Sikandar Raza displayed his international class for the second time in the weekend as Shelley went one better to their previous days remarkable run chase, by chasing down yet another gargantuan target, this time against high-flying Honley. Mirfield Parish Cavaliers had their relegation mathematically confirmed after a home defeat against Broad Oak. Shepley continued their strong bid for the Hopkinson Trophy by crushing hapless Delph & Dobcross, their conquerors in the recent Sykes Cup final. It was business as usual for champions Hoylandswaine who dispatched Thongsbridge with yet another impressive performance with the ball.
Shelley guaranteed their Premiership survival in the most extraordinary of circumstances only a day after they pulled a win out of the bag in a similar style. Sikandar Raza, the Zimbabwe international with over ten test and 82 ODI appearances to his name, registered his second century and his fourth of an abbreviated campaign as Shelley successfully hunted down Honley’s beefy 314-4 total. Honley flayed a Shelley bowling attack that will be feeling exhausted after conceding a total of 614 runs over the double-header. Simon Kelly (61) and New Zealander Brett Randell (97) put on precisely 100 for the opening wicket before more runs were piled on by Timmy Taylor (43), Ryan Robinson (65) and Lewis Kenworthy (35no). Raza’s performances have been deeply inspiring the rest of his teammates and it was skipper Harvey Jones (75) along with Josh Scott (21) that gave Raza (111) the stage to perform on reaching 92-2 before the overseas made his flamboyant entrance. In a match-changing 77 ball innings he and Jones struck a partnership of 126 runs where Raza smashed 10 fours and 5 sixes. When he was out there was still work to be done and his teammates were not likely to let Raza’s (and Jones’s) efforts go to waste with Joe Sykes (23), Ranjith Bandula-Don (31) and Mo Bhoola (17) all making crucial contributions in the final stages. Shelley’s excellent run chase got them to 315-5 with 17 balls still to bowl to make it one of the most memorable weekends of the season at Westerley Lane, if not of all time.
Broad Oak curtailed Mirfield Parish Cavaliers’ one-season stint in the Premiership although Tim Orrell’s team ought to have taken heart from a performance where they weren’t completely outplayed by their visitors. In fact, if it wasn’t for a mid-innings collapse, Parish might have gone on to record a decent consolitary win as they chased Broad Oak’s 221ao first innings total. Dom Finn (47) continued his consistent season opening the batting for Oak with the upper order mis-firing. Daniel Hope (4-51) and Jamie Hardcastle (5-56) enjoyed controlling spells with the ball for Parish but it was an important mid-innings 77-run stand between Kyran Dill (56) and Tom McCreadie (34) that put enough runs on the board to defend. Parish built their reply steadily and patiently as Orrell (31), Dave Bolt (60) and Aiden Hawksworth (22) put the hosts in control of the match at 102-1. Collapses have blighted their campaign however, particularly in the second half of the season and today was a grim reminder of life in the top flight as the bowling nous of Dill (4-69) and seasoned opener Adam France (3-33) turned the balance of the match. Parish receded to 150-7 in a spell that stunned the home side and even though Daniel Hope (24) gave them some thin aspirations, Oak ruthlessly condemned the Mirfield side to a terminal defeat as they were bowled out for 181 with 12 overs left.
There was no sign of champions Hoylandswaine letting their foot off the gas at home to Thongsbridge in a match that, on paper, looked an intriguing tussle against two powerful batting line-ups. The opening Hoylandswaine bowlers had their visitors subdued virtually from the off and it was a grip they would never relinquish. Adnan Ghani (4-40) and Shakir Muhammad (4-27) cruelly ripped the heart out of the Thongsbridge order with only opener Richard Marshall (47) hanging around for a period of time as the visitors were bowled out for 108. Hoylandswaine, who fielded a changed lineup missing the proficient Alex Lees and Saeed Anwar, quickly knocked off the runs for the loss of four wickets with opener Gharib Nawaz (47no) batting right through as the hosts reached 113-4 in only 16 overs.
Golcar eliminated their relegation worries with a seven wicket romp at home to out-of-sorts Moorlands. The visitors put on a testing first innings score with half-centuries scored by Eddie Walmsley (65no) and Siraj Sajid (56). Usman Mohammed (44no) also added a useful contribution deep into the innings as Moorlands set 221-4 off their fifty overs with Golcar skipper Steve Whitwam (2-56) the main bowler for the hosts. Whitwam’s contribution with the bat provided the bedrock to the reply as Moorlands were unable to make an inroad with the ball. Whitwam (81, pictured above) put on 140 runs with Abdul Wahid (57) for the first wicket as the visitors experimented by utilising no less than eight bowlers, of which only Usman Mohammed (2-44) achieved any consistency. Jacob Mulhall (45) along with Irfan Amjad (22) sealed a win which secures safety for another season as Golcar reached 223-3 with ten overs left.
Shepley gained swift revenge for their Sykes Cup Final defeat at the hands of Delph by handing them a heavy defeat. Greg Wood’s men have been in superb form since the showpiece final and they came up against a ten-man Delph side shorn of several regulars to injury or unavailability. Batting first, Delph defied the relentless visitors pressure with opener Nathan Jones (50) accumulating a half-century. However once county man Arron Lilley (9) was snared the visitors sensed a way in and despite captain Andrew Gleave (26)’s stubborn display, Delph were skittled out for 154 with Oliver Davidson (4-30) continuing his stellar weekend run with the ball taking 8 wickets and adding three catches. Greg Wood was content to let his team knock off the modest total which they did with few issues. Opener Dan Wood scored a run-a-ball 45, whilst contributions from John Anderson (26), Shahban Raheem (28no) and Danny Glover (28no) ensured Shepley remained in contention for the Hopkinson Trophy.
Scholes put a miserable recent run of form behind them to come out on top away at Kirkburton. Visiting skipper Josh Brook made full use of winning the toss with Scholes putting on 274-8 from their first innings. Yaasar Imtiaz (53) brought up his third half-century of the season with Sri-Lankan Ishan Rangana (46) just missing out on a collection. Tom Brook (83) brutally slayed the Kirkburton bowlers with James Noble (22), standing in as wicketkeeper, adding useful late runs. Javaid Ahmed (3-73) at least made it a reasonable personal return but there was little to cheer amongst the Riley Lane faithful. In reply, Kirkburton were under the cosh after losing both openers at 11-2. Luke Williamson (40) and Toby Booth (30) did their best to play themselves in and get the hosts into the match but the lower order were left with too much to do. After Tom Brook (2-17) and Tom Chadwick (2-36) softened up the upper order, Imtiaz (4-15) professionally polished off the tail with ‘Burton losing their last seven wickets for only 35 runs and they were left well beaten on 112ao.
Another team to plug a short run of defeats was Armitage Bridge and they paid a fruitful visit to ailing Cawthorne. The visitors kept tight control of the score as Cawthorne made 166-9 batting first. Ben Simpson (38) top scored but it was an afternoon where the hosts weren’t allowed to get to a higher gear as six batsmen made starts but were prevented from cashing in. Spinner Daniel Moorhouse (4-43, pictured above) found a mesmerising groove for the visitors and Tony Treadaway (3-37) also made an impression to restrict the home side who have endured a turbulent season. Cawthorne did in fact have the visitors in a pickle early in the reply with opening bowler Luke Robinson (2-38) reducing Bridge to 16-2. The vastly experienced Darren Hinchliffe (26), a Premiership winner in the 1990’s with Meltham helped steady the ship with Treadaway (37) before resident antipodeans Robin Broom (41no) and Jaycub Curtling (33) took the game away from Cawthorne to lift the visitors to 170-4 with eight overs remaining and into a pleasing mid-table position.
Armitage Bridge 170-4
*Delph & Dobcross 154
Broad Oak 221
Mirfield PC 181