Cleck turn heat on and melt firsts hearts
Lightcliffe were left stunned by a 1 wicket loss in a game they appeared to have had won for the majority of the 2nd innings. In a game reduced to 30 overs, Cleckheaton skipper John Wood opted to bowl first having called correctly.
Openers Chris Taylor and Alex Lees made a patient start against the bowling of Lee & Wardlaw. Just as Lees (19) appeared to be moving up the gears he was caught behind of the bowling of former Yorkshire team mate James Lee. Alex Stead and Taylor began to up the run rate before Taylor (27) gave keeper Nicholson his second victim, shortly afterwards Charlie Roebuck (3) was returning to the pavilion when he was run out following a good piece of fielding from Mahmood. Stead (21) was the fourth wicket to fall with the score on 80.
Overseas Suleman Khan (19) launched a few big hits before trying one to many and was caught on the boundary rope. When Andy Gorrod (14) was stumped Lightcliffe were 112 – 6. Skipper Jocky Wilson (17 not out) and Moin Ashraf (10 not out) enjoyed an unbeaten partnership of 25 to take Lightcliffe to a respectable score of 137 – 6.
The start of the second innings could not have been any better. John Wood (0) was dismissed in the first over when he caught by Mark Horne from the bowling of Greenwood. In the next over Yorkshire’s Moin Ashraf destroyed Jackson’s (0) wickets with a jaffer. Greenwood would not be outdone and he Mahmood stumped down the leg side. When Ashraf had Whitehurst caught at cover Cleckheaton had been reduced to 8 – 4. A brief partnership from Ian Nicholson and Lee took the score to 34. Ashraf then produced a devastating spell removing Nicholson, Lee and Robinson in the space of 4 balls.
Veteran Ian Wood had joined keeper Mally Nicholson in the middle and this is when the fight back began. Wood (16) was caught by Gorrod. Yorkshire’s Iain Wardlaw (21) then led a quick onslaught, hitting 3 huge sixes into the cow field before being caught off the bowling of Khan. With 40 runs still required for victory and the last pair at the wicket Lightcliffe were confident of victory. Nicholson though had other ideas and he lead his team to victory with a fine 56 not out. With 6 runs required from the last over both he and Deegan (8 not out) kept their nerve and took the game down to the last ball. 2 runs were required for victory and they scrambled the required runs to leave the Lightcliffe players watching their opponents celebrate an astonishing run chase.
Skipper Jocky Wilson said: "One word. Gutted."
Next week Lightcliffe travel to Pudsey St Lawrence on Saturday and then host Manningham Mills in the quarter final of the Priestley Cup.