Hopton Mills claimed the leading position in the Bradford Cricket League Division Two after a convincing 57-run victory over previous leaders Bowling Old Lane on Saturday, 1st July 2023.

In a thrilling match, Chris Scott displayed an unbeaten innings of 71 runs, while Will Cutt contributed with a solid knock of 42, propelling Mills to a total of 196-9. Despite the efforts of Ahsan Alishan, who took 4 wickets for 70 runs, Mills managed to compile a challenging score. Bowling Old Lane was set a revised target of 199, according to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method, but fell short as they were bowled out for 141. Muhammad Yasir top-scored for Old Lane with 40 runs. Usman Maqsood (3-48) and Touseef Haider (3-25) were instrumental in securing victory for Mills.

With this win, Hopton Mills now boasts 172 points, positioning them three points ahead of Hartshead Moor, who defeated Hunslet Nelson by 22 runs in another match where a DLS target came into play.

Hartshead Moor set a formidable target of 243 after posting a score of 237-7. Skipper Chris Wynd led from the front, contributing 78 runs, while Tim Bresnan added 46 runs to the tally. Will Stiff of Hunslet Nelson picked up 3 wickets for 53 runs. Despite a spirited effort from Nelson, who managed to score 220 runs, they were unable to chase down the target. Alastair Finn played a remarkable innings, scoring a brisk 95 runs, and skipper Jack Scanlon (40) and Andy McIntosh (33) made valuable contributions. However, Conor Andrews (4-47), Josh Marsden (3-24), and Leo Manteit (3-13) shared the wickets, ultimately securing the win for Hartshead Moor.

In another match, Lightcliffe delivered an exceptional bowling performance to dismiss Heckmondwike & Carlinghow for a mere 77 runs. Andrew Walker (4-17) and Peter Dobson (4-25) wreaked havoc, ensuring that Heckmondwike fell well short of their revised target of 126 runs. Earlier, Lightcliffe had been bowled out for 123 runs, with opener Isaac Dikgale top-scoring with 45 runs. Muhammad Shahnawaz (4-33) and Surender Singh (4-24) were the pick of the bowlers for Heckmondwike.

Keighley bounced back from a recent defeat at the hands of Crossflatts by securing a six-wicket victory. An impressive opening partnership of 141 runs between Mohammad Shahnawaz (95) and Scott Etherington (83) helped Keighley chase down Crossflatts’ total of 251-9. Dominic Bennett (75), Josh Brooksbank (44), and Joe Hicks (31) were the standout performers for Crossflatts, while Wasim Hussain (3-54) was Keighley’s most successful bowler.

In the relegation battle, Buttershaw St Paul’s suffered a defeat against Liversedge, while Wrenthorpe faced a heavy 192-run loss against Northowram Fields.

Buttershaw St Paul’s struggled to score, managing only 139 runs before being bowled out. Quadratullah Azizi (4-55), Bryson Nicholls (3-21), and Parvaise Khan (3-52) shared the wickets for Liversedge. Liversedge chased down the target with four wickets in hand, with Khan contributing 39 runs.

Wrenthorpe’s plight at the bottom of the table continued as they were bowled out for a meagre 61 runs in pursuit of a DLS target of 254. Sam Gardner (4-22), Max Gardner (3-28), and Jacob Golling-Smith (3-3) wreaked havoc with the ball for Northowram Fields.

The total of 255-8 posted by Northowram Fields owed much to the efforts of skipper John Lister (73) and Louis Cockburn (41), who played vital roles in their team’s success.

With several teams vying for the top spot and battling relegation, the Bradford Cricket League Division Two promises to deliver more excitement and intense matches in the coming weeks.