Batley hope to continue winning streak against Birstall in derby

Last year’s Championship winners Batley have shown a gradual improvement since the start of the season and they go into tomorrow’s derby at home to Birstall as clear favourites.

In their last game, at Hunslet Nelson, a fine 78 in the middle of the innings from Ayaz Seedat proved crucial in a modest total of 142 as the home side battled back from 47-7, Muhammed Shahnawaz taking 4-48, to 105 before Sardar Hassan Khan wrapped it up with 3-12 in 3.1 overs.

Birstall were swept away in their game at home to Wakefield Thornes at Leeds Road.

With four men failing to score, and only opening bowler Saif ur-Rehman (14) in double figures, Birstall were all out for 52 and Thornes knocked them off in 42 balls for the loss of just two wickets.

Ossett looked like making a challenge to the leading clubs in the opening weeks of the season, but their seven-wicket defeat at second-placed Townville leaves them in fifth place and 23 points behind leaders Methley.

It was a particularly disappointing result for skipper John Sadler after beating the same opponents the previous week.

Despite that setback Sadler will doubtless fancy his chances tomorrow (Sat) when they go to second bottom Buttershaw St Paul’s.

Buttershaw have lost four games in a row, collecting only one point in the process, and are six points adrift of third bottom Hunslet Nelson.

In their last game Buttershaw went down by eight wickets to Wrenthorpe. Only James Robson (33) and Ian Carradice (37) passed thirty in their 173 and that left Darryl Hendricks 88 not out and man of the match Jordan Sleightholme 5-25 and 71, to secure the win for Wrenthorpe.

It is still very close in the Championship with only six points separating the top five teams.

Hopton Mills and Azaad are joint leaders on 44 points after the latest fixtures saw Azaad beat Caribbean by 134 runs and Hopton Mills picked up only one point at Wakefield St Michaels.

A remarkable match at Northowram Fields saw the home side secure a one-wicket win over visiting Oulton thanks to a dogged 25 from Dewsbury Rams boss Glenn Morrison, a hugely important 52 from number nine Shakeel Mahmood and an unbelievable 32 wides from the Oulton bowlers.

Hopton Mills now go to Oulton, while Northowram are at second bottom East Ardsley and third-placed Liversedge are at joint leaders Azaad, with just three points between them.

In their winning draw at home to East Ardsley it was a fine century from Paul Sackley off 86 balls that secured a winning score of 214-5. However the Roberttown Lane men were denied maximum points when the visitors batted out their overs with only seven wickets down.

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