Pemberton hits Honley for six…single-handedly

TEENAGE cricketer Zak Pemberton single-handedly hit the opposition for six as Delph’s second team beat Honley in the Huddersfield and District League.

Zak Pemberton

The 18-year-old hit a remarkable 169 from only 97 deliveries as Delph posted a formidable total of 278 for nine.

Greenfield-based Zak then opened the bowling and, with his pace, claimed three wickets for 16 runs from six overs as Honley seconds were dismissed for 154.

It was a ferocious display of batting from Zak, batting number three, as he came to the wicket in a pressurised situation with Delph having lost opener Mark Peters the third ball of the innings with Delph 0-1.

Zak took charge hitting 20 fours and clobbering nine sixes to help Delph make a remarkable total with his century coming from only 60 balls.

He shared a second-wicket partnership of 117 runs with Lee Needham to steer Delph out of trouble.

And Zak, who is working part-time at Tesco, Greenfield having recently left Oldham Sixth Form College, also revealed his batting exploits earned him a £500 bat from South African team-mate Louis Aspeling, a former professional.

“When we have a sanitation break when I had scored 92, Louis promised me a new bat if I reached 150,” he said.

And when Zak passed 150 his proud dad Gary was batting at the opposite end. And younger brother Luca, 12, was on the sidelines to record the milestone as he was stand-in scorer for the match.

“Zak doesn’t smile much but we got half one when he reached 100 and another half one when I gave him a hug for 150,” explained Gary who, batting number eight, made 14.

Zak, who moved with Gary from Saddleworth to Delph three years ago, added he had been contacted by second-team skipper Daniel Jones the day before the match.

He said: “The captain messaged me to say I had to perform well as we had so many regular players missing.

“And there was even more pressure when I came in at 0-1 as we were in trouble.”

The remarkable innings easily surpassed his previous best score with the bat for Delph which was a mere 31 runs.

Zak had, however, previously hit 127 for Saddleworth’s third team at Heyside when aged 14.

Gary explained Zak had been struggling with the bat but, three weeks before his 169, he took him into the nets to iron out what he had been doing wrong and it had clearly worked.

Zak, a former pupil at Saddleworth School, is a former Oldham town team player at every level from Under-11 to U15. He also had trials for Lancashire.

He was also a decent footballer representing Chaddy Park and Uppermill FC.

Batsman brother Luca, meanwhile, is captain of Lancashire U12s and has played adult cricket for Saddleworth’s third team. He had spells in the academies at Manchester City and United and currently plays for Uppermill FC.

Gary described it as a proud moment when he and his two boys appeared in the same side for Delph in a friendly against Austerlands.

Gary, 49, has been playing senior cricket since 1985 and appeared for Moorside, Austerlands, Saddleworth and Delph.

He is among a select band of cricketers to have won every honour in the former Saddleworth League, first and second team titles, Tanner and Moore Cups.

Gary won the first division for Austerlands (1989) and Saddleworth (2002, 2004), second division championship with Moorside (1998) and Saddleworth (2002), Tanner Cup with Delph (1998) and Saddleworth (2002,2004) and completed the set with the Moore Cup playing for Moorside (2013).


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