Bradford Cricket League Division One: Waleed Akhtar, the opener for Cleckheaton, etched his name as the pioneer batsman to amass 1,000 runs this season. He achieved this feat by scoring 73 runs in his team’s resounding 143-run victory over the Morley team, which currently holds the third position.
Presently, Akhtar boasts an impressive tally of 1,015 runs. His squad requires a mere 18 points from their remaining quartet of matches to ensure a prompt return to the upper echelon of the league.
Displaying excellent form, Ethan Lee (64 not out) contributed significantly as Cleckheaton compiled a score of 247-6. This was achieved despite the determined efforts of Ali Usman (3-46). In reply, Morley stumbled to a total of 104, with Christian Silkstone (39), the opening batsman, being the highest scorer. Off-spinner Lachlan Doidge (5-24) showcased his best performance of the season, leading the bowling attack for the league leaders.
Undercliffe also enhanced their prospects of promotion with a 48-run triumph over Birstall. Zeeshan Qasim once again played a pivotal role in their success, contributing an undefeated 43 runs and returning bowling figures of 3-35.
The total amassed by Undercliffe was 143, which featured a contribution of 30 runs from Nick Smith. This might have appeared modest, but strong bowling displays by Andre Robertson (5-52) and Waqas Khan (3-26) kept the opposition in check. Birstall struggled in response and was bundled out for 95 runs, with spinner Jude Roberts securing 4-31.
East Bierley’s overseas fast bowler, Nisar Ahmad, exhibited his prowess against Sandal by recording the best figures of the season, an impressive 8-15. This extraordinary performance paved the way for a commanding 110-run victory for his team. Karl Hewitt’s knock of 38 was the sole standout among the Sandal batsmen, as they were dismissed for 121 runs while chasing East Bierley’s total of 231.
Contributions from Paul Martin (54), Hamza Saeed (50), and Ahmad (39) were pivotal for Bierley. The main threat was posed by Michael Carool (4-68) and Zaeem Zulfqar (3-65).
Australian-denominated player Fergus McKenna emerged as the match-winner for Gomersal, propelling them to an eight-wicket triumph over Yeadon. McKenna showcased his dual skills by capturing 6-34 in the bowling department and crafting an unbeaten 70 runs with the bat. This elevated his season’s run tally to 947. Graham Hilton (34) and Richard Wear (33) provided valuable support with the bat, while Gareth Lee (51) and Gulsheraz Ahmed (33) were the standout performers for the Yeadon team.
Regrettably, East Ardsley’s aspirations to evade relegation faced yet another setback, as they succumbed to an eight-wicket loss against Carlton, being bowled out for a mere 90 runs. James Van Der Merwe’s unbeaten 31 runs remained a solitary bright spot, as Islam Hayyat’s efforts yielded 3-3. In response, Farrukh Alam’s knock of 38 guided Carlton to a comfortable victory.