Woodlands Edge Closer To Fifth League Title
Woodlands moved closer to their fifth JCT 600 Bradford League First Division title in seven years after crushing their nearest challengers Cleckheaton by seven wickets. By David Markham
Overseas pace bowler, the towering Sarfraz Ahmed, a key part of Woodlands' side for the last decade, was the destroyer in chief, taking 5-20 to dismiss Cleckheaton for a paltry 64 while left arm spinner Chris Brice took 3-9 against his old club.
Simon Mason top scored with 32 as Woodlands reached their modest target in 15.2 overs to leave them 38 points clear at the top with three games to go.
Farsley and East Bierley, who gained maximum points, both leapfrogged over Cleckheaton, who have slipped to fourth place.
Lorenzo Ingram hit his fifth century of the season and Joe Greaves his third as Farsley moved into second place with an 84-run win over defending champions Pudsey Congs.
Ingram, who set a new Bradford League record last week when he reached 1,000 runs for the season in 17 innings - the fewest taken by a First Division player to reach this coveted landmark - scored 110 not out, including six sixes and 11 fours.
Greaves, who hit three sixes and 11 fours in his innings of 114, shared a third wicket stand of 153 with Ingram as Farsley made 305-5, the day's top score.
Ingram then underlined his all-round credentials with 3-49, he and fellow spinner, skipper Ian Philliskirk (4-79) sharing seven wickets as Congs were bowled out for 221. Josh Atkinson (39), Adam Patel (38), Gareth Phillips (32) and Eugene Burzler (31) all made use contributions without being to make the big scores their team needed.
East Bierley moved into third place, six points behind Farsley after a 30-run win in a high scoring game at Manningham Mills.
Andrew Rennison (82), skipper Lee Goddard (56) and Gharib Razak (34) were the top scorers in Bierley's total of 296-8.
Mills made a determined effort to reach this formidable total led by Gulsheraz Ahmed, He hit seven sixes and ten fours in his 111, but Mills were dismissed for 266 with 2.2 overs left with overseas pace bowler Muhammad Azhar-Ullah taking 5-64.
Undercliffe made the second highest total of the day - 299-4 - in their 96-run home win over Pudsey St Lawrence with Yorkshire second team batsman Callum Geldart scoring 112, including three sixes and 11 fours. Gledart shared an opening stand of 110 with Matthew Bottomley (55) before overseas player Nawaz Sardar increased the tempo, hitting five sixes and ten fours in his 95.
Opener Adam Waite top scored with 56 as St Lawrence replied with 203 with leg spinner Tom Hudson taking 4-52 and Sardar 3-56.
Gomersal's relegation was confirmed after their four wicket home defeat against fellow strugglers Baildon. It's a result that keeps alive Baildon's slim hopes of avoiding the drop - they are 44 points adrift of safety.
Young opener Andy Gorrod struck 15 fours in his 108 as Gomersal posted a challenging 256-6 with Greg Pickles making 51 and Shabbir Rashid 36, but Baildon rose to the challenge, reaching their target with eight balls to spare thanks to opener Harry Smallwood (73), Richard Atkins (64) and Simon Webb (45).
Rob McFarlane produced a fine all-round performance to help Hanging Heaton beat Bradford & Bingley by 103 runs at Wagon Lane. He top scored with 52 in his side's total of 233-7 and received good support from Joe Fraser (48), Alan Mynett (41) and Imran Dawood (33) He then took 6-57 as Bingley were shot out for 130 with only Chris Thompson with 63 showing much resistance.
The top two sides in the Second Division both won. Leaders Lightcliffe beat Morley by six wickets while second placed Saltaire gained an exciting one wicket, last ball home win over Keighley.
Saltaire's last wicket pair of wicket keeper Richard Spry and skipper Ijaz Khan came together with their side facing defeat at 164-9 still needing 29 runs to overhaul Keighley's 192-7, but made sure of victory when Khan hit the last ball of the match for two. In all, nine runs came from the final over bowled by Steve Reape. Spry made 21 not out while Khan was unbeaten on 12.
Earlier, Imran Patel (65) and Amjid Hussain (47) were top scorers in Keighley's total while Mansha Khan took 3-44. Waleed Akhtar put Saltaire on course with 52, but Richard Robinson with 5-24 put Keighley back in the game until that dramatic last wicket stand sealed victory for the home side.
Alex Stead with 4-21 and Josh Wheatley 4-40 shared eight wickets as Lightcliffe bowled out Morley for 111. Stead then made 30 as Lightcliffe completed their victory.
© Cricket World 2011