Tom Clee plays key role as Woodlands double up while Yousaf Baber stars in first win for Cleckheaton

Tom Clee came up with two valuable contributions as Woodlands enjoyed double success in the Premier Division of the Gordon Rigg Bradford League.

By Tony Harber
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 2:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 3:01 pm

It was a double header weekend in the division with top flight games on Saturday and Sunday and the reigning champions made the most of it with victories that have lifted them to second place.

Clee hit an unbeaten 50 to produce his second important contribution of the weekend to guide Woodlands to a six-wicket win over early season pacesetters Methley.

Tim Jackson also made 50 while Sam Frankland contributed 37 as Methley’s total of 178 was overhauled.

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Brad Schmulian took four wickets for Woodlands in their win over Methley.

Former Woodlands player Jordan Laban top scored with 62 for the visitors while Brad Schmulian led the champs’ attack with 4-46.

A day earlier Woodlands survived a scare before getting home for a three-wicket win at Batley.

It all looked straight forward as they bowled Batley out for 102 at Mount Pleasant, but the hosts hit back in the field to reduce their opponents to 72-7 with Raza Hassan (4-38) and Yasir Ali (3-26) threatening to pull off a victory that had looked unlikely at half-way.

However, Clee (21no) came to the rescue with a vital knock that steered Woodlands to their target.

Only Yasir Ali (36no) and Nikash Khan (32) reached double figures when Batley batted first against an attack well led by Muhammad Bilal (6-35).

Batley are still searching for a first league win after they also went down by six wickets to in-form Townville.

Anwar Ul-Haq (43), Kasir Maroof (37) and Mohammad Bhoola (31) battled hard, but Batley’s total of 192-9 was not enough to hold off the Castleford side.

Harry Clewett’s unbeaten 70 and Jonny Booth’s 39 ensured that Townville reached their target with 9.5 overs to spare. Yasir Ali was the best of the Batley bowlers with 3-64.

Cleckheaton did come up with their first Premier win of the season as overseas player Yousaf Baber led the way with an unbeaten 147 as they beat Bradford & Bingley by 36 runs.

The Moorend side remain in the bottom two, but only by virtue of an inferior run rate to Hanging Heaton who also have 49 points.

Baber blasted two sixes and 16 fours as he helped his team to post their highest total of the season in making 265-3.

He put on 119 for the third wicket with Richard Pyrah (41) and shared an unbroken 124-run stand with skipper Michael Nicholson (53no).

Bradford & Bingley captain Ed Brown (82) and Australian Corey Miller (54) led the home side’s reply, but they fell short at 229 after coming up against some good bowling from Iain Wardlaw (5-41).

In Saturday’s game Cleckheaton went down by three wickets to Townville.

Conor Harvey took a hat-trick for the Castleford team to trigger a dramatic Cleckheaton collapse that saw them lose their last seven wickets for 10 runs to be all out for 172. They had looked set for a good score with Kris Ward hitting 90 until he was the first of Harvey’s hat-trick victims. Nicholson (35) was the second before Wardlaw was given out lbw to the third ball.

Townville also suffered a collapse in their reply as Hashim Wajid (4-44) caused them a few nervous moments, but they got home in the 42nd over.

Hanging Heaton went down by 141 runs to Farsley after finding themselves chasing a big first innings score of 307-7.

Opener Chris Beech (84) led the way with Callum Geldart the most successful bowler with 3-61.

Tom Lindsay looked to lead the Heaton reply, smashing five sixes and eight fours in a knock of 81, but he found support hard to come by as they were all out for 166.

Hanging Heaton were undone by an old boy as they lost to Ossett by 18 runs on Saturday.

Nick Connolly left Heaton to skipper Ossett this year and has been in great form. He made his second century in successive games as his 111 included 17 fours and helped his new team reach 260-5.

Heaton were reduced to 8-2 at the start of their reply, but a stand of 151 for the third wicket kept them in the hunt as Adam Patel hit six sixes and five fours in his 84 and Geldart contributed 66.

Callum Bethel (39) tried to keep the good work going, but wickets fell around him and they were all out for 242.