Sub-professional returns to haunt league leaders Clitheroe

Joey Marshall's half-century for Read proved in vain as they went down against Salesbury
Joey Marshall's half-century for Read proved in vain as they went down against Salesbury

A week after taking nine wickets for Clitheroe, Tanwir Afzal hit a century against them to throw the Holdsworth Ribblesdale League title race wide open again.

This time the Pakistani all-rounder earned his money as Settle’s paid man, making 116 out of the home side’s 286 all out.

Tom Davidson fell six runs short of his own ton, while Josh Marquet claimed 7-92 from 14 overs for the visitors.

Opener and professional Kashif Siddique, back in the fold after returning to Pakistan for a Twenty20 competition, hit 63 in the run chase, before becoming one of Dickon Morris’s three victims.

Wickets fell frequently and Clitheroe eventually finished 100 runs short, slumping to only their second defeat of the campaign.

Champions Barnoldswick made the most of Clitheroe’s rare slip by completing a 55-run win at Brooksbottom.

But Read’s patchy form of late saw them lose further ground due to a two wicket defeat at Salesbury.

Joey Marshall (50) and Mohammad Jamal (52) hit half centuries for the visitors as they reached 212-5 in their innings.

However, they had no one to match Salesbury professional Susantha Pradeep’s superb batsmanship.

Pradeep made an unbeaten 110 out of a winning total of 215, as Jon Harvey took 5-83 for Read.

Ribblesdale Wanderers repeated their Ramsbottom Cup semi-final victory against Earby, edging home by just five runs.

Wanderers made 216-9, as Ben Dougall (61) and Brannon Varley (52) found the conditions to their liking.

But Earby closed in on the target, as professional Fahid Rehman hit 86.

Their run chase ultimately fell just short though, all out for 211.

Whalley enjoyed a more comfortable margin of victory against Edenfield, winning by 39 runs.

The locals totalled 201-5, with Saurabh Bandekar crashing an unbeaten 118.

And Dave Howard impressed with the ball in Edenfield’s reply, taking 6-73 as the Ramsbottom side closed on 162-9, with Andy Parkins left unbeaten on 50.

In the league on Saturday, Read travel to face Cherry Tree, while Clitheroe look to take another stride towards the title with a home derby against Whalley.

Ribblesdale Wanderers make the trip to Edenfield, and Salesbury make their first trip to newcomers Euxton.

Wickets are pitched at 1-30 p.m. as usual.

• The Ribblesdale League’s Twenty20 competition reaches finals day on Sunday, at Clitheroe’s Chatburn Road ground.

Padiham will play Salesburyat 10 a.m. in the first semi-final, before Clitheroe take on Edenfield.

The winners will meet in the final at 4 p.m.