Clitheroe earn routine victory

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Clitheroe scored another routine win with Salesbury the visitors on this latest occasion.

Janaka Gunaratne was the hero with 6-56 as Salesbury were dismissed for 171, before hitting an unbeaten 80 out of the home side’s 175-1.

Jack Dewhurst also hit 54 not out to keep the reigning champions out in front, 12 points clear of Great Harwood.

Looking back at the derby win, captain Paul Gaskell said: “It was relatively routine in the end, although early wickets can change things - and we lost Tom Lord early.

“But Jack and the pro did what we know they are capable of. We know Janaka is first class, and it was good for Jack as well - he’s struggled a little bit, but know what a good player he is and it was no surprise so see him bat so well.

“Young spinner Saud Ahmed also did well - he’s only 18, but he came in from the seconds for his debut and took four wickets.

“He’s played a few 20/20 games, but this was his first game for the first team, and he bowled well.

“We have a nice blend of youth and experience - Jack is still only 20, but seems to have been around for years.”

Gaskell is determined to maintain his side’s focus with nine games remaining, starting at Edenfield tomorrow: “We’ve just got to keep going, take it one game at a time.

“We’ve not lost yet, and Great Harwood have lost three games, but they haven’t had a game abandoned yet and are still only 12 points behind us.

“We can’t control the weather though, we just have to look after ourselves.

“Edenfield have a couple of dangerous players and if they get going, they can hurt us, but we have Josh Marquet and Graeme Kershaw back this weekend and we will be somewhere near full strength again.”

This weekend is the last before the senior division splits into section A and B, meaning all Clitheroe’s remaining fixtures will be against top flight sides.

However, as Gaskell explained: “On paper it should make for tougher games, but we’ve played everyone so far and have yet to lose.

“Anyone can beat anyone on their day, though - it can only take one man to fire and you can be in trouble, so we’ll take each game as it comes.”