Adnan Ghani’s brilliant bowling capped off a perfect weekend for Delph & Dobcross who moved off the bottom of the table after routing second-placed Honley. Skelmanthorpe edged out neighbours Shepley and Moorlands stopped Golcar to to pull closer to the cluster of teams perched precariously around the drop zone.
Delph’s prolific pace bowler Adnan Ghani (pictured above) rounded off an impeccable weekend with a fearsome five wicket haul to stun Honley in a ludicrously one-sided match that made a mockery of the two side’s league placings. Honley’s decision to bat first backfired spectacularly as Danny Howard’s normally run-abundant team drew a blank and were bowled out for their lowest score in over thirty years. Ghani (5-21) and left-arm leggie Nayyar Abbas (4-21) never gave Honley an inch as they clinically extracted their danger men on a wicket that saw the two clubs’ second teams score over 500 runs on it the day before. Delph’s young players raised their game in the field - catches were firmly held - leaving Honley shellshocked at 43ao from 30 overs. Nathan Jones (30no) quickly sealed the win as Delph zoomed triumphantly to their target on 44-0 from 6 overs.
Max Joice couldn’t quite put one over his old club Skelmanthorpe as Shepley went down by 16 runs in an exhilarating local derby. Skelmanthorpe powered their way to 251ao batting first with Jack Newby (89, pictured above) breaking the 1,000 run mark in all competitions. Syed Rizvi added 49 with Shepley’s Danny Glover picking up four wickets from an entertaining first innings. After Shepley openers Dan Wood (65) and Tom Chadwick (36) put on 101 runs for the first wicket, the visitors were nicely poised for a successful run chase. However, Skelmanthorpe’s newly arrived overseas man, Indian Dev Prahan bowled the dangerous Wood but Max Joice, who’d cut his teeth at Skelmanthorpe, took the game to the hosts. Joice (61) was a persistent thorn agitating his former club, but Prahan’s removal of the experienced keeper-batsman proved to be the turning point as Skelmanthorpe closed off their first win in five matches. The victory still leaves them in the bottom three, yet pulls others - Shepley included - towards the danger zone.
Scholes hit a huge total at Almondbury Wesleyan to move above Honley and back into second place. Nico Georgiou-Nicola (pictured above) carved a 124-ball 102 and Jack Shelley rifled a huge 149 from 122 balls - his second big total of the weekend with some 36 boundaries scored between them. Wickets then frantically fell as Scholes made 344ao batting first. Ash Smith (5-82) fared best amongst the Wesleyan bowlers where all six of them received some brutal punishment. Will Binns (63) and Nathan Kenworthy (73) found batting to their liking in the second innings but the home side were distinctively short on the kind of batting power Scholes had at their disposal. Spinner Yaasir Imtiaz (5-33) helped cut the hosts short on 203ao to confirm their tenth win of the campaign.
Nearly 700 runs were scored in a remarkable fixture at Miry Lane where three hundreds and one double century were registered as Hoylandswaine stretched their lead at the top to 15 points with an illuminating triumph at Thongsbridge. Batsmen haunted beleaguered bowlers all afternoon as visiting Swaine racked up an enormous score of 388-4. Asif Iqbal’s relatively conservative 110 was significantly eclipsed by Furqan Shaffiq’s savage 215; a 149-ball innings that contained 36 boundaries. Former Lancashire man Shaffiq sent 31 fours and 5 sixes across the perimeter as Swaine put on 315 for the first wicket. Kai Grieg took 3-124 at tremendous cost for Thongsbridge but they made sure to inflict their own form of brutality on Hoylandswaine after the break. Rory France (111) and Pragam Sharma (140, pictured above) both clocked up three figure tallies in a second innings that valiantly attempted to keep up the high-octane tempo. France’s 111 came from 143 balls (14 fours, 1 six) and Indian import Sharma’s 140 was scored from 132 balls which contained 15 fours and 5 maximums. Thongsbridge’s riposte tailed off somewhat on 285-4 which amazingly fell some way short of any batting bonus points.
Numan Akbar (pictured above) and Cameron Van Rensburg skittled through Armitage Bridge whose reply to Barkisland’s 199-8 imploded to breathtaking effect to send Bridge bottom for the first time this season. The visitors recovered from 23-3 as Harry Finch (71no) painstakingly rebuilt Barkisland’s innings after home overseas man Maagur Eksteen (3-23) enjoyed the better of the early exchanges. Pakistan man Akbar (5-20) followed up his 44no with a ruinous bowling display to sink struggling Bridge, buoyant from a win the previous day at home to Skelmanthorpe. Cameron Van Rensburg matched his teammates' figures and took the other five scalps to efficiently dispatch the hosts for a meagre 44.
A chastening defeat for Broad Oak at Kirkburton plunged them further into the mire at the bottom of the table. Three ‘Burton batsmen struck half-centuries in a busy first innings as the home side assembled 310-6. Andrew Smith (67, pictured above) and Sam Wigglesworth (73) set the tone for birthday boy Craig Fletcher who carried his bat for 58no. Aaron Moore hammered a 12-ball 47 to further compound Oak’s worries as their team, wracked with absences, struggled to cope. Kiwi Ben Lowden (64) and Dan Rushworth (32) put up stern resistance in the reply which soon faltered once they were removed. Smith ran through Oak’s brittle batting with a magnificent 6-56 as Dan Taylor (47no) ran out of partners during the visitors’ total of 216ao.
Moorlands bounced back from their hiding at home to Delph by claiming their second win over Golcar in seven days. Michael McEwan (64), Siraj Sajid (74no, pictured above) and Michael Rounding’s 56 piled up a 262-8 score which the home side struggled to match. Shoukat Ali then took 5-33 as Golcar were left pointless on 148ao to cap off a weekend to forget for Jack McNamara’s side.
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