BATLEY go into their All Rounder Bradford Premier League Championship A game against Hunslet Nelson tomorrow (Sat) in top spot and after seven games of the new season they are still unbeaten.
But, their success has come as no surprise to the 44-year-old former Multan and Rawalpindi batsman Tariq Mehboob.
Mehboob, a fixture in the Batley side in recent years, enjoyed a certain degree of success as a first class cricketer in his native Pakistan.
“I played in the same team as Waqar Younis, Inzamam Ul-Haq, and Aleem Dar, the umpire, at Multan,” he explained. “I even scored a century at The Oval, here in England against Surrey Seconds.”
In 35 matches he accumulated nearly 2,000 runs and hit four first class centuries so he is clearly a man who knows his cricket.
Talking to Tariq about his side’s success in Batley’s first Bradford League season, following their latest win at Liversedge, he said, adamantly: “It is no surprise to see us doing well. We have a very good team.
“There are a lot of good players here and we are confident we can win every time we go out to play.”
At Liversedge the early part of their innings saw 45 runs come from Aqeel Mukhtar, who is still registered as an overseas player despite living in England for two years, then Mehboob (38), Aqsad Ali (37) and Asif Ayub (64) help push the score on to 250 despite a 4-63 return from home skipper Stephen Lane.
Mark Hydes made 42 in the Liversedge reply but they were dismissed for just 114 in the face of some good bowling from Muhammed Shahnawaz (3-25) and Tariq Hussein (3-7), and must now regroup ahead of tomorrow’s visit from second-placed Undercliffe who are 21 points adrift of leaders Batley but with a game in hand.
Elsewhere in Championship A Liversedge have a free week, the result of Windhill’s late withdrawal from the league, while Ossett go to Yeadon and Birstall are at bottom club Idle.
In their last game Birstall lost by three wickets to Yeadon, skipper Craig Wood top-scored with 33 and took 4-42 to no avail, while Ossett had an eight-wicket win over Baildon as Khalid Usman hit 106 not out.
Gomersal stay third in Championship B despite losing by 97 runs in a bizarre encounter at second-placed Wrenthorpe.
Batting first, the home side slumped to 79-7 in the face of some good bowling from Jimmy Russell, 4-23, and Joel Pollard, 3-55, but a score of 100 not out from their number nine Jonathan Rudge swung the game decisively their way.
Tomorrow Gomersal entertain neighbours Spen Victoria hoping to return to winning form, but both sides will be desperate for points – albeit for very different reasons.
With only the champions of this division winning promotion Gomersal cannot afford to let current leaders Townville too far ahead, while Spen Vic find themselves uncomfortably close to the relegation zone.