In a thrilling all-Bradford clash at home, First Division leaders Great Horton PC had a disastrous start against Clayton, losing their first five wickets for a mere 25 runs. Despite a slight improvement, only two players managed to reach double figures, and the team was left reeling at 74 all out after 25.4 overs. Mitesh Mistry wreaked havoc with the ball, taking an impressive 5-39 to inflict most of the early damage on Great Horton PC.
To everyone’s surprise, Clayton went on to achieve the division’s shock of the day. Despite losing five wickets, they reached a winning total of 78-5 in just the 22nd over, sealing an unexpected victory.
Meanwhile, the clash between the two teams trailing behind Great Horton PC took place at Warley, where Shelf Northowram HT paid a visit. The home team, Warley, was put in to bat and recorded one of their lowest all-out scores of the season, managing just 139 runs. Only skipper James Whitworth (58) made any significant impact against the formidable Hedge Top bowling attack led by Adam Ryszkowski (4-42) and Muhammad Zubair (4-46). In response, Hedge Top’s skipper Harry Talbot (64 not out) played a pivotal role and, along with Gurdev Singh (33), ensured victory for their team at 140-7. Despite Milton Greenwood’s commendable figures of 4-41, Hedge Top overtook Warley in the standings, securing the second-place position.
In another match, Greetland hosted Low Moor HT and was asked to bat first. Greetland posted a total of 141 all out, with only a couple of batters, including Shakeel Mahmood (42), making any significant contributions. Mark Stokes was the standout bowler for Low Moor HT, taking an impressive 5-52. In their chase, Low Moor HT faced a disastrous phase, losing six wickets for a mere 10 runs between 35-0 and 44-6. However, Matthew Jordan (39) initiated a revival, offering some hope. When Jordan was dismissed at 107-8, 35 runs were still needed for victory. Stokes (18) and Sunny Kumar (19 not out) stepped up to the challenge, guiding their team to a nail-biting win at 142-9. Adil Hanif, who earlier took 4-29 for Greetland, must have been left wondering how he ended up on the losing side.
In the match between bottom-ranked Mount and Southowram, Mount recorded the highest score of the day in the division, posting an impressive 219-9 at home. Despite being 130-7 at one stage, a remarkable 85-run partnership between Zahoor Munaf (50) and Ismail Mayat (45) propelled Mount to a competitive total. Ashley Johnson of Southowram was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 4-49.
Chasing Mount’s total, Southowram appeared to be in a strong position at 143-3, with Scott Moody (56) leading the charge. However, their batting line-up collapsed dramatically, losing the remaining seven wickets for just 30 runs, ultimately getting bowled out for 173. Mahmad Kayat, the second change bowler for Mount, played a crucial role in the team’s first win of the season, claiming excellent figures of 6-46.
Overall, Saturday’s First Division matches in the Halifax Cricket League showcased some exhilarating performances and unexpected results. Great Horton PC’s defeat against Clayton and Mount’s impressive victory against Southowram were the standout moments of the day, causing ripples in the league standings.