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JCT600 Bradford League Race Blown Wide Open

General view of club cricket
JCT600 Bradford League Race Blown Wide Open
©Cricket World

The JCT 600 Bradford League First Division race was blown open as Woodlands' lead at the top was cut to a single point after the defending champions suffered their second defeat in a row.

The leaders, lacking long-term injury victim, all-rounder Chris Brice and opener Scott Richardson, suffered a 29-run home defeat against relegation threatened Baildon while their nearest challengers Cleckheaton followed up their home win over Woodlands the week before by beating Pudsey Congs.

They did so by bowling out the home side for 145 before losing seven wickets on the way to their modest target with Richard Whithurst guiding them to victory with an invaluable unbeaten 53. Eugene Burzler caused problems for Cleckheaton’s early order batsmen by taking five wickets.

Under strength Baildon made 202 for nine with overseas player Sohail Raz top scoring with 51 not out while Mushtaq Ahmed made 38, including four sixes and Vaibhav Naik 32 as teenage seam bowler Scott Richardson, who made his Cumberland debut last week, took four for 42 and skipper Pieter Swanepoel four for 60.

Woodlands struggled in reply as they were bowled out for 173 with top scorer Grant Soames (61) receiving insufficient support. Slow left arm bowler Mushtaq (3-32), second team captain, leg spinner Jamie Abbott (3-58) and Tom Webb (3-32) each took three wickets as Baildon completed a notable double over the leaders.

There was drama at Wagon Lane as bottom club Morley secured only their third win of the season after bowling out Bradford & Bingley for a mere 64 in 25.2 overs to set up a six-wicket win.

Opening bowlers Nathan Bromby with four for 28 and Matthew Dowse with three for 26 ripped through the early order as Bingley were reduced to 12 for five at one stage before overseas player Nashif Naveed mopped up the tail with three for nine.

Despite their wins, Baildon and Morley remain in the bottom two places after third from the bottom Saltaire collected maximum 20 points from their 139-run thrashing of Manningham Mills at Scotchman Road. The visitors posted a formidable 269 for five with overseas player Khuram Shahzad top scoring with 51 while Waleed Akhtar made 39 and Adrian Monk 37 not out.

Mills slumped to 51 for seven against the bowling of Awais Ejaz (3-40) and former Mills player Tuseif Arshad (3-44) before overseas player Noman Ali (50) and Zeeshan Qasim (32) led a revival to help the home side reach 130 but not enough to stave off a heavy defeat.

Pudsey St. Lawrence cruised to an eight-wicket win at East Bierley thanks to a first wicket stand of 178 between Adam Waite (89 not out) and skipper Mark Robertshaw (79). They took the visitors to the verge of victory after restricting Bierley to 183 for seven.

It would have been much worse for Bierley without Andrew Rennison, who top scored with 77 not out and shared an invaluable unbroken eighth wicket stand of 66 with skipper Kez Ahmed, who hit 42 not out, including five sixes.

Skipper Mark Lawson took six for 44 with his leg-spinners as Hanging Heaton gained a 68-run home win against Lightcliffe. Opener Jamie Sykes was top scorer with 56 in the home team’s 220 for nine before they bowled out Lightcliffe for 152 with Oliver Robinson and Suleman Khan both scoring 39.

In the Second Division, Richard Robinson took seven for 16 as Keighley snatched a thrilling tie at home to Yeadon after the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 15 to be bowled out for 179.

Leaders Farsley gained a 92-run win at Hartshead Moor and second placed Spen Victoria beat bottom club Great Horton by six wickets.

David Markham

© Cricket World 2013

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