First teams review July 7 2012

Division One

Manningham Mills opener Farakh Hussain played one of the most explosive innings of the season on an afternoon that turned out to be another damp squib.

Hussain blazed his way to an unbeaten 106 off just 70 balls with 11 sixes and four fours as Mills reached 157-5 in reply to Bradford & Bingley’s 174-8 when rain brought play to an end with seven over to go. It was cruel on Hussain and it was hard on Mills.

Quick Table
Woodlands (1)
Pudsey St Lawrence (8)
East Bierley (3)
Cleckheaton (4)
Bradford & Bingley (7)
Lightcliffe (P)
Manningham Mills (10)
Hanging Heaton (9)
Farsley (2)
Saltaire (P)
Pudsey Congs (5)
Undercliffe (6)

Hussain shared in an opening stand of 100 in 15.4 over with his skipper Masood Ahmed (34) as Mills made their intentions clear from the start of their innings.

Bradford & Bingley’s innings was once again built around a valuable contribution from former Netherfield player Alex Atkinson. He made 47 and ensured that his side posted what appeared to be a testing score, until Hussain got to work.

Cleckheaton and Saltaire were two more sides cursing the weather on a day when only four matches in Division One started and all of them were halted by the rain when reaching a climax.

Cleckheaton justified their tag as the bogey side for leaders Woodlands as they again outplayed the champions. They had them on the ropes and staring defeat in the face when the weather came to their rescue and kept their unbeaten record intact.

Conditions weren’t easy for batting but you wouldn’t have noticed as Cleckheaton skipper John Wood and Tim Jackson seized the initiative from the start.

They shared a magnificent opening stand of 148 which was made in 28.2 overs. Wood was the more aggressive partner as he blazed his way to a fine 82 from 78 balls. His innings contained eight sixes and four fours and he was particularly severe on Woodlands’ captain Pieter Swanepoel.

Jackson made a well-crafted 58 from 103 balls. There was a six and seven fours in his innings which ensured Cleckheaton had a sound base from which to push on. Their final total of 229-9 from 42 overs was always going to be a tough target and so it proved.

Woodlands lost early wickets and were soon deep in trouble at 68-6. Yorkshire’s Iain Wardlaw, the in-form Ian Wood and James Lee all picked up two wickets.

An interruption for rain didn’t help Cleckheaton’s bid to bowl Woodlands out. They also met with stern resistance from Grant Soames. The all rounder followed up his 4-46 with the ball, by making an unbeaten 46 as he cemented his position at the top of the league’s halfway batting averages

A second downpour brought an end to the game with Woodlands 126-8 and clinging on to their unbeaten record by a finger nail against a Cleckheaton side who had outplayed them throughout.

Saltaire’s groundstaff again worked wonders and their match against Lightcliffe at Roberts Park was the only one to start on time. Perhaps Saltaire’s officials wish they could exercise a similar control over the weather.

They looked poised for a much-needed third win of the season when a downpour washed out their game with Lightcliffe. Saltaire needed 40 runs from seven overs with seven wickets in hand when the rain came.

Nawaz Sardar (42no) and Fahid Rehman (39no) were looking well set in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 75 when play was abandoned. Opener Farhan Khan (33) had also made a solid contribution to Saltaire’s 142-3 as they replied to Lightcliffe’s 182-8.

Yorkshire batsman Alex Lees (70) and skipper Jonathan Wilson (43no) were the main contributors for Lightcliffe. Lees punctuated his innings with a six and nine fours. Skipper Ijaz Khan was the most successful Saltaire bowler with 3-45.

Amazingly on a day that was badly affected by the rain, there were three century opening partnership. The third of these came at Tofts Road where the Pudsey St Lawrence duo of Mark Robertshaw and Adam Waite shared a stand of 122 against Farsley.

Waite struck four sixes and five four as he made a fine 83, while skipper Robertshaw’s innings of 70 contained three sixes and seven fours. The good work of the openers saw St Lawrence reach 204-4 in 38 overs.

Last season’s Gordon Bowers Young Cricketer of the Year Joe Greaves signaled his return to form with 50 off just 35 balls with six sixes and a four. Farsley were 112-5 when play was abandoned.

The matches between Undercliffe and Hanging Heaton and East Bierley and Pudsey Congs were abandoned without a ball being bowled – along with all the Division Two programme.

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