BATLEY climbed to the top of the Bradford League Championship One with a 59-run win over Hartshead Moor last weekend.
Their hopes of making a return to Premier Division cricket remain high after establishing a seven-point advantage over previous leaders Bankfoot.
Tariq Hussain took 5-28 to bowl out Moor for 117, but there were some key contributions elsewhere as dogged batting displays from Mohammed Bhoola (37 not out) and Sufyan Patel (42) helped post a defendable 176 for nine in their 46 overs.
Although it was Hussain who took the bulk of the plaudits, Bhoola’s contribution should not be overlooked as he was instrumental in effecting two of the three run-outs in the Hartshead Moor innings.
Having hit the top for the first time this season, they are now looking to hold on to their advantage when bottom club Scholes visit Mount Pleasant tomorrow (Saturday).
With only one win all season Scholes look unlikely to get the better of things in this clash but, with a 50-point gap between them and the safety of third-bottom spot, something has to change quickly if they are to avoid a second successive relegation.
Although Scholes were beaten by 106 runs in their last game, against Baildon, there were crucial wins for Gomersal, over Keighley, and Ossett, against East Bierley, as the battle to avoid that second bottom spot hots up.
Gomersal owed much to Jon Boynton for their win, with 58 crucial runs and a wicket, but it was Chris Greenwood (4-34) and Chris Rhodes (4-21) who completed the job.
Skipper Richard Wear will surely be looking for more of the same when second bottom Wakefield St Michaels visit Oxford Road tomorrow.
St Michaels are only 15 points behind Wear’s men so he will not want to see his side slip up now. Both St Michaels and Ossett, who play at Bankfoot, will leapfrog Gomersal should they win.