Ashraf ton keeps Clitheroe on track

Naeem Ashraf
Naeem Ashraf

Naeem Ashraf produced a brilliant innings of 113 not out to protect Clitheroe’s unbeaten record in the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League.

Ashraf, running out of overs and partners, smashed three sixes towards the end to give the leaders a thrilling one-wicket win at Earby.

Earby skipper Richard Craddock won the toss and chose to bat on a hard, flat track, and Matt Wilson and Chris Walton put on 87 in just over 15 overs before professional Janaka Guneratne had Wilson caught and bowled for 39.

Walton was caught off Guneratne for 55 at 122, and Andrew Jaggers and Matt Haines fell cheaply before Craddock, along with professional Dave Crotty, took the score over the 200 mark.

Craddock went in the penultimate over, leaving Lee Parkinson and Crotty to finish off the innings on 213-5, Crotty on 56 not out. Guneratne took 4-59 off 16 overs.

In reply, Craddock bowled superbly, taking six wickets to leave Clitheroe at 136-8.

Ashraf and Graeme Kershaw took the score to 185, before the latter was stumped with Clitheroe needing 29.

Ashraf launched into Craddock’s 22nd over and hit three sixes to win the game, the final strike just brushing the fingers of Matt Wilson fielding on the edge.

Craddock ended with 7-92.

Clitheroe followed up with a 32-run success over Padiham and now head the table by 17 points ahead of their home game with Oswaldtwistle Immanuel on Saturday.