Rams snatch unlikely victory

Illingworth v Knaresborough. Liam Kelly.
Illingworth v Knaresborough. Liam Kelly.

Zafar Khan was again Northowram Fields’ match winner - but this time with the bat - as his side retained second place in the Bradford League’s Conference with a three-wicket victory at Adwalton.

Khan is the side’s most reliable bowler but he can put bat to ball, as he demonstrated coming in at number nine with his side on the ropes at the Drighlington club.

Adwalton had made a respectable 265 for six on their small ground with Matthew Donohue (84) and James Pearson (72) holding up the visitors. Josh Bennett Kear took four for 57.

The Rams looked out of it at 144 for seven in reply but opener Ben Grech was still there and he found a willing accomplice in Khan, who hit 90 not out to clinch a three wicket win.

Khan’s 56-ball knock included nine sixes and six fours while Grech buckled down superbly to finish on 53 not out off 123 balls.

Higher up the Bradford League, it was a miserable day for Lightcliffe and Brighouse, who were both dismissed for 108 and lost by eight wickets.

Lightcliffe’s hit and miss form in the top section continued with a poor display at Pudsey Congs.

Their former player Josh Wheatley contributed to their demise, the off spinner taking four for 24.

Jonathan Wilson (23) and young Alex Kennedy (24) were the top contributors to the visitors’ score.

Wheatley only managed 10 with the bat but opening partner Nick Lindley hit 51 not out and Callum Geldart 43 not out from 32 balls as Congs romped to victory.

Brighouse remain bottom of Championship B after losing at Bankfoot.

Mohammed Zahid made 37 but six players failed to get off the mark as Indian spinner Marupuri Suresh (5-23) and Kamran Siddique (3-13) ripped through the visitors’ ranks.

Bankfoot wrapped up victory in only 12.1 overs with Nahim Ashraf making 54 and Shoukat Ali an unbeaten 33.

Todmorden’s Lancashire League match at Ramsbottom and Barkisland’s Huddersfield League match at home to Skelmanthorpe failed to start on a damp, blustery day.

There was some play at Delph and Dobcross, where Elland’s Saqib Matloob kept the home side at bay with 50.

The struggling Hullen Edge side were 134 for seven, with their former play Greg Buckley having picked up three wickets, when play was ended.

Illingworth were 77 for three in reply to visitors Knaresborough’s 197 for six when the rains arrived at Jammy Green.

The Halifax side were rallying after losing Veryan Brooksby, Liam Kelly and James Lawton for ducks, Daniel Murfet again showing the way.

The Aussie was 50 not out off 58 balls and Stephen Cook was 22 not out off 32 at the finish.

Earlier, Murfet and Ben Robertshaw had taken a couple of wickets apiece with young opener Andy Ward’s 45 best for Knaresborough.

Bradford League, Premier Division: Lightcliffe 108 (J Wheatley 4-24), *Pudsey Congs 110-2 ( N Lindley 51 no, C Geldart 43 no).

Championship B: Brighouse 108 (M Zahid 37, M Suresh 5-23, K Siddique 3-13), *Bankfoot 109-2 (S Ali 33*, N Ashraf 54).

Conference: *Adwalton 265-6 (M Donohoe 84, J Paterson 72, J Bennett Keer 4-57), Northowram Fields 266-7 (B Grech 53 no, Z Khan 90 no).

Huddersfield League, Premiership: Barkisland v Skelmanthorpe no play, Elland 134-7 (S Matlub 50; G Buckley 3-40) v *Delph & Dobcross abnd.

Aire/Wharfe League, Division Two: Knaresborough 197-6 (A Ward 45), *Illingworth 77-3 (D Murfet 50 no).

Lancashire League: Ramsbottom v Todmorden abnd.