Hanging Heaton can’t prosper as rain closes in

Hanging Heaton can’t prosper as rain closes in

Hanging Heaton CC go to East Bierley tomorrow (Sat) reflecting on the disappointment of just an eight-point haul from their abandoned First Division Bradford League game at New Farnley.

Nick Connolly was out without scoring and skipper Gary Fellows made just 21, but a fourth-wicket stand of 172 between Ben Elvidge (111) and Ian Philliskirk (97) guaranteed maximum batting points before former Hanging Heaton skipper Mark Lawson helped his side to maximum bowling points with a 6-62 return.

Lawson opened the bowling with his leg spin and he was backed up with a wicket from 37-year-old off-spinner James Middlebrook, who promptly found himself called up by Yorkshire for their game against Warwickshire and took 5-82.

This included his 50th wicket for Yorkshire – 14 years after taking his 49th!

New Farnley made 53-1 before the rain, but with Hanging Heaton hitting 300 in 48 overs East Bierley would doubtless love to have paceman Mohammed Azharullah back in their ranks.

Three years ago Azharullah was the leading wicket-taker for Bierley but the Pakistani-born bowler is now playing county cricket for Northamptonshire.

The Bradford League has long served as an unofficial feeder system for county cricket and has provided the opportunity for players moving in the other direction to share their experience to the benefit of the younger players coming through.

Reigning champions Cleckheaton, for example, have benefitted enormously from the captaincy of former Durham and Lancashire bowler John Wood.

He originally went to Durham after spells with Hanging Heaton and Spen Victoria – before returning to Bradford League cricket and steering the Moorenders to the most successful era in their history.

After a disastrous opening day at Bingley, the rain spoiled what was otherwise looking to be a superb day for Cleckheaton in their game, at home to Pudsey Congs, as Andy Gorrod (103) and Tim Jackson (109) put on 213 for the first wicket.

Weather permitting a first win of the season could be on the cards tomorrow when they make the short journey up the A58 to Lightcliffe.

While clubs across the board were cursing the weather for wrecking chances of victory, Gomersal were cursing the fact that the rain held off at Scholes, where the league newcomers managed to record the only win of the day, in two divisions, when they beat Gomersal by 111 runs to take maximum points.

A brilliant 128 off only 81 balls from Hasnain Abbas, which included 16 fours and 7 sixes, proved Gomersal’s undoing after James Russell had made early inroads with the ball. Chasing a Scholes total of 265-7 Gomersal were all out 154 in reply.

Next up for Scholes is a trip to Idle while Gomersal entertain Yeadon, Spen Victoria are at Bowling Old Lane and Hartshead Moor are at Windhill.

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