Birkby Rose Hill were overwhelmed by Imran Siddiq’s century as Hall Bower set the pace in the third tier. Kirkheaton put the disappointments of recent seasons behind them by handing Mirfield an emphatic thumping. Champions Hoylandswaine 2XI got off to a typically bullish start and elsewhere there were victories for Emley Clarence, Lepton Highlanders and Linthwaite.
Siddiq Masterclass Is Too Much For Birkby Rose Hill
Alex Crane’s Hall Bower mercilessly put sorry Birkby Rose Hill to the sword with a punishing 118-run victory, underlined by a magnificent 112-ball ton from Imran Siddiq (main image). The long-time Bower batsman almost eclipsed his entire 2020 season T30 output in one match as he set about punishing a rapidly demoralised visiting bowling attack. Both Cranes, Alex (24) and Matthew (28) added further runs to set popular captain Mushtaq Hussain’s side a tough chase. They made an adequate fist early in the second innings reaching 33-0 but they quickly unravelled after that. Ibrar Raffiq (4-44) and new signing Sam Baxter (3-30) got their teeth into the fragile visitors as they were dismissed for 86.
Girardi Gees Up Revitalised Kirkheaton
Kirkheaton’s recent seasons have been tumultuous at best. After finishing bottom in 2019, Michael Senior envisages better things from this campaign and a marker was set after they demolished Mirfield by 166 runs. Paolo Girardi’s half-century was a crucial element to their 242-9 first innings total as they made use of Mirfield’s roomy outfield to rack up the runs. Senior (42no) anchored the middle of the innings with brother Phil (29) and No.10 Safyan Sarwar (29) also boosting the total with Mirfield’s Alex Brown taking a five-fer. The host's response imploded in spectacular fashion as they collapsed from 42-2 to 76ao. Will Smith (5-5) returned impeccable bowling figures as he ran through the lower order to secure the win for Kirkheaton.
Wasteful Almondbury Let Advantage Slip
Throwing away a strong advantage is a habit recently relegated Almondbury must avoid if they are to make a quick return to the Championship. They let Linthwaite off the hook by throwing away a clear winning opportunity chasing down the visitors moderate 167ao first innings score. Openers Panday (46) and Bilal Ahmad (40) began solidly, then Liam Hanson (29) carried the baton to have his team positioned nicely on 91-1. Ageless all-rounded Qaiser Rashid has of course seen it all before and the Linthwaite man derailed the Almondbury charabanc to remove Ahmad and take two further wickets. Wickets then tumbled as the hosts crashed frustratingly short by 11 runs on 156-9.
Swaine’s Returning Old Boys See Off Cumberworth
Ryan Copley and Daniel Hoyle returned emphatically to the club after their hiatus at Darton and Cawthorne to help fire Hoylandswaine 2XI to victory away at Cumberworth. Darren and Jack Lockwood took six wickets between them to draw the sting from the hosts attack as Cumberworth were sent back for 110ao despite new signing from neighboring Skelmanthorpe, Jordan Greaves (27) making his mark with his team's top score. Copley (39) and Hoyle (26) kept things tidy in the reply despite losing opener Andrew Burkill in the second over. Swaine claimed a convincing win by reaching 111-5.
Lepton’s Aim For Instant Return Begins Well
The crushing disappointment of relegation on the final day of the 2019 season was wiped clean as Lepton Highlanders put in a well-judged performance away at Upperthong. Adeel Ashraf (4-29) put in a typically tight shift with the ball to restrict the home side as they were held to 161-8. Will Kilner’s 41 the highlight in an innings which was controlled by the visitors. Captain Jacob Mulhall hit a beautifully measured 67no from 123 balls to underpin his team’s reply, allowing freedom for others to play. Sayed Salman (26) complemented his skipper well as Lepton closed in on 165-4 with 9 balls remaining.
Denby Dale’s Hopes Dashed After Emley Defeat
Ibrar Hussain’s heroics was the difference as Emley returned home with a full complement of points after victory at Denby Dale. Opener Hussain (54) hit a rhythmic half-century and Emley were indebted to his and Mirza Mobeen’s runs with many of his teammates falling in single figures as the visitors made 164ao. Denby Dale’s reply got off to a bad start after losing both openers for 0 and 1. Emley sensed blood and kept pressure on significantly enough to upset Denby Dale’s applecart. Iqrar Amjad (5-27) was the main beneficiary as the home team were finally dismissed for 108 despite the best efforts of captain Matthew Rammell (22).