Bankfoot’s talismanic all-rounder James Lee is enjoying the challenge presented by the new League Cup competition.
He said: “I think the competition that the league has set up, given the circumstances, has been fantastic, and that has shown in the performances we have seen in the first couple of weeks of the season.
“I think the call to change the format slightly was the correct one given the slight delays required to do our best to keep everyone safe. It has worked very well from what I have seen."
Lee is keen that the performances aren’t airbrushed from the league history. He added: “I feel to turn around at the end of the season and say to Jonny Booth, his hundred doesn’t count as a Bradford League hundred, and to Sam Wisniewski, that his hat-trick doesn’t count as a Bradford league hat-trick is wrong, we should want to recognise these quality performance.”
League Communications & Data officer Alan Birkinshaw said: “Just like any of our cup competitions the records and individual performances are being recorded and will be shown as a separate section on the website.
“The performances are constantly recorded and updated on Play Cricket and will be retained on the database forever. You can filter the information to see the top batsmen, bowlers, wicketkeepers and fielders.
“What we will not be doing is adding the performances to the existing 50 over league records which is in line with the way we keep our other cup competitions separate.”
Players wishing to look at the latest statistics can view them at https://bradfordcl.play-cricket.com/Statistics
Premier Division Cup West
Toby Booth has been in good form for Cleckheaton Picture: Ray Spencer
Cleckheaton are now struggling in their pursuit of the Gordon Rigg Premier Division Cup after being decisively beaten by Bradford & Bingley, in their second defeat of the season.
New signings Toby Booth (70) and Kris Ward (60), were both fluent stroke-makers in their respective innings, but needed better support from others to carry sufficient momentum to test Bradford & Bingley.
They will need to beat Pudsey St Lawrence this weekend to have any chance of qualifying for the group final.
The Saints romped to an eight-wicket victory over Morley, with young spinners. Archie Scott (5-31) and Jude Roberts (3-26) ensuring a small run chase.
Morley will not find it any easier against New Farnley, who had 16-year-old off spinner Lewis Lomax on form last week, taking 5-20 as Wrenthorpe were skittled, New Farnley were guided to their small victory target by Steve Bullen who made an unbeaten 51, his second half century in successive games.
Premier Division Cup East
Townville were brought down to earth with a bang after beating Hanging Heaton in a run feast the previous week. Conor Harvey was proved to be right in his interview last week when he described Batley as a dangerous side to play.
Opener Jonny Booth continued his fine start to the season with 62, helped by Muhammad Bilal who contributed 40. However, the final score of 200-8 proved to be slightly under par as Batley just about prevailed.
This weekend, Townville play at home to a Methley side that have lost both their opening fixtures.
Batley’s stunning defeat of Townville marks them out as one of the early frontrunners, as they took the early lead of the East Section of the Gordon Rigg Premier Division Cup.
Mohammed Bhoola took 10 runs from the first four balls of the final over from on-loan Muhammad Bilal to crown a rousing recovery from 76-5 to overhaul Townville’s 200-8.
Bhoola (48no), Imran Mahboob (44 runs) and Adnan Mahmood (37no) were the batters who turned the game in Batley’s favour.
This week they will fancy their chances against Wrenthorpe who capitulated to New Farnley.
Hanging Heaton has got back on track in a vengeance after making short work of Methley.
Sam Drury enjoyed a remarkable debut match as he took 4-19, before following up with an impressive 83 as Hanging Heaton stormed to victory by eight wickets.
This week they are at home to Bradford & Bingley, who chased down Cleckheaton’s 206-7 with just two wickets down. New signing Charlie Davy (75no), Patrick Dixon (49) and Ed Brown (40no) saw them to their target with 15 balls to spare.
Charlie Davy led the way for Bradford & Bingley against Cleckheaton. Picture: Ray Spencer
Division One CupWest
Baildon and Pudsey Congs, who clash at Jenny Lane, both won their games last week by one wicket with one ball to spare.
Congs have now won both their opening games by one wicket and are the early leaders of the West Section with 33 points.
Last man Jamie Allen scrambled a single to edge his side past Bankfoot’s total of 132 all out. Congs’ hopes of victory were less than hopeful when they slipped to 13-3, but an unbeaten 28 from Ryan Heptinstall proved vital.
Young left-arm spinner Sam Wisniewski took a hat-trick for the Congs and finished with an impressive haul of 4-31.
Baildon also had a young prospect that delivered last week; Sam Kelly took 4-45 and also scrambled the single from the fifth ball of the final over that sealed his side’s victory over Keighley.
Bankfoot need to beat Hartshead Moor to get back on track for a final appearance. Skipper James Lee, who scored 61 not out, will need more support with the bat.
Hartshead Moor was valiant in defeat against pacesetters Carlton with Craig Field hitting 81 and Joe Wood contributing 43.
Bankfoot’s captain Lee is really looking forward to the clash: “We’ve had some great tussles with them over the last few years and the side playing at home has tended to come out on top, so hopefully that holds true again this weekend.
“I consider us to be a strong bowling side and that has held true in our first two game. But, we have only batted well in one game, and we are trying hard as a batting group to continue to improve our consistency. We will use these games as a platform for that purpose for next season- so fingers crossed our batting fires again on Saturday.”
Division One Cup East
Ossett were bang in form last week, defeating Gomersal by 118-runs.
Harvey Anderson (45) and Joe Finnigan (43) helped Ossett to make 206-9, while Dan Busfield and Max Chappell with four wickets apiece bowled out Gomersal for 88.
Ossett have an attractive looking home fixture with Birstall, who lost to East Bierley, despite good knocks from Rob McFarlane (42), Nick Kaye (38), and Graeme Winn who hit 64 from 37 balls.
Carlton are really setting the pace in the East Section and will be favourites to win their away clash with Gomersal.
Daniel Ford and Farouk Alam, who both hit centuries in their opening day win over Birstall, were in good form again. Alam made 75 and Ford (69) as they shared a third wicket stand of 136 which helped take Carlton to a winning total of 225-5 against Hartshead Moor.
Farrouk Alam has proved to be a big hit for Carlton this season. Picture: Ray Spencer
East Bierley, who are two points behind Carlton, are enjoying a renaissance season after a shrewd recruiting campaign.
Their hero last week was Paul Martin who smashed six sixes and 10 fours as he hit an unbeaten 99 from just 56 balls in the successful pursuit of Birstall’s 245-7.
Opener Matthew West followed up his debut century with a knock of 59 which set the tempo for the East Bierley reply.
This week they face a Keighley side that had the invaluable services of veteran Richard Robinson in their narrow defeat at Baildon.
Division Two CupWest
Now that Jer Lane has added the off-spin guile of Kez Ahmed from Woodlands to their squad, they have shown a clear intent to win the Division Two Cup.
However, despite going top last week, they were unconvincing one-wicket winners over Northowram Fields who only scored 131.
Jer Lane were thankful for Farakh Hussain’s 50 from just 19 balls, and Kez Ahmed’s patient 34 not out to get home. Hussain hit seven sixes and a four as his side scored 63 in 4.3 overs, but once he departed things became tougher for his side.
Hussain will be hoping for more runs when Jer Lane visits his old club Bowling Old Lane.
Scholes are struggling and will find Northowram Fields a tough nut to crack. Skipper Craig Wood led by example last week scoring 78 in their loss to Sandal, and will be looking for more support.
Division Two Cup East
The obvious match of the day in this section is between Sandal and Spen Victoria who are setting the pace with two wins out of two. Sandal, who defeated Scholes by three wickets, leads the table by two points.
Abid Awain took 4-22 as Spen Victoria bowled out Hopton Mills for 113 to set up a five-wicket win. Adam Ahmed, on loan from Farsley, was unbeaten on 41 when victory was achieved.
In another East section game Hunslet Nelson take on Hopton Mills.
Division Three CupWest
Brighouse bagged a maximum 20 points last week to take them to the top of the West Section in the Division Three League Cup, after defeating Oulton by 13 runs.
Yasir Hussain (48) and Mohammed Waseem (43) steered their side to a considerable total of 241, which proved to be just out of reach for Oulton.
Brighouse play Heckmondwike & Carlinghow who lost last week despite gutsy performances from Fahad Imran (43) and Asad Ejaz (39)
Adwalton have a home match against Crossbank Methodists, who had a good win last week.
Crossbank Methodists had teenage batsman Rizwan Abed to thank for their four-wicket victory over Heckmondwike & Carlinghow. Abed made 71 and was supported by James Coulborn (35), who also took 3-12.
Division Three Cup East
Gildersome & Farnley Hill need a boost after losing to East Leeds last week. It won’t be easy against a Great Preston side that have lost two on the bounce, but are capable of much better.
East Leeds, who had bowlers Ben Wilkinson (3-16) and Shamon Mushtaq (3-13) in fine form last week, take on Oulton.
Oulton might have been defeated last week by Brighouse, but they had the virtuoso player of the match in Ben Child who took 5-39, and also blasted 72 runs to give his side hope, Inter-Divisional
Altofts lead the way in the East Section after a seven-wicket win over Great Preston, while their opponents Rodley are not far behind after beating Adwalton.
For Altofts, Harry Wilkinson (45), Qamar Shahzad (40no) and Ben Walsh (35no) showed good form with the bat, while Danny Eden (3-18) and Joshua Hen-Boisen (3-40) were amongst the wickets.
Rodley defeated Adwalton by seven runs with Callum Postle (33) and Gary Sagar (3-17) showing good form.