Pudsey Congs began the defence of their JCT 600 Bradford League First Division title with an unexpectedly comfortable win at rivals Woodlands.
However, the eye-catching individual performance on the opening day of the Bradford League season was a sparkling unbeaten century by Farsley’s Lorenzo Ingram.
The Jamaican batsman smashed 153 off 112 balls to lead his side to a thrilling one wicket last over victory over Bradford & Bingley at Red Lane.
There was just one ball left, when Ingram hit bowler Chris Thompson for his ninth six to help Farsley avenge last season’s Priestley Cup final defeat by Bingley. He also hit 15 fours as he dominated the Farsley innings, making all but 117 of his side’s total of 270-9.
Bingley made a challenging 266-6 thanks to opener Simon Davies (70), Thompson (63 not out) and Matthew Duce (43) and must have fancied their chances as wickets fell regularly.
However, Ingram changed the course of the game single handidly with a flurry of boundaries and, with eight needed to win off the last over, he made sure of Farsley’s triumph with two sixes – off the second and fifth deliveries.
Overseas pace bowler Mohammad Naved, who missed the title winning campaign, marked his return to Congs by taking 6-32 to set the defending champions on the road to victory as Woodlands were dismissed for 113.
Skipper Pieter Swanepoel led Woodlands’ fightback with 4-40, but Congs’ new captain Andrew Bairstow (37) and new signing Edward Walmsley (28 not out) laid the foundations for their four wicket win with a fifth wicket stand of 59.
East Bierley were the only First Division side to gain maximum 20 points as they thrashed Gomersal by 207 runs.
There were three half century makers in Gavin Hamilton (84), Liam Walsh (71) and Gharib Razak (62) as the visitors amassed 301-6 before bowling out Gomersal for a mere 94 with only skipper Richard Whitehurst (40) showing much resistance.
Tabbi Bhatti had a happy return to Baildon, top scoring with 77 not out to help his new club beat Undercliffe, the team he played for last season. Opener Johnny Reynolds (52) was another half century maker as Baildon won by five wickets. Earlier, Undercliffe’s new look side were dismissed for 189 with long serving slow left arm bowler Mushtaq Ahmed taking 5-43.
Last season’s Second Division champions, Hanging Heaton made a winning return to the First Division, but had little spare as they scraped home by one wicket with one over left away to the other promoted side, Manningham Mills.
Chasing Mills’ 217, they were in danger of defeat at 125-7, but the experienced Alan Mynett with 54 not out guided them home leaving Mills to regret they did not use all their overs – they were bowled out with 16 balls left.
Pudsey St Lawrence began with a four wicket home win against Cleckheaton, bowling out the visitors for 189. New signing James Lee was top scorer with 46 for the visitors as skipper James Smith and new pace bowler, former Yorkshire, Kent and Somerset player David Stiff each took three wickets. All-rounder Chris Marsden (46) and Mark Robertshaw (32) led St Lawrence to victory.
In Division Two, opener Alex Stead celebrated his return to Lightcliffe from St Lawrence with 116 as they beat Idle by 143 runs.
© Cricket World 2011