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Imtiaz’s Triple-wicket Whammy Snubs Thongsbridge - Premiership Matchday #19 Report

Imtiaz’s Triple-wicket Whammy Snubs Thongsbridge - Premiership Matchday #19 Report

22 Aug 2023

Thongsbridge’s bid for survival was hampered by neighbours Scholes after Yaasir Imtiaz was one of three bowlers who combined to scotch their survival hopes on an afternoon where nearest rivals Honley lost at Kirkburton. At the top of the table, Moorlands’ championship party was put on ice for a further week despite their dominating ten-wicket victory in the Mirfield derby at home to Parish. Prayesh Kumar Singh and Fletcher Coutts hammered quickfire tons for Skelmanthorpe and Broad Oak respectively and Barkisland registered a nervy one-wicket success away at Hoylandswaine. 

A triumvirate of Scholes bowlers combined to dent Thongsbridge’s survival mission and deny them the opportunity to get themselves out of trouble. Tom Raven-Hill’s five wicket haul had pegged Scholes back to 219ao to set up a chance of a vital victory with Brad Birkhead and overseas player Mitchell Slattery making half-centuries. However, Thongsbridge’s normally reliable batting had their fuses dampened by Louis Brook (3-41) as they sagged to 93-6. Alex Kemp and Tom Raven-Hill carefully rebuilt the innings but both were removed by right arm spinner Yaasir Imtiaz (3-12). Wasim Javed helped wrap the win up for Scholes by taking 3-73 as the visitors crashed to 180ao.

John Keeling led Kirkburton’s batting recovery at home to struggling Honley and then went on to grab five wickets to pile more anxiety on the visitors who haven’t registered a league win since the 14th May. The return fixture in June had high drama after the two sides fought out a tie and the match at Riley Lane ebbed and flowed in similar circumstances. Keeling hit 33 to revive Kirkburton from a precarious situation at 93-6 after Joel Size took 4-42 to threaten the hosts. Chasing 195-9, Honley got off to a solid start and at 98-3 looked well set. Keeling’s removal of Lewis Evans on 44 signalled a familiar Honley collapse and the spinner seized the opportunity to run through a vulnerable middle-order. Josh Ankers hit an unbeaten 24 but the penultimate batsman lost final partner Ben Harris to Aaron Moore (3-54) as Honley were dismissed for 168.  

Prayash Kumar Singh obliterated Shepley as Skelmanthorpe completed a victory to keep their title hopes alive by a sliver. A huge gap between them and leaders Moorlands will most likely be closed in the next fortnight but they could keep their title rivals waiting with a handsome victory over their derby rivals. Singh smashed 147 from 75 balls hitting 13 fours and 10 sixes on top of Harlon Greig’s 54. Oz Davidson claimed 4-53 for the visitors but they were unable to get near enough to Skelmanthorpe’s imposing 281ao total. Shepley had two half-centuries scored in the reply with George Booth’s impressive season continuing with 52 and fellow youngster Josh Hoyle scored 62 to show the future’s bright. Sam Tyas picked up 3-50 and two wickets each were collected by Kian Schwartz and Greig as Shepley were castled for 211.

Moorlands shrugged off their Sykes Cup final disappointment by crushing neighbouring Mirfield Parish Cavaliers whose 13 point gap to safety looks to have consigned them to relegation, a season after coming up. Nadim Hussain’s purple patch continued as he took 6-11 amid a scene of destruction for Parish who were bowled out for just 60. Moorlands opening bowler Jon Rudge claimed 3-11 to start the demolition and opening batsmen Shoukat Ali and Amogh Bhaktal hit 30 and 33 to knock off the reply without loss.

Barkisland completed a stunning victory away at Hoylandswaine, despite a century from Swaine’s Asif Iqbal. The Bolton-based opener scored an unbeaten 105 as visiting Barkisland restricted the hosts to 239-8. Jake Finch took 3-23 and Barkisland’s reply was held together by a brilliant 90 from overseas man Charlie Mitchell. However their pursuit hit a snag when they lost three wickets for two runs to fall from 206-4 to 208-7. Luke Bridges guided his side to a thrilling victory in the final over with a patient 27 as Barkisland reached 240-9.

Fletcher Coutts crashed 122 in a hearty Broad Oak victory at Almondbury Wesleyans. Oak showed no Sykes Cup hangover as they piled on 312-9 batting first. Man of the match in their epic final win, Cameron Todd continued where he left off with an excellent 68 and Dom Finn set the scene with 43 but it was captain Coutts’ innings which claimed the centre stage as he hammered 9 fours and 10 sixes in a destructive 68 ball spell. Wesleyans skipper Bryn Jenkins scored 52 on his return to action in a damage limitation exercise as the hosts replied with 204ao. Alex Slack took 4-52 and Daniel Taylor collected 3-66 for Oak.

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