Cleckheaton defeat Batley to boost hopes of survival

Batleys Muhammad Shahnawaz appeals for an lbw decision against Cleckheaton captain John Wood.
Batleys Muhammad Shahnawaz appeals for an lbw decision against Cleckheaton captain John Wood.

CLECKHEATON gained a crucial 45-run win over fellow strugglers Batley as they moved out of the All Rounder Bradford Premier League relegation zone at the expense of their opponents last Saturday.

Cleckheaton’s fragile batting again looked in danger when they were reduced to 86-4, with captain John Wood (39) the only one of the top order to make a decent start.

Wicketkeeper Mally Nicholson (41) showed resolve and helped Cleckheaton post a total of 201 all out in 47.5 overs.

Muhammad Shahnawaz (4-44) and Muhammad Hafeez (3-58) were the best of the bowlers for Batley.

Captain Wood took control of the reply, opting to open the bowling and he produced an impressive spell of 4-18.

Muhammad Khan battled for his 54 but Sam Wilson (3-54) helped bowl out Batley for 156 as Cleck jumped above their opponents.

Cleckheaton are now two points above Batley and just three behind East Bierley, with Pudsey Congs now 15 points adrift at the foot of the table following a 74-run defeat to Townville.

Heavy morning rain saw a delayed start and the match was reduced to 45 overs each and the visitors made good progress when they batted first.

Brayden Clark struck a maiden Bradford League century following his close season move from South Kirkby Colliery.

He struck an unbeaten 100, hitting four sixes and eight fours in his 89-ball stay at the crease.

Opener Jonathan Booth made a solid 50 while captain Nick Bresnan made a brisk 35no to nudge the total up to 232-4.

Congs found the going tough against Townville spinner Jack Hughes (6-41) as they were reduced to 76-7.

Jonathan Donnelly finally offered some resistance, coming in at number eight.

Donnelly made an unbeaten 55, from 60 balls, including seven fours and two sixes.

Congs at least picked up two batting points, to go with the two bowling points they earned earlier, but they finished on 158-8 and have slipped further behind their relegation rivals.