Skipper Richard Whitehurst created JCT 600 Bradford League history when he hit 50 off only 11 balls in Gomersal’s First Division home match against Pudsey St Lawrence.
Whitehurst struck five sixes and five fours as he created a new record for the fastest half century, beating the previous best of 50 scored in 16 balls held jointly by Bankfoot’s Richard Peel in 1997 and St Lawrence’s James Smith in 2003.
However, Whitehurst’s memorable innings could not prevent St Lawrence gaining maximum 20 points from their 72-run win and returning to the top of the First Division.
They are 14 points clear of their nearest challengers Woodlands, who were forced to settle for a draw in a rain affected match at Pudsey Congs after three overs had been lost to the weather during the visitors’ innings.
Three of the top four batsmen scored half centuries as St Lawrence totalled 242 for six with Mark Robertshaw (68) and Alex Stead (71) giving them an excellent start with a first wicket stand of 130 and Gareth Clough keeping up the momentum with 55.
Gomersal never threatened that challenging total although they recovered from 99 for six to earn two batting points after making 170 thanks to Whitehurst’s explosive innings of 54.
Congs were indebted to a fifth wicket stand of 147 between Barbar Butt and Andrew Bairstow as they totalled a commanding 252 for five against Woodlands. Butt was out in the last over for 59, leaving Bairstow 83 not out, including seven fours and five sixes.
Top scorer Tim Orrell (52) and Sam Frankland (40) shared a second wicket stand of 91 before Woodlands suffered a dramatic collapse that saw them lose six wickets for 24 runs. At 125 for seven, they were in danger of defeat, but youngsters Adam Wood and Usman Salim steadied the ship in an unbroken eighth wicket stand of 29, leaving Congs with ten points from the drawn match and Woodlands six.
Yorkshire’s Richard Pyrah took 4-30 against his old club and Eugene Burzler 3-45.
East Bierley recovered from their nine wicket mauling at Bradford & Bingley the week before to move into fourth place, two points ahead of Congs, with a four-wicket home win over Baildon.
Overseas pace bowler Muhammad Azharullah produced a match winning bowling performance, taking 6-63 as Baildon were bowled out for 181 while left arm spinner Luke Jarvis took 3-47. Skipper Ian Philliskirk was Baildon’s top scorer with 66.
Andrew Rennison then led Bierley to victory with 60 not out supported by Gharib Razak with 35.
Yorkshire pace bowler James Lee took 5-28 and spinner Lorenzo Inghram 3-22 as Farsley beat bottom club Bankfoot by four wickets. Bankfoot were bowled out for 116 with only leading batsman Greg Fotheringham (58) making any impression.
The other two matches were ruined by rain. Undercliffe, who went into their match at Saltaire on the back of six successive defeats, collapsed from 89 for one to 123 all out with Mark Gilliver their top scorer with 39. Saltaire were struggling at 77 for seven when play was abandoned after skipper, left arm spinner Chris Greenwood (4-11) and Nawaz Sardar (3-26) made inroads into their batting line-up.
Rain also ruined the Cleckheaton-Yeadon match. Opener Marcus Walmsley was top scorer in Cleckheaton’s total of 160 for nine, but 13 overs were lost in the Yeadon innings and this proved crucial. Yeadon lost wickets in pursuit of quick runs and finished on 137 for nine, 24 runs short of their target with skipper setting the lead with 69 as Ian Wood took 4-34.
Hanging Heaton continued their march back to the First Division with an eight-wicket win over strugglers Great Horton – a result that extends their lead at the top of the Second Division to 49 points with four matches to play. The match was a personal triumph for all-rounder Rob McFarlane, who took 7-34 as Horton were bowled out for 176 and then made 59 as Hanging Heaton cruised to their 15th win in 18 matches. Harvey Anderson with 59 not out shared an opening stand of 95 with McFarlane while James Stansfield made an unbeaten 47. Raheel Ahmed was Great Horton’s top scorer with 67.
Windhill, who could raise only nine players, crashed to a nine-wicket defeat against second placed Lightcliffe. They were bowled for a paltry 40 with Richard Tessyman (3-1) and former Windhill bowler Sadaqat Zaman (3-9) the chief wicket takers. Lightcliffe cruised to victory in seven overs.
Bowling Old Lane moved back into third place, 21 points behind Lightcliffe, after taking seven points from an abandoned match at Morley. Sri Lankan wicket keeper Mapa Bandara made the day’s only century, scoring 113 as Old Lane reached 200 for six in an innings reduced to 43 overs. Morley were 54 for three after 20 overs when the match was abandoned.
Gulsheraz Ahmed made 92 against one of his former clubs to help Manningham Mills to a 51-run win over Idle. His innings helped Mills to reach 176 and then Zeeshan Qasim took 6-47 as Mills dismissed Idle for 125. Luke Heinemann was Idle’s top scorer with 39 while David Pearce was their most successful bowler with 4-43.
Spen Victoria needed the extra over they gained in bowling out Hartshead Moor for 166 in 49 overs to secure a three wicket win. Teenage batsman Sean Raven guided his side to victory with his second successive unbeaten half century, making 52 not out as Spen won with four balls to spare. Will Smith also made a significant contribution to Spen’s win with 38.
Former Spen player Jonathan Gould was top scorer for Hartshead with 51 while Australian Tom Manvell made 45, but they received insufficient support from their team-mates. Adam Brown with 4-19 and Mahboob Hussain 3-52 were Spen’s main wicket takers.
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