Howzat Howarth.....3rds move to Top Spot
The historic official opening of "The Ian Morrall Ground" at Wagon Lane, preceded a great cricketing day for Bradford & Bingley Senior teams. All 3 senior sides recorded victories and the 3rd team's victory over Haworth II resulted in the Wagon Lane side moving to the top spot in Craven League Division 4.
The 3rd team were again deprived of the services of 3 main strike bowlers to either injury or playing with the 2nd team, but the depth of talent in the junior section meant the team wasn't weakened by the 3 replacements. Only a dry but overcast afternoon B&B captain Dave Critchlow won the toss and elected to field first, a decision that seemed to have back-fired as the Haworth openers rode their luck in the opening 20 overs but managed to pass 50 without any loss.
Youngester James Baxter again bowled well but without success and it wasn't until the final ball before the drinks interval that B&B got a break-through. Tariq Qureshi managed to find a way past the bat and knocked the off stump back, but it was still a good half-way score of 67-1 off 23 overs for the visitors. The 2nd session however was a different story with opener B.Bright soon walking back to the new changing rooms with 45 runs to his name and another victim for Tariq. Now that Tariq has found his right line and length he quickly turned the game around and had another "five-for" to his name. Skipper Dave Critchlow soon got in the wickets too and finished with 3-25 whilst Tariq ended with 6-30. Howarth had capitulated from 67 without loss to 87 all out.
Tea was then taken in the new facilities aptly adorned with Union Jacks for the Diamond Jubilee weekend, and the spread put on by Sue & Rowy was indeed fit for royalty.
As the B&B openers, Ben Chrispin & Tariq, set off on the run chase they knew the target of 88 could have been a lot higher. Effortlessly moving to 35 without loss within the first 12 overs things were going well for the home side. However a wild, rash swing of the bat by Ben saw his wickets shattered and the next ball Rick Foulder was on his way back out first ball. Runs continued to flow relatively easily with Tariq, Dean Naidoo and Dave Critchlow all reaching double figures before becoming victims of opening Haworth bowler Derek Bright. Another solid batting performance from Lawrence Davis saw him hit the winning boundary and finished with 12 not out. A victory by 5 wickets.
With Wilsden II suffering their first loss of the season, to Airedale II, it was enough to take B&B III to the top of the league and sets up a potentially explosive game next week when the Wilsden side visit Wagon Lane.