Super ‘Saffy’ stars for Woodlands

Sarfraz Ahmed, in action for Woodlands against Cleckheaton on Saturday, smashed 75 from 36 balls on Monday.
Sarfraz Ahmed, in action for Woodlands against Cleckheaton on Saturday, smashed 75 from 36 balls on Monday.

Woodlands overseas star Sarfraz Ahmed produced another display of powerful hitting to set up victory against Farsley on Bank Holiday Monday.

Sarfraz is in his 15th consecutive year as Woodlands’ overseas player and during that time the all-rounder has terrorised many JCT600 Bradford League bowlers.

Woodlands were staring down the barrel having been reduced to 53-8, with Jack Hendy picking up six wickets in his best Bradford League bowling figures.

Ahmed entered the fray and transformed the game with a furious 75 from just 36 balls which included seven sixes and seven fours.

‘Saffy’ dominated a vital ninth-wicket stand of 99 with Chris Brice, who finished 26 not out as Woodlands were bowled out for 172.

Captain Pieter Swanepoel then ripped through the Farsley batting line-up, claiming 7-16 as they were dismissed for just 45 to lose by 127 runs and remain second-bottom.

Cleckheaton were unable to build on Saturday’s win over Woodlands as they slipped to a 61-run defeat against another of their local rivals, East Bierley, in the Bank Holiday derby.

Opener James Ford hit three sixes and 11 fours in a terrific knock of 102 as East Bierley were bowled out for 231 from the final ball of their innings.

Gavin Hamilton (29) shared a 52-run opening wicket stand with Ford, while Daniel Shuffe made 34 late on to boost the Bierley total, in the face of some fine bowling from paceman Curtis Free (6-57).

Fellow opening bowler Iain Wardlaw chipped in with 3-65 for Cleckheaton.

Ian Nicholson (46) top scored in Cleckheaton’s reply but although Andrew Gorrod (29), Mally Nicholson (24) and Tanzeel Altaf (23) also chipped in the champions were bowled out for 171.

They had little answer to Bierley’s overseas spinner Haziq Tareen as he claimed 7-42 from 8.2 overs to set up the win.

There was an exciting finish to the game at Hanging Heaton, where Bradford and Bingley earned a three-wicket win with two balls to spare.

Although Gary Fellows made 30 at the top of the Heaton innings, they were reduced to 73-5 before Ben Elvidge rescued them with 76, including three sixes and eight fours.

Oliver Newton (30) supported after being promoted from the second team, while David Stiff hit three sixes in a brisk knock of 46 as Heaton closed on 232-8.

Chris Thompson (44), David Clow (42), Ryan Cooper (37) and Patrick Dixon (33) helped edge Bingley towards their target, while Dan Busfield (3-73) and Ian Philkiskirk (2-39) kept Heaton in the game.

Bingley required nine to win from the final over but Billy Cookson hit Philliskirk’s first ball for six and the visitors won with two balls to spare to move third ion the table.

Pudsey St Lawrence are 24 points clear of second placed Woodlands at the top of the table following two victories over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Lawrence overcame Farsley by 144 runs last Saturday and followed up with a 112-run derby victory over Pudsey Congs on Monday and they have won six matches and only seen one game abandoned.