League – and Hanging Heaton hope they have landed upon one in Muhammed Rameez.
The overseas spinner has made an encouraging start to his league career at Bennett Lane, with a high point coming last week when he took a miserly 4-14 to help the Tewits skittle 2013 and 2014 champions Cleckheaton for 85 en route to a five-wicket success.
Rameez’s variety has added another welcome option to captain Gary Fellows’s armoury and while conscious that plenty of the season remains, the Tewits skipper likes what he has seen.
Fellows said: “He is settling in nicely and a bit of the warmer weather makes it easier for him.
“The snow might have put him off for the first couple of weeks!
“But he’s a young lad and it is the first time he is over here and he is really enjoying himself and bang up for every game he is involved in.
“What he is giving us is control with the ability to take some wickets as well.
“I am really pleased for him in terms of how it is going and even though it is still early days, he has had a few good weeks with the ball.
“You look at the Bradford League over the past four or five years and there has been people like Noman Ali and Suleman Khan who are left-arm spinners who are really difficult to play against.
“They produce week in, week out. And while it is early on, hopefully he can continue to cause teams problems and it is a big benefit to me as a captain to have 15 overs of that sort of spin up your sleeve.
“It definitely makes it easier and takes a bit of pressure off your seam bowlers at the other end.”
Heaton, who visit Morley tomorrow, lie in second spot in the ECB Bradford Premier League, but have produced a mixed bag by Fellows’s admission so far in their eight matches this term.
Notable wins over the likes of Cleck and Woodlands have transpired, but also a trio of defeats, including a painful recent one to struggling East Bierley.
Fellows, whose side also have aspirations of silverware both in the Priestley Cup and ECB National Cup over the next couple of weekends, said: “We have had some good results, but some poor ones as well and, as a group of lads, it is about knowing what is required week in, week out.
“I do think we have shown that, on our day, we can beat any team in the Bradford League and we need to produce those performances week in, week out.”
On tomorrow’s game at Morley, who have slipped to eighth after some early-season highs, he added: “The one thing with Morley is that when you play them there, you know you are in for a game. They are always bang up for it and it’s a big pitch, which isn’t fast-scoring by any means.
“It is a different game to what you might expect playing at home where it can be a high-scoring game.”