Pudsey Congs won at leaders Woodlands by one wicket after a dramatic last over on a day of exciting finishes in the JCT 600 Bradford League First Division. It was only Woodlands second defeat of the season.
The defending champions posted 201-8 with Simon Mason (44) and Chris Brice putting on 65 for the third wicket and, when Mason was out, Brice continued to hold the innings together finishing on 73 not out.
In-form opener Nick Lindley ensured Congs made a sound start with 55 out of 82 and they stayed on course despite losing wickets regularly, but when Richie Lamb was ninth out at 188 they still needed 14 to win. However, their last pair, wicket keeper Barney Gibson and Mushy Shah scored 11 runs from the final over to guide them home with one ball to spare.
At one stage the 2010 champions were in danger of relegation, but three wins out of their last four matches have all but ensured their First Division future while Woodlands saw their lead over second placed Cleckheaton cut from 42 to 33 points following Cleckheaton’s one run win in a dramatic finish at Manningham Mills.
After bowling out Cleckheaton for 162 in 49.4 overs, opener Adal Islam gave Mills a strong lead with 55 and they were in touching distance of victory at 158-7 with only five runs needed to win. However, they lost their last three wickets for three runs, two of them to former Yorkshire pace bowler James Lee, who finished with 4-28 while current Yorkshire bowler Iain Wardlaw took 3-46 and Andy Deegan 3-43.
There was another thrilling finish at Lightcliffe where the home side gained a three wicket win over Pudsey St Lawrence off the last ball of the match after scoring 17 from off spinner Chris Marsden’s last over.
The visitors were in trouble at 33-4 before James Smith led the recovery with 61 and Paul Hutchison, making a rare appearance, scored 42 lower down the order to enable them to reach 161-8.
Marsden with 4-49 and fellow off spinner Steve Watts 3-34 came close to winning the match for St Lawrence after reducing Lightcliffe to 56-5, but Josh Wheatley (46) and Richard Thompson (10) led the home side to victory with an unbroken eighth wicket stand of 29.
Lightcliffe are level on points with East Bierley for whom spinners Kez Ahmed with 5-25 and Luke Jarvis 3-22 led them to an 89-run home win over Hanging Heaton. Bierley recovered from a bad start – at one stage they were 18-3 – to reach 198-8 with Richard Atkins top scoring with 71. Hanging Heaton then collapsed to 109 all out, losing their last four wickets for no runs.
The positions of the bottom two clubs are looking increasingly desperate after both were beaten.
Bottom club Undercliffe crashed to an eight wicket defeat at Bradford & Bingley after being bowled out for 77, Matthew Simpson (3-33), skipper Phil Slater (3-25) and Chris Thompson (3-3) each taking three wickets in helpful bowling conditions.
Farsley lost at home to Saltaire by seven wickets. a result that goes a long way to ensuring Saltaire’s survival. The home side totalled 175-7 with Nawaz Sardar taking 4-23. Opener Farhan Kahn made 67 before Fahid Rehman (56) and Sardar (28) led the visitors home with an unbroken fourth wicket stand of 48.
© Cricket World 2012
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