6:50pm Sunday 20th May 2012
By David Markham
Manningham Mills continued their great start to the Bradford League season as they moved into second place in Division One after winning their third match in a row – a nine-wicket victory over Saltaire at Roberts Park.
Iqbal Khan took 4-25 and Zeeshan Qasim 3-15 as Mills dismissed Saltaire for a paltry 83, of which Adam Patel scored an unbeaten 48.
Mills are one of only two teams to win all three matches – the other are reigning champions Woodlands, who are ten points clear at the top.
At the other end of the table, it is a surprise to see last season’s runners-up Farsley and the 2010 champions Pudsey Congs adrift at the bottom after losing their first three matches.
Farsley are bottom with a mere eight points after a 79-run defeat at Hanging Heaton. Skipper John Carruthers took 4-34 and former Yorkshire, Kent and Somerset pace bowler David Stiff 3-42 as Farsley were bowled out for 128 in reply to Hanging Heaton’s total of 207-8.
Former Yorkshire wicket keeper Ismail Dawood (41) and Nick Bresnan (36no), were the main contributors for the home side.
Congs are only one point better off after losing at home to Bradford & Bingley by 26 runs. Opener Simon Davies top-scored with 81 while new signing, Cumber-land batsman Alex Atkinson, made 44 as Bingley gained maximum batting points with 227-7.
The home side made a fine start with Gareth Phillips (55) and Nick Lindley (54) sharing an opening stand of 109, but, when they were out, they could not maintain the required rate as wickets fell and they finished on 201-7.
Cleckheaton, who have also lost their first three matches, suffered a tense one-wicket defeat at home to Undercliffe.
Opener Tim Jackson top-scored with 51 while Ian Nicholson made 38 as Cleckheaton totalled 212-8 with overseas pace bowler Imran Khan and left-arm spinner Shaaiq Choudhrey each taking three wickets. Choudhrey then made 54 before Yassir Abbas with an unbeaten 58, including four sixes, led Undercliffe to victory with two balls to spare.
Skipper Lee Goddard scored 70 and Gavin Hamilton 56 in East Bierley’s 94-run win at Lightcliffe. They enabled Bierley to reach 202-8 and Kez Ahmed then took 6-31 as Lightcliffe were bowled out for 108.
In Division Two, leaders Gomersal have begun well in their bid to win promotion back to the top flight at the first attempt.
They maintained their unbeaten start with a six-wicket win over Morley.
Left-arm spinner Chris Rhodes took 6-43 as Morley made 181-8. Skipper Adam Greenwood with 64 and Greg Pickles 71 then led them to victory.
Gomersal are six points in front of Yeadon, the other team who have won all three matches. Yeadon beat bottom club Idle by nine wickets after bowling them out for a mere 63.
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