Local cricket round-up: Woodlands make a point in two-team title tussle
AFTER 13 rounds of fixtures in the Gordon Rigg Bradford Premier League, title-chasing Woodlands and Townville are separated by just one point.
Level after the matches on June 26, defending champions Woodlands gained the slightest of edges with a maximum haul of points at home to bottom club Batley.
With rain having postponed many games across the county or at least shortened them significantly, Woodlands opted to field after winning the toss, and justified that decision by dismissing their visitors for 104.
Batley were 28-4 before being revived by a stand of 56 between Kasir Maroof (46) and Adal Islam (12) but once they were parted the wickets again fell in clumps.
Muhammad Bilal (3-27) and Chris Brice (4-23) caused those alarms to sound, and Woodlands had no trouble in knocking off the runs required without loss in 21 overs.
Sam Frankland – the mainstay of their batting this season – ended on 40 not out and Tim Jackson was unbeaten on 60.
Townville also had a convincing win, racking up 268-4 at home to Cleckheaton – after an opening stand of 102 by Jonny Booth (46) and Athelbert Brathwaite (75).
Captain Jack Hughes ensured full batting bonus points with his 72 not out off just 48 balls, including six fours and three sixes.
Cleckheaton made a decent fist of their reply, scoring 216 but, crucially, Townville could take only eight wickets, thus missing out on a bowling bonus point.
Overseas player Charitha Kumarasinghe hit 108 off a mere 55 balls, an innings that contained nine fours and eight sixes, and he added 100 for the fourth wicket with Ethan Lee (27), Iain Wardlaw then smacking 35 not out off just 12 balls.
Hughes then underlined his value to Townville by taking 6-56.
New Farnley remain third but their committee must have grown a few more grey hairs after a thriller against visitors Bradford & Bingley.
Sent in, the home side collapsed to 140 all out after Aidan Langley (13) and the prolific Lee Goddard (50) had helped them to 76-1, with Yasir Abbas (4-45) and Bradley Reeve (3-38) pegging them back.
Bingley seemed out of it at 97-9 but pace bowler Jack Hartley had other ideas, scoring 41 not out off 19 balls to take them within four runs of a tie before they ran out of time at 136-9. Spinner Gurman Randhawa’s 6-43 helped to give New Farnley their win.
A five-wicket haul from Mark Harrison (5-47) helped sixth-placed Farsley record a 29-run victory at Morley.
Ryan Cooper top scored with 43 in the visitors’ total of 168-8 as David Nebard claimed 4-44 before Harrison’s heroics restricted Morley to 139-8 despite a determined knock of 52 not out from Luke Heinemann.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Methley defeated Wrenthorpe by 29 runs and Pudsey St Lawrence’s home game with Hanging Heaton was abandoned owing to rain.
Third-placed Otley upset leaders Saltaire in the Aire- Wharfe League first division thanks to Rob Spivey’s unbeaten knock of 46.
Otley posted 177-7 in their 30 overs and then restricted the visitors to 169 all out as James Davies claimed 3-37.
Elsewhere in Division One, fourth-placed Beckwithshaw beat Ilkley by five wickets, Burley-in-Wharfedale defeated Collingham and Linton by 77 runs, second-placed Bilton saw off bottom-of-the-table Horsforth by five wickets and Rawdon defeated Olicanian by seven wickets.
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