Safraz Ahmed's late strikes give Woodlands tie against defending champions

Safraz's late strikes give Woodlands tie against defending champions

Tabbi Bhatti bowling for East Bierley at Pudsey St Lawrence

Pudsey St Lawrence's Callum Goldthorp sweeps on his way to 41

East Bierley's Neil Gill leaps into his delivery stride

Pudsey St Lawrence's Callum Goldthorp is put under pressure by East Bierley's close fielders

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Weeklies Sports Editor

Safraz Ahmed took wickets with the first two balls of the final over as the heavyweight JCT600 Bradford League clash between champions Cleckheaton and Woodlands ended in a tie.

Mally Nicholson looked to be winning the game for Cleckheaton when he hammered seven sixes and six fours in a superb innings of 87, only to be bowled by the giant paceman with the scores level.

Last man Andrew Deegan was dismissed in similar fashion to bring an absorbing clash to a dramatic conclusion with Cleckheaton bowled out for 194.

Skipper Pieter Swanepoel (3-49) and spinner Chris Brice (3-58) had been the key bowlers before Safraz’s late fireworks.

Safraz had earlier rescued his side with the bat, hitting four sixes and two fours as he made 37 off 18 balls to push the Woodlands total up to 194-9 after a middle-order slump against the spin of Deegan (3-19), which threatened to undo the work of Sam Frankland (46) and Simon Mason (31).

There was also a thrilling finish at Lightcliffe, where the early pacesetters Farsley sneaked a one-wicket win.

Replying to a Lightcliffe total of 182-6, which owed much to a determined innings from Jonathan Wilson (55) and the efforts of Josh Wheatley (32), Farsley got home with an over to spare.

Mark Harrison (38), former Yorkshire player Joe Sayers (37) and wicketkeeper Matthew Green (29no) saw them to their target, despite the efforts of left-arm spinner Chris Greenwood (5-51).

Like Farsley, Pudsey St Lawrence and Morley both recorded their second wins of the season.

St Lawrence saw off East Bierley by 104 runs, with Mark Robertshaw (87) and Callum Goldthorp (41) sharing a second-wicket stand of 109 before James Smith hammered 63 to take the home side’s total to 217-6.

Richard Atkins was the pick of the East Bierley bowlers with 5-64, with his side then being dismissed for 113.

Morley were indebted to their new opener Matthew West (76) for playing the only innings of substance in a match where thee spin bowlers dominated at Scatcherd Lane.

Glenn Roberts took 6-27 as Morley were dismissed for 157, but his efforts were in vain as Pudsey Congs were bowled out for just 81. Kashif Naveed took 3-9 as Morley continued their perfect start.

New Farnley avenged last season’s Heavy Woollen Cup final defeat by Hanging Heaton by recording a 35-run win at Bennett Lane.

Gary Fellows tried his hardest to keep New Farnley at bay with a defiant innings of 93, but even he could not stop spinners David Cummings (3-22) and Dave McCallum (3-45) dismissing his side for 166.

A second-wicket stand of 105 between Lee Goddard (72) and Scott Richardson (35) helped New Farnley to a total of 201-6, which provided the platform for their first top-flight win.

Bradford & Bingley’s new overseas player Noman Ali (4-16) and Gordon Bowers Young Cricketer of the Year Jack Hartley (3-24) bowled Bradford & Bingley to their first win of the season.

They dismissed newly-promoted Yeadon for 92 to secure a 50–run victory, despite scoring what looked a modest total of 142 when they batted first.

Opener Scott Etherington top scored with 36 before Damon Gormley (4-22) and Matthew Wagstaff (3-41) gave Yeadon hope.

In Division Two, Saltaire were the day’s quickest winners after romping to a nine-wicket triumph over Bankfoot in their first game of the season.

Skipper Adrian Monks’ decision to put Bankfoot in paid dividends as Adeel Ashraf (4-17), Awais Ejaz (3-24) and Israr Ullah (3-1) bowled out Bankfoot for 46. Saltaire knocked off the runs in just 11 overs.

Keighley went to the top of the table when they defeated Bowling Old Lane by 76 runs. Jack Beetham (46), Richard Wear (42) and Richard Robinson (36) guided their side to 203-8 in their 45 overs after rain delayed the start.

Khurram Maqsood (3-48) and Aezaz Dar (3-67) bowled steadily for Old Lane, but their side’s batsmen struggled to 127-7 in reply. Bilal Ahmed was top scorer with 40, while new Australian Andrew King took 3-38 for Keighley.

Undercliffe are a point behind Keighley after defeating Windhill by five wickets.

Their bowlers restricted Windhill to 92-9 in 45 overs, with Nawaz Sardar taking 4-16 and Zeeshan Qasim (3-26). Undercliffe found the going tough and Ibrahim Mohammed (3-29) helped reduced them to 39-5 at one stage.

Hartshead Moor recorded their second win when they defeated Brighouse by four wickets. Their victory was set up by Danny Squire (5-30) and Adil Ladak (3-19), who bowled well as Brighouse were dismissed for 115.

Hartshead Moor lost three early wickets but recovered to reach their target, thanks to Fahad Ul-Haq (31) and Craig Field (30).

Idle maintained their winning start with a 45-run success against Great Horton in the battle between last season’s bottom two. A modest total of 123 proved to be enough as Waj Hussain (4-18) and Ijaz Ahmed (3-38) helped bowl out Great Horton for 78.

Opener Simon Curry was the top scorer in the Idle innings with 35, while Jawad Waheed (4-38) was Great Horton’s best bowler.

Baildon registered their first win after rolling over Gomersal for 55 to triumph by 103 runs. Umar Mahmood (3-8) and overseas player Waqas Maqsood (3-21) took the bowling honours.

Maqsood was also the top scorer with 34 in Baildon’s 158-8, while spinner Chris Rhodes (3-37) was the pick of the Gomersal bowlers.

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