In a surprising turn of events, Jer Lane Cricket Club delivered the biggest upset of the season as they defeated league leaders Woodlands by a narrow two-run margin in a thrilling encounter at Park Avenue. The match, which witnessed fluctuating fortunes for both teams, saw the champions’ unbeaten start to the season come to an end.
The victory, however, was marred by a concerning incident involving Woodlands player Chris Brice. Brice sustained a knee injury while attempting a big hit in the final ball of the 49th over. As he twisted, he damaged his knee and had to be helped off the field. Brice had been partnering with wicketkeeper Greg Finn, and their 27-run partnership for the ninth wicket had given Woodlands a glimmer of hope.
Woodlands required four runs to surpass Jer Lane’s total of 235-6 when the incident occurred. Finn, unable to score off the first ball of Shahzada Khan’s final over, managed a single, bringing last man Joel Beaumont to the crease. However, Beaumont was trapped lbw, and Woodlands were all out for 233, falling agonisingly short of the target.
Kyme Tahirkheli and overseas player Israr Ullah emerged as the standout performers for Jer Lane. Tahirkheli, continuing his recent good form, smashed seven sixes en route to a top score of 94. Adal Islam (40) and Cosmond Walters (33) also made valuable contributions to the team’s total. Brad Schmulian proved to be the most successful bowler for Woodlands, finishing with figures of 3-50.
In Woodlands’ innings, Schmulian (56), Finn (52 not out), Kieran Collins (33), and Tim Jackson led the charge. However, Jer Lane remained disciplined in their bowling attack, with Israr Ullah being the key player, taking 3-26 from 15 economical overs.
With this victory, Jer Lane has dealt a blow to Woodlands’ lead in the Premier Division, cutting it to 10 points. Woodlands will have an opportunity for revenge as they face Jer Lane once again in the Gordon Rigg Priestley Cup at Albert Terrace on Sunday.
In other matches, New Farnley secured an emphatic 154-run win against Pudsey Congs, Townville registered their sixth win of the season with a two-wicket victory over Bankfoot, and Ossett emerged victorious over Pudsey St Lawrence, winning by 36 runs. Methley clinched a 29-run win over Hanging Heaton, and Bradford & Bingley overcame Farsley by three wickets in a closely fought contest.
The Premier Division continues to provide thrilling encounters as teams battle for supremacy in the league.