Yorkshire pace bowler Iain Wardlaw produced a match-winning performance as title favourites Cleckheaton extended their lead at the top of the JCT 600 Bradford League First Division to 33 points with a maximum 20-point 107-run home win against Morley.
In-form opener, the First Division’s leading run-scorer Tim Jackson dominated Cleckheaton's total of 231 for eight with a fine innings of 114, including six sixes and 18 fours to take his total for the season to 847 while overseas all-rounder Ammar Mahmood gave good support with 34.
Wardlaw with five for 27 and spinner Andrew Deegan (3-59) ensured Cleckheaton’s ninth win in a row as Morley were bowled out for 124 to end their run of five successive victories.
Second placed Woodlands returned to winning form after last week’s defeat at Bradford & Bingley, gaining 15 points when they beat visitors East Bierley by two wickets with 10 balls to spare.
Former Woodlands batsman Nicky Rushworth top scored with 80 not out as Bierley made 186 for five, which looked to be a below-par score. Opener Sam Frankland led from the front with 66, but when he was sixth out at 126, Woodlands still needed 61 to win and the match was in the balance.
However, a characteristically quick fire 31 from Sarfraz Ahmed put the defending champions back on track.
At the other end of the table the positions of Saltaire and Baildon is looking increasingly precarious.
Bottom club Saltaire are 39 points adrift of safety after a 139-run defeat at Lightcliffe, who reached 268 thanks to a superb innings of 170 from opener Charlie Roebuck, who hit six sixes and 18 fours. Tuseif Arshad with four for 55 and skipper Ijaz Khan (3-61) were Saltaire’s best bowlers.
The visitors were then sent spinning to defeat by slow left-arm bowler Suleman Khan. He took seven for 26 as Saltaire were bowled out for 129 with only opener Tinashe Gomwe (36) showing much resistance.
Next to the bottom, Baildon, 31 points away from safety, went down to a seven-wicket defeat at home to Pudsey St Lawrence. Skipper Mark Robertshaw scored 121, including 20 fours, taking his season’s tally to 834, and shared an opening stand of 137 with Adam Waite 34 as St Lawrence overcame Baildon’s 188 for nine. Baildon’s top scorers were opener Gharib Razak with 35 and Mushtaq Ahmed with 48.
Bradford & Bingley eased their relegation worries with their third win in a row at Pudsey Congs. Chris Thompson took four for 31 and Matthew Simpson three for 31 as Congs were bowled out for 113, but Bingley were made to struggle before edging home by three wickets.
Skipper Phil Slater got them off to a flying start with 42 out of 62, but they were in trouble at 76 for seven after losing three wickets for six runs before youngsters wicket-keeper Charlie Best and Patrick Dixon guided them to victory with an unbroken eight-wicket stand of 38. Eugene Burzler took four for 64.
Hanging Heaton suffered a 113-run defeat against Manningham Mills. Skipper Adam Patel with 76 and opener Adal Islam with 72 helped Mills to reach 247 for nine, Dan Busfield taking six for 51 and David Stiff three for 64.
Hanging Heaton were then bowled out for 134 with Noman Ali taking four for 32 and Wasim Qasim three for 36.
Second Division leaders Farsley suffered a surprise defeat five-run defeat at Brighouse and saw their lead cut to 12 points. They restricted the home side to 180 for eight, of which opener Zahir Hussain made 51 and were on course for victory at 166 for six with only 15 needed, but they lost their last four wickets for nine runs and were all out for 175 with Sohail Hussain taking four for 27 and Mohammed Hafeez three for 29.
Second placed New Farnley made up ground on Farsley by taking 19 points from a 153-run win over Idle. Farnley made 220 with Nick Cumming taking six for 46 before bowling out Idle for a mere 67.
Third placed Yeadon are 10 points behind Farnley after gaining a maximum 20 points from a 155-run win over Gomersal with Oliver Halliday producing a fine all round performance. He top scored with 69 in his side’s total of 230 for eight and then took 4-27 as Gomersal were dismissed for 75.
Yeadon skipper Jamie Todd was also in fine batting form with 67 while Shaun Miller gave good support to Halliday with three for 15.
Fourth placed Spen Victoria also gained 20 points from their 184-run victory at Bankfoot. Tosh Baker scored 104 not out in Spen’s total of 234 for four and then pace bowler Rob Burton took six for 12 as Bankfoot were bowled out for a paltry 50.
© Cricket World 2013