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Khan improves Lightcliffe fortunes

Actions from Lightcliffe v Saltaire, at Lightcliffe CC. Pictured is Suleman Khan celebrating 100
Actions from Lightcliffe v Saltaire, at Lightcliffe CC. Pictured is Suleman Khan celebrating 100

Pakistani Suleman Khan hit top form to help Lightcliffe get off the mark for the season at the third attempt in the Bradford League’s top flight.

After poor batting displays against Pudsey St Lawrence and Methley, the Wakefield Road men needed to post a total at Bradford & Bingley and did just that with Khan to the fore.

Skipper Matt Baxter bit the bullet and elected to have first use of the wicket at Wagon Lane.

Alex Stead (34) and Josh Wheatley (33) put on 75 for the first wicket and although both were run out, Niall Lockley (32) and Khan (70) ensured it was a strong effort from the visitors’ top four.

Overseas ace Khan was sixth out with the total on 222 and Lightcliffe were able to post a handsome 248 for seven.

Khan then took four for 38 and Danyaal Ahmed three for 61 as the hosts struggled against spin.

Bradford & Bingley were 123 for seven but rallied to 203 all out with 74 from skipper Matthew Duce.

Calderdale pair Brighouse and Northowram Fields both let promising positions slip and were beaten in Championship Two.

Brighouse looked to have the upper hand when visitors Keighley were 139 for seven but Nathan Storton (42) and Abe Kenny (32no) thwarted the home bowlers and helped lift the total to 220 for nine.

Quadratullah Azizi (3-46) and Sohail Hussain (3-17) were the pick of the home attack.

A 61-run opening stand between Chris Wynd (23) and Qaisar Hameed (41) gave Brighouse a solid base in reply but they slumped to 83 for six and 123 all out.

Northowram belatedly started their season at Liversedge and although lacking strike bowler Josh Bennett had their hosts 108 for six and 156 for nine.

However, Will Atkin crashed an unbeaten 73 to boost the score to 215 for nine, Ashton Richardson taking four for 32 and Jason Smith three for 57.

The visitors’ youthful batting line-up replied with 185, three of the more experienced players contributing most with Ajantha Weerappuli (41), skipper John Lister (36) and Dru Patel (30) faring best.

Elland suffered a setback after a bright start to their Huddersfield League Championship campaign when they lost by 69 runs at Skelmanthorpe.

They looked well set for another win when Kiwi Alec Hodgson (5-47) had their opponents on the ropes at 50-6 but the arrival of Michael Kitson changed all that.

The Huddersfield born player hit 43 to help the home side to 129 and then took six for 33 to skittle the Hullen Edge men for 60.

Elland were soon 15 for four in reply and only Paul Winrow (10) and Jack Hendy (19) made double figures.

Barkisland are still looking for a first league win after a comprehensive 125 run defeat at Almondbury Wesleyans.

Their hosts made 244 for eight with Jonathan Hoyle’s late unbeaten 40 leaving Barkisland with a sizeable total to chase.

Barkisland managed only 119 with Luke Bridges adding 35 to his earlier three wickets. Matthew Henshaw and Fred Walker claimed four inexpensive wickets each for Wesleyans.