Sowerby St Peter’s hosted a thrilling encounter as they faced off against Cullingworth in the Halifax Cricket League second division. The match lived up to its billing as a top-of-the-table clash, with both teams showcasing their skills in a closely contested battle. Ultimately, it was Sowerby St Peter’s who emerged victorious, thanks to a magnificent batting display and a stellar fifth-wicket partnership.

Having won the toss, Sowerby St Peter’s elected to bat first and set a challenging target for Cullingworth. The home team’s batsmen showed great resilience, posting a respectable total of 199 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in their allotted 45 overs. It was a collective effort from the Sowerby St Peter’s side, with seven players, along with extras, contributing with double-figure scores. James Bloodworth was once again instrumental with the ball, taking 4 wickets for 45 runs.

In response, Cullingworth displayed a calculated run chase, reaching the target with four overs to spare. The fifth-wicket partnership between Elliot Robinson, who remained unbeaten on 71, and Bilal Khalid, who scored 56, proved to be the deciding factor. Their 110-run stand steered Cullingworth to a thrilling victory, with the final score reaching 200 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. Jack Rice shone for Sowerby St Peter’s with the ball, taking 4 wickets for 57 runs.

The result of this match had implications on the league standings, as third-placed Queensbury capitalised on the top two teams’ clash. Queensbury emerged victorious in their home match against Stones, propelling them to joint top spot in the division. Batting first, Queensbury displayed a solid team performance, with eight of their batsmen reaching double-figure scores. Joseph Clough top-scored with a brilliant knock of 60 runs, contributing to a total of 229 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Ethan Pollard starred with the ball for Stones, taking 5 wickets for 69 runs.

Stones, in their chase, struggled to build significant partnerships and were bowled out for 179 runs. None of their batsmen managed to cross the thirties mark, as Joseph Clough continued his excellent form, claiming 4 wickets for 56 runs. Clough’s all-round contribution played a crucial role in Queensbury’s victory.

Meanwhile, Bridgeholme faced Oakworth in an exciting encounter. Javid Iqbal and Mohammed Asif anchored the Bridgeholme innings, scoring 78 and 74 runs, respectively, leading their team to a total of 251 runs before being bowled out. Jake Keslinke impressed with the ball for Oakworth, taking 4 wickets for 64 runs. However, Oakworth’s visit to Eastwood turned out to be a memorable one, thanks to Bradley Powell’s exceptional innings. Powell scored a career-best 156 not out off just 77 balls, including 14 fours and 15 sixes. Supported by Sam Nettleton, who remained unbeaten on 49, the duo formed an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 180 runs. Oakworth secured an emphatic victory, reaching a total of 257 runs for the loss of only 1 wicket.

Leymoor opted to bat first in their match against Outlane but struggled to put up a challenging total. Leymoor’s batsmen were dismissed for 138 runs in less than 29 overs. Anwar Shaukat (42) and Zeeshan Rahman (39) were the only batsmen who provided some resistance. Dominic Moorhouse starred with the ball for Leymoor, taking 5 wickets for 56 runs. In a remarkable turn of events, Leymoor chased down the target comfortably in just 20.4 overs. The early breakthroughs were provided by Ajmal Khan, who took 4 wickets for 38 runs, including four ducks. However, opener Eddie Raw’s unbeaten 44 and Joshua Moore’s 61 guided Leymoor to a seven-wicket victory, reaching 142 runs.

At Bradley & Colnebridge, Upper Hopton secured a dominant victory over the hosts. The match was a one-sided affair as Jack Stephenson wreaked havoc, taking 6 wickets for just 15 runs in his 10.2 overs. Bradley & Colnebridge were bowled out for a paltry 47 runs in 26.3 overs. Upper Hopton lost just one wicket in their chase, reaching the target of 48 runs in a mere 5.1 overs, winning by 9 wickets.

Finally, Augustinians showcased their batting prowess against Old Town. Muhammad Majid top-scored with 42 runs, supported by six of his teammates, as Augustinians posted a competitive total of 226 runs. Shaban Sagheer then took charge with the ball, claiming 6 wickets for 51 runs, as Old Town could only muster 173 runs in their reply. Augustinians secured the victory, moving them within 11 points of the top spot in the league.

The Halifax Cricket League second division witnessed some thrilling encounters as the competition heats up for the top positions. With several teams showcasing their skills and players delivering exceptional performances, the race for the title promises to be an exciting one in the coming weeks.