Twenty20 holders ease their way into the quarter-finals

Professional Fawad Alam in action for Clitheroe
Professional Fawad Alam in action for Clitheroe
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Defending Twenty20 champions Clitheroe slayed Accrington to keep their hopes of retaining their crown alive.

The holders won by seven wickets at Thorneyholme Road to qualify for the quarter-finals where they’ll take on Walsden on Friday night.

Jake Clarke top scored with a senior best 73 for the hosts, including six fours and three sixes, as Accrington closed on 144-5.

Clarke added 23 with Graeme Sneddon (18), 96 with professional Janith Liyanage (32) and 19 with Keiren Grimshaw (16). Clitheroe skipper Jack Dewhurst took 2-21.

However, a 107-run stand between Thomas Lord and professional Fawad Alam put Clitheroe well and truly in the driving seat.

Lord made a half-century from 38 balls, comprising eight boundaries, while the Pakistani paid man posted eight fours and two sixes in his knock of 63.

And they were just as impressive in their Lancashire League fixture against Enfield as captain Dewhurst made a run a ball 54 in his side’s eight wicket win.

Harry Lang also made an unbeaten 48 at Dill Hall Lane and professional Alam an unbeaten 21.

Enfield professional Shashrika Pussegolla hit an unbeaten 69 in his team’s 151-9, hitting five fours and three sixes.

But it was Alam who made Clitheroe’s job much easier in the chase in taking 5-48 beforehand, clean bowling Joseph Wrigley, L. Barker, Fergus Bailey, Sam Cook and F. Basharat.

Eli Smith added 2-33 on his Lancashire League debut while the ever reliable Sam Halstead claimed a couple of scalps at the expense of 23 runs.