Undercliffe step up dream of playing at home in Priestley Cup final

Undercliffe step up dream of playing at home in Priestley Cup final

Undercliffe bowler Nawaz Sardar celebrates after winning an lbw decision against Pudsey Congs batsman Callum Geldart

Undercliffe bowler Zeeshan Qasim appeals for the wicket of Pudsey Congs opponent Nick Lindley

First published in Sport

AHMAD Raja was one of Undercliffe's heroes as they continued their memorable journey in the Sovereign Health Care Priestley Cup.

The number three batsman scored 75 as Division Two's only survivors, who are hosting the JCT600 Bradford League's showpiece final on August 24, comfortably claimed the scalp of another top-flight club on their way to the last four.

Raja added 57 for the second wicket with Farakh Hussain (29) and 60 for the third with Nawaz Sardar on the way to a 186 total at home to Pudsey Congs, for whom James Pearson took 4-34 and Glenn Roberts and Gareth Phillips a miserly 2-25 and 2-28 respectively.

Congs' reply never got going and they were dismissed for 116 as Undercliffe skipper Michael Kelsey took 4-33 and Zeeshan Qasim 3-24, Basil Akram top-scoring with 32.

But there was joy for Congs' neighbours Pudsey St Lawrence, who defeated Woodlands for the second time in 24 hours – this time by 61 runs.

Chris Brice's 4-21 helped to restrict Saints to 139-7, Mark Robertshaw (31) and Callum Goldthorp (21) combining to put on 56 for the second wicket.

But only opener Sam Frankland (19) and No 11 Liam Collins (18) reached double figures in the reply of 78 as Craig Wiseman (4-19) and Richie Lamb (3-22) ripped the heart out of Woodlands' batting.

League champions Cleckheaton never looked in trouble after making 195 at home to Hanging Heaton.

Iain Wardlaw (3-31) and John Wood (2-20) put the Batley club on the back foot at 31-4 and, although they recovered to 123-6, Tanzeel Altaf's 4-29 helped to topple them for 157, James Lee taking three catches.

Andy Gorrod (23) and Tim Jackson (27) added 43 for Cleckheaton's first wicket, wicketkeeper Mal Nicholson (49) and Altaf (27) providing the impetus later on as David Stiff took 4-52 and Gary Fellows 2-23.

Improving East Bierley, winners in 2012, are the other semi-finalists in Wednesday's draw after an emphatic victory at Bradford & Bingley.

The hosts were 49-0 but left-arm spinner Luke Jarvis (4-42) induced a collapse to 60-4, with Kez Ahmed (2-22) and Richard Atkins (2-15) helping to turn the screw as opener Phil Slater's long vigil ended for 41 to make it 133-7, Jacob Roach (38) and Jack Hartley (25no) aiding the revival to 191.

Mark Gill (66no) and Gavin Hamilton (59) sped East Bierley towards their win with an opening stand of 128 before Tabbi Bhatti (24) and Andrew Rennison (23no) completed the job.

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