Siddique absence not felt as leaders Clitheroe maintain charge

Josh Marquet, pictured bowling at Read's Kyle O'Connor, took 6-31 for Clitheroe against Great Harwood on Sunday
Josh Marquet, pictured bowling at Read's Kyle O'Connor, took 6-31 for Clitheroe against Great Harwood on Sunday

Ribblesdale Senior League leaders Clitheroe came up trumps when they sought out replacements for professional Kashif Siddique last weekend.

With their paid man back in Pakistan for a Twenty20 competition, Clitheroe signed up compatriot Tanwir Afzal for their game at Euxton, and Craig Thyssen for the trip to Great Harwood.

And both substitutes produced the goods as Clitheroe moved inexorably towards the title.

Afzal claimed 9-46 from 20.3 overs as Euxton were dismissed for 147 at Balshaw Park.

He even had a hand in the 10th wicket, responsible for the run out of opener Craig Millward for two.

Clitheroe were coasting in their reply at 124-2 after solid knocks by Paul Turner (33) and Farooq Butt (39).

But the visitors lost their next five wickets for 14 runs before scraping home with five overs to spare.

Twenty four hours later it was former pro Thyssen’s turn as the South African hit an unbeaten 124 out of 235-3 at Great Harwood.

Josh Marquet then returned figures of 6-31 at Harwood were dismissed for 122.

Clitheroe hold a 35-point lead over second placed Barnoldswick, who also enjoyed back to back wins over lowly Padiham and Euxton.

Whalley lost to Earby by nine wickets after being dismissed for just 80, with former Earby professional Simon Gorton making 21.

However, that was a massive total compared to Salesbury’s effort against fourth-placed Edenfield.

Liam Bones took 5-12 as the home team were skittled for only 38. Edenfield passed their target without losing a wicket.

On Sunday, Whalley recovered to beat Baxenden having been all out for 132, David Howard taking 5-21 as Bash were dismissed for just 75.

Salesbury beat Baxenden the day before, Mudasser Panchbhaya hitting 77 and Susantha Pradeep 63 in a tally of 199-4, before Baxenden fell 13 runs short - Pradeep and Edward Foster taking five wickets each.

Ribblesdale Wanderers lost to Brooksbottom by six wickets in a dress rehersal of the Ramsbottom Cup Final , having been all out for 123, with openers John Rain (33) and Ben Dougall (37) top-scoring.

Ian Britcliffe took 3-52 in vain in the league newcomers’ reply.

The following day, Dougall crashed 101 off 129 balls - moving to 797 runs for the season - in a 48-run win over Oswaldtwistle Immanuel.

Britcliffe was again in the wickets, taking 4-53, while Mark Thompson chipped in with 3-23.

On Saturday, Clitheroe travel to Settle, Read are in derby action at Salesbury, Ribblesdale Wanderers host Earby, while Whalley are at home to Edenfield, wickets pitched at 1-30 p.m.