THE NEW rule introduced at the last AGM to allow games to be reduced to a minimum of 10 overs per side when the weather is poor came into its own in the latest round of matches in the Bradford Evening League.

It allowed four of the seven fixtures to be played.

The battle between the top two sides in Division One went the way of defending champions Ciroc in a high-scoring affair at Crossflatts.

In a game reduced to 10 overs per side, Ciroc made 109-5 thanks to opener Bilal Ejaz (38) and overseas Mehran Ibrahim (31).

In reply, Flatts were bowled out for 78 in 9.2 overs despite the best efforts of overseas player Bright Njanji (25) and Amjad Hussain (23), with Tuseif Arshad (4-20) and Zeeshan Haider (3-34) the pick of Ciroc’s bowlers.

The win puts Ciroc on 19 points, five clear of Crossflatts and Greenfield who share second on 14 points.

With just three games to go, victory at home to Undercliffe tonight will see Ciroc crowned as champions for the third consecutive season.

Greenfield drew level with Crossflatts thanks to a four-wicket success over bottom club Raja’s at the Karmand Centre.

Raja's set a very competitive 103-7 in another 10 overs per side game, thanks mainly to an opening partnership of 50 between Imran Rafiq (49) and Banaras Hussain (18).

Not for the first time this season, Greenfield had to rely on experienced Sajad Ali (25) to help them to victory as they passed their target on 105-6 with just one ball to spare, thanks to a further contribution from Deron Greaves (22) as Mohammad Altaf claimed 3-15.

Buttershaw St Paul’s lost ground as they slumped to a surprising defeat at Denholme. Despite being without several of their key players, St Paul’s posted 123-2 in a game reduced to 14 overs per side, thanks to an opening partnership of 72 from Kevin McDermott (51no) and pinch hitter Jamie Robson (38).

However, Denholme weren’t going to be denied as both their openers also retired (Andy Wear 52no and Tom Cummins 50no), leaving Josh Fell and Matthew Wear the relatively simple task of seeing the home side reach their victory target without loss with 1.3 overs to spare.

Denholme remain second bottom although it did move them to within a point of Undercliffe to give them an outside chance of avoiding relegation.

The only game to survive the weather in Division Two was the top of the table clash between Great Horton Park Chapel and Thornton.

Park Chapel's big-hitting overseas opener Blair Oakley blasted 53no from just 20 balls. He was supported by Hisan Ahmed (26), as the Ewart Street outfit posted a daunting 121-6 from their reduced allocation of 12 overs.

However, the Hill Top side rose to the challenge and a second-wicket partnership of 68 between Tom Clee (44no) and Ryan Senior (40) built on the solid start provided by opener Scott Richardson (22) to help the hosts steal victory by seven wickets with just one ball to spare.

The victory moved Thornton level on points with Park Chapel on 17 points, with Shelf the only side able to catch the top two - making tonight’s fixture between Shelf and Thornton a season-defining game.

Tonight’s fixtures: Division One – Buttershaw St Paul’s v Crossflatts, Ciroc v Undercliffe, John Breare v Greenfield and Raja’s v Denholme. Division Two – Bradshaw v Muff Field, Cross Roads and Daisy Hill v Great Horton Park Chapel and Shelf v Thornton.