There was a dramatic ending to the JCT 600 Bradford League’s top match of the day when overseas pace bowler Sarfraz Ahmed took wickets with the first two balls of the final over to earn Woodlands a tie against defending champions Cleckheaton.
Cleckheaton, who won their first ever First Division championship last season, were on the verge of victory going into the last over with the scores level and two wickets left.
However, Mally Nicholson, who had taken his side to the verge of victory with a superb innings of 87, including seven sixes and six fours. was bowled by the giant Pakistani bowler and then last man Andrew Deegan was also bowled to bring the match to a conclusion as Cleckheaton were bowled out for 194.
Earlier, Sarfraz had rescued his side by hitting four sixes and two fours in an innings of 37 to help to lift Woodlands total to 194 for nine after a middle order slump against the spin of Deegan, who took three for 19.
Sam Frankland with 46 and Duncan Snell – a new signing from Yorkshire League champions York – with 28 had given Woodlands a good start with an opening stand of 75 while number three batsman Simon Mason added 31, but they lost six wickets for 30 to leave themselves struggling at 145 for seven before Sarfraz came to the rescue.
Cleckheaton lost wickets at regular intervals, but Mally Nicholson held the innings together before he was thwarted by Sarfraz, whose figures were two for 17 in 10.2 overs. Woodlands skipper Pieter Swanepoel took three for 49 and left arm spinner Chris Brice three for 58.
There was also an exciting finish at Lightcliffe where Farsley snatched a one-wicket win with one over to spare. Jonathan Wilson top scored with 55 as Lightcliffe totalled 182 for six before Farsley gained their narrow win thanks to Mark Harrison with 38, former Yorkshire player Joe Sayers 37 and Matthew Green 29 not out. Chris Greenwood took five for 51 for Lightcliffe.
Farsley are one of three First Division teams who have won both their matches. The others are Pudsey St Lawrence and Morley.
St Lawrence beat visitors East Bierley by 104 runs. Mark Robertshaw with 87 and teenager Callum Goldthorp 41 shared a second-wicket stand of 109 before James Smith scored 63 to help St Lawrence to reach 217 for six before dismissing Bierley for 113.
Morley beat Pudsey Congs by 76 runs after bowling out the visitors for a mere 81. Opener Matthew West held the Morley innings together with 76 as the home side were bowled out for 157 with slow left-arm bowler Glenn Roberts taking six for 27 in 13 overs. Overseas player Kashif Naveed was Morley’s best bowler with three wicket for nine runs.
Newly promoted New Farnley avenged last season’s Heavy Woollen Cup final defeat by beating Hanging Heaton away by 35 runs.
A second-wicket stand of 105 between Lee Goddard with 72 and Scott Richardson 35 helped New Farnley to reach 201 for six. Former Yorkshire player Gary Fellows dominated Hanging Heaton’s reply with an innings of 93, but he received little support as his team were bowled out for 166 with spinners David Cummings taking three for 22 and David McCallum three for 45.
New overseas player Noman Ali with four for 16 and Jack Hartley with three for 24 bowled out visitors Yeadon for 92 as Bradford & Bingley gained their first win of the season.
Opener Scott Etherington top scored with 36, sharing a first-wicket stand of 64 with wicket-keeper Charlie Best 26 as Bingley were bowled out for a modest 142, but it was enough to set up a 50-run win.
Damon Gormley with four for 22 and Matthew Wagstaff with three for 41 were Yeadon’s most successful bowlers.
© Cricket World 2014