Cleckheaton Beat Nearest Challengers

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Cleckheaton beat their nearest rivals to build their lead at the top
©Cricket World

Reigning champions Cleckheaton have a 24-point lead at the top of the JCT 600 Bradford League First Division after beating their main rivals, second-placed Woodlands, by 21 runs.

Cleckheaton had three half-century makers, Tim Jackson with 70, Ian Nicholson with 58 and overseas all-rounder Tanzeel Altaf, whose 56 included five sixes as they made 243 for seven.

Simon Mason led Woodlands' victory bid with 53 while captain Pieter Swanepoel struck three sixes in a swashbuckling 44 not out at the end of the innings, but they were always behind the required rate and were bowled out for 222 in the last over, Altaf taking six for 63 with his leg-spinners.

One-time champions Pudsey Congs, who have not had the happiest of seasons, climbed out of the bottom two in the First Division at the expense of Morley after beating them by four runs in a tense finish at the Britannia Ground.

Consistent batting by Nick Lindley (75), skipper Gareth Phillips (43 not out) and Mustafa Kantar (36 not out) enabled Congs to gain maximum points with 231 for five.

Morley lost three early wickets before overseas player Kashia Naveed with 77 and Matthew West (44) led a revival. Colin Nuttall took up the challenge with 54 not out, but the visitors finished agonisingly short on 227 for eight with Mustafa Rafique taking three for 58 and slow left-arm bowler Glenn Roberts three for 39 to ensure a valuable win for Congs, only their third of the season.

This win leaves Congs third from the bottom, two points above Morley and 21 clear of bottom club Yeadon, who lost at home to Bradford & Bingley by 29 runs.

New Zealander Elliott Herd took five for 42 and Muhammed Saeed four for 50 as Bingley were bowled out for 158 with Chris Thompson (38), skipper Phil Slater (36) and Patrick Dixon (31 not out) their top scorers. Yeadon also struggled when it was their turn to bat and they were restricted to 129 for nine with spinners Noman Ali (4-25) and Harry Smallwood (3-33) sharing seven wickets.

Third-placed Pudsey St Lawrence’s title ambitions suffered a blow after they went down by 32 runs at Eat Bierley in a dress rehearsal for next Sunday’s Priestley Cup semi-final.

Skipper Gavin Hamilton, with 56, and Neil Gill (35) were top scorers as Bierley made 195 with off-spinner Steve Watts taking four for 43 and paceman Craig Wiseman three for 32.

St Lawrence’s normally strong batting line-up stuttered in reply, losing wickets at regular intervals as they were bowled out for 163 with off spinner Kez Ahmed taking four for 33.

Former Yorkshire opener Joe Sayers scored 109 not out as Farsley beat Lightcliffe by seven wickets to record their third successive win under new captain Mark Harrison.

Sayers, who struck two sixes and 14 fours, shared a second-wicket stand of 113 with Ian Philliskirk (47) to help his side overtake Lightcliffe’s total of 193 for six with 17 balls to spare. Alex Stead (59) and Rhys Jowett (44 not out) were Lightcliffe’s top scorers.

Former Hanging Heaton player Mark Lawson led New Farnley to a 32-run win over his old club. Pace bowlers David Stiff, with three for 42, and Dan Busfield's three for 48 made early inroads before Lawson with 43 and Nick Johnson's 44 not out led a recovery to help New Farnley to reach 167 for eight.

It proved to be too many for the visitors, who were restricted to 135 for nine with Nick Walker taking four for 56 and Dave McCallum three for 29. Busfield, a former New Farnley player, led Hanging Heaton’s resistance with 42 not out, but it was not enough.

© Cricket World 2014

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