BOWLING actions have been under the spotlight of crickets lawmakers for as long as the game has been played in an organised competitive manner, and a question mark over the legitimacy of one man’s action arose once again during Gomersal’s Bradford League Second Division game against Great Horton on Saturday.
Several of the home team queried the action of the Bradford side’s Mohammad Hanif, with one fan shouting “four overthrows” when a delivery beat the batsman, and his wicket keeper, on the way to the boundary.
The two umpires actually stopped the match after another delivery and held a mid-wicket consultation with the Great Horton captain and some of his players. Hanif was kept on, and subsequently dismissed Gomersal top-scorer Richard Gould (76).
But it was his only wicket and with new skipper Greg Pickles making 62 not out Gomersal eased home by eight wickets with six overs to spare.
Hartshead Moor were 15-run winners at home to Idle, Fahad ul-Haq (59) and Craig Field (51) doing the damage with the bat and skipper Will Smith (4-26) with the ball, but there was no joy for Spen Victoria as they lost by three wickets at Undercliffe despite a fine 5-57 return from Rob Warriner.
In the First Division Hanging Heaton recorded their first win of the season at bottom club Yeadon by a 113-run margin. After losing early wickets the Bennett Lane men owed much to middle order men Joe Fraser (66), former Yeadon man Ben Elvidge (58) and the hard-hitting David Stiff (54 not out), with a 23-ball half-century, as they closed on 235-8.
Yeadon never looked like matching that total and with John Carruthers picking up two wickets he now needs only six more to join a select band of 1,000 wicket-takers in the Bradford League.
Reigning champions Cleckheaton came unstuck at Pudsey St Lawrence as they went down by four wickets after mustering only 130 in their innings despite being 72-1 at one stage.
The contrasting fortunes of Cleckheaton and Hanging Heaton last week brings their derby clash at Moorend tomorrow (Sat) into sharp focus.
Hanging Heaton, for the second season running, have made a great start in the cups but their league form has been inconsistent and Cleckheaton skipper John Wood will be hoping last week’s defeat at Pudsey St Lawrence was just a blip.
East Bierley go to early season leaders Farsley, while in Division Two Gomersal will be hoping to follow up their success at home to Great Horton with more of the same at Windhill. Spen Victoria entertain Bankfoot, while Hartshead Moor are at home to leaders Keighley.