Central Yorkshire: Azaad to face stern test of credentials

Scholes batsman 'Zane Abbas (100446). PIC: Steve Riding
Scholes batsman 'Zane Abbas (100446). PIC: Steve Riding
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UNBEATEN Division One leaders Azaad will aim to pull off an upset when they host derby rivals Wrenthorpe in the Jack Hampshire Trophy first round on Sunday.

Former Huddersfield Central League club Azaad won the Division Two championship on their CYL debut last season and they have again started impressively this time.

The Wakefield-based club are six points clear at the top of Division One after collecting maximum points from their first three games before last weekend’s washout.

They face a stern test against last year’s losing Jack Hampshire Trophy finalists Wrenthorpe, who have won the competition four times in the last nine seasons.

Oulton will hope for a much improved batting display when they host Premiership side Ossett.

Winless Oulton are at the foot of the Championship after being skittled for 77, 58 and 65 in their first three matches.

Holders Methley visit Mirfield Parish Cavaliers in Sunday’s only all-Premiership clash.

The other ties are Adwalton v Carlton, Buttershaw St Paul’s v Scholes, Altofts v East Ardsley, Caribbean v Hopton Mills, Mirfield v Rodley, East Leeds v Birstall, Townville v Westwood Park and Wakefield St Michael’s v Wakefield Thornes.

Northowram Fields, Gildersome, Hunslet Nelson, Liversedge and Batley have first round byes.

Scholes, who are switching to the Bradford League next season, remain unbeaten in all competitions after reaching the Heavy Woollen Cup quarterfinals by defeating fellow Premiership outfit Ossett on Sunday.

Pakinstani all-rounder Zain Abbas was outstanding as Scholes won a 30-over game by four wickets.

Joe Duffy (4-14), Abbas (3-25) and Aleem Ladak (2-16) toppled Ossett for 100, with the last seven wickets falling for just 23 runs.

Charles Orme (30) and Javid Umarji (26) led Ossett’s scoring.

Scholes’ reply was in trouble when youngster Hayden Mortimer (2-15) reduced them to 63-6 but Abbas held the innings together, hammering an unbeaten 61 off 72 balls and sharing an unbroken match-winning stand of 36 with Christian Jackson (15no).

Mirfield Parish Cavaliers lost by six runs at Pudsey Congs after the Bradford League side posted 133-6 in a 20-over match.

Parish’s reply fell just short on 127-3, with former Thackley all-rounder Yasir Ali hitting 46 and Mohammed Wadee (43no) and Nazar Hussain (25no) sharing an unbroken 53-run stand.

The Methley v New Farnley and Moorlands v Townville second round ties have been re-arranged for May 25.

There were no completed first or second-team matches in last weekend’s rain-ruined league programme.

Bowlers were firmly on top in the only two Premiership games that started.

Wrenthorpe’s Tom Chester (6-42) and Greig Batty (3-7) sent joint leaders Scholes collapsing from 60-3 to 77-9 before the weather intervened after 26.5 overs.

Birstall made a solid start against Townville when openers Craig Wood and Rob McFarlane put on 32 but Jack Hughes (4-15), Conor Harvey (1-10) and Ritchie Bresnan (1-31) reduced them to 79-6 from 37 overs before the game was abandoned.

In the only Championship fixture that started, Northowram Fields posted 150-8 in a 25-over match at Wakefield St Michael’s.

Robert Larner (42), Chris Metcalfe (28) and Shakheel Mahmood (23) were Northowram’s top scorers and Mark Atkinson (3-41) and Michael Halloran (2-37) were St Michael’s best bowlers.

When St Michael’s replied, just one ball was bowled by Northowram’s Chris Thompson.

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Lauren Winfield, batting in her home city, hit 58 off 44 balls against Western Storm. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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