With only three matches left, Cleckheaton are on course for a second successive JCT 600 Bradford League title.
Overseas player Tanzeel Altaf has proved to be a valuable addition to last season’s championship-winning team and he produced a superb all-round performance as Cleckheaton beat bottom club Yeadon by 98 runs.
Altaf scored 91 not out as the reigning champions amassed 306 for seven before taking five for 74 with his leg spin as Yeadon were bowled out for 208.
The 20-point haul from their emphatic win gives them a 22-point lead over their only serious rivals, second-placed Woodlands.
Cleckheaton lost their first two wickets for 19, but recovered through Altaf and opener Andy Gorrod (84) with useful support from Michael Nicholson (47) and John Wood (40).
Tariq Mehboob (53) tried to hold Yeadon’s innings together before a last wicket stand of 65 between Altaf Mohammed (30 not out) and Muhammad Saeed (27) lifted the score beyond 200 to earn them four batting points. This defeat leaves Yeadon facing almost certain relegation, 12 months after they were promoted.
Woodlands gained 19 points from their 88-run home win over Bradford & Bingley. Simon Mason (36) and Chris Brice (45) held the Woodlands innings together as pace man Jack Hartley and slow left-arm bowler Noman Ali each took three wickets.
However, they were struggling at 148 for seven before big hitting Sarfraz Ahmed smashed 61 off only 27 balls, including five sixes and four fours as he dominated an unbroken eighth wicket stand of 73 with Scott Richardson to enable them to reach 221 for seven.
Bingley were never in the hunt after losing their first four wickets for 24. Top scorer Chris Thompson (31) and acting skipper David Clow (23) staged a middle-order revival with a fifth-wicket stand of 58 and some lusty blows, including three sixes from Hartley (26 not out) enabled them to claim a batting point before they were bowled out for 133 with slow left armer Brice taking three wickets.
Like Yeadon, Morley are facing relegation after their 21-run defeat in a low scoring match at home to fellow strugglers East Bierley. Morley must have been confident of winning after Bierley collapsed from 116 for three to 125 all out with off-spinner David Nebard taking four for 31 and Kashif Naveed three for 33.
However, they missed a great chance of a vital victory when they were bowled out for 106 with slow left-arm spinner Luke Jarvis taking five for 29, leaving third from bottom Bierley increasingly confident of safety - they are 29 points clear of trouble.
Hanging Heaton beat Farsley by seven wickets to climb into third place, overtaking the visitors’ total of 194 for eight with 32 balls to spare thanks to opener Nick Connolly (74 not out) and David Paynter (77).
New Farnley inflicted a third successive defeat on Pudsey St Lawrence after bowling out the normally high-scoring team for a mere 56 with skipper, former Yorkshire leg-spinner Mark Lawson, taking four for nine with his pace bowling supported by Nik Johnson (3-20) to set up a 120-run win.
Pudsey Congs continued their revival by beating Lightcliffe by 24 runs. Off-spinner Josh Wheatley took six for 48 as Congs were restricted to 162 for nine, but they hit back by bowling out the visitors for 138, overseas pace bowler James Pearson taking five for 41.
© Cricket World 2014