Saltaire laud their newest bowling hero

Israr Ullah took nine wickets for eight runs against Hartshead Moor

Israr Ullah took nine wickets for eight runs against Hartshead Moor Buy this photo

First published in Sport
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Sports Reporter

It is small wonder that the name Syd Barnes cropped up after last Saturday's JCT600 Bradford League programme.

Saltaire's overseas player Israr Ullah returned the remarkable Barnes-esque figures of 8-5-8-9 as visitors Hartshead Moor were blown away, collapsing from 38-0 to 54 all out as the Roberts Park club strengthened their Division Two promotion campaign.

England ace Barnes is Saltaire's most famous player, taking a league record five wickets in five balls in 1922, twice taking ten wickets in an innings and being responsible for three of the six occasions when a first-team bowler has topped 100 wickets in a season.

He also won the league bowling averages for nine straight years from 1915-23 but there was never a chance of Ullah matching S F Barnes by claiming all ten asAmer Ayoub had snagged the first wicket against Moor.

Former Saltaire skipper Ijaz Khan had an excellent view of proceedings from first slip, and confessed of the left-arm spinner: "He is from the same area of Pakistan as myself and Imran Khan – Peshawar – and came to us as a batsman who could bowl.

"We might have to consider opening the bowling with him, which is what several First Division teams do, and he is also a left-hand bat."

Just to rubber stamp his man-of-the-match display, Ullah had earlier scored 67 batting at No 3 in Saltaire's 239-9, with Khan saying: "He is what I would call a dashing batsman, and we have yet to see the best of him as he likes the ball to come on."

Saltaire, who are at Bowling Old Lane on Saturday, are second in the table on 129 points, behind Undercliffe (136), with Keighley third on 118.

Khan added: "We play Keighley and Undercliffe at home next weekend, so we should have a much better idea of our promotion prospects by that Sunday evening.

"But I would think the two promoted teams will come from Undercliffe, ourselves and Keighley, plus Baildon (who are fifth on 96 points)."

However, the vagaries of having an odd number of teams in the second tier certainly haven't helped Saltaire.

Khan said, with a certain amount of bitterness: "On two of the occasions we have been rained off, Undercliffe and Keighley have had free dates, so it is something of a lottery."

On Saturday, Undercliffe host erratic Bankfoot, while Keighley are at home to fourth-placed Idle. Baildon are at Hartshead Moor.

In Division One, East Bierley host New Farnley, with both teams locked together on 73 points, a place above a relegation berth.

This is a great opportunity for one of them to cash in as bottom club Pudsey Congs are at fourth-placed Farsley, while next-to-bottom Yeadon entertain second-placed Woodlands.

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