Jamal hits superb unbeaten century to fire Read into second

BIG HITTER: Mohammed Jamal made 134 not out as Read crushed Cherry Tree on Saturday to climb to seciond in the Ribblesdale League table
BIG HITTER: Mohammed Jamal made 134 not out as Read crushed Cherry Tree on Saturday to climb to seciond in the Ribblesdale League table

Broken bones failed to deter Padiham skipper Callum Clarke from returning to the scene of the accident as his side crumbled against Baxenden at the weekend.

Inside the first over at the Arbories, opposing pro Babaar Naeem smashed Chris Holt’s delivery to short mid-wicket where Clarke stood the unfortunate victim.

An immediate hospital visit showed that Clarke had broken a finger and split the webbing on his hand which needed stitching.

But the dedicated captain fought against the pain to return to the clash. However, Padiham were in the midst of a spectacular collapse at 19-6, chasing 139.

The former champions set the early pace in the Houldsworth Ribblesdale League after that unlikely 94-run triumph.

Holt took 6-68 as the 2011 title holders were bowled out for 139 at the Arbories.

But Baxenden’s third win in four games was soon never in doubt. Gary Sudworth matched Holt’s six wicket haul and Padiham slumped to 45 all out.

Clarke said: “I was fielding close in and the ball smashed my hand and broke my finger. I blame Chris because he bowled full toss to leg stump which Naeem took full advantage of.

“It happened in the first over of the game. I went straight to hospital and returned to see us get beat. I was tempted to try and pull a glove on but I was bandaged up and I’ll be out for a few weeks now. I’ll be getting withdrawal symptoms. You wait this long for a cricket season and then this happens.”

Clarke added: “Looking at the positives our new lad Nathan Whitehead bowled well and Holt got another six wickets. But they had two good spinners to our one in their pro and Gary Sudworth. The wicket was turning square and they got stuck in.

“We just didn’t graft as hard as they did and we collapsed. It’s just one of those things. We’ve suffered a minor blip since our victory over Earby but the weekend double header provides us with the perfect opportunity to bounce back because we have two home games.”

Read are second, trailing the leaders by just three points after crushing winless Cherry Tree at Whalley Road.

Mohammed Jamal’s unbeaten 134 was the mainstay of the home team’s 300-5. Jamal’s knock was only one run less than Cherry Tree’s entire innings as they managed just 135 in reply.

Champions Barnoldswick are upto third after beating Oswaldtwistle Immanuel by 34 runs. Chasing ‘Barlick’s 125, ‘Ossie’s reply was hampered by Imran Khalid’s 7-36.

Whalley’s David Howard returned the senior league’s best bowling figures of the day. Howard’s 8-34 saw fancied Clitheroe dismissed for just 93 in a rain interrupted game.

Whalley’s revised target was also 93 which they reached with four wickets in hand.

League newcomers Brooksbottom and Euxton continue to find life hard with only one victory in eight games between them.

Brooksbottom lost by 18 runs at Earby while Salesbury professional Susantha Pradeep did for Euxton at Ribchester Road. Pradeep claimed 6-36 as the visitors were dismissed for 94 and then struck an unbeaten 64 as Salesbury opened their season’s account with an eight wicket win.

Closest finish came at the Cliffe where Great Harwood edged out Settle by one wicket. Chasing 158, Harwood struggled in their reply, largely due to the regular interventions of Eddie Read.

Paid man Tiaan Cloete (68) top scored in the run chase and while Read returned figures of 8-40, skipper Paul Houldsworth’s unbeaten 67 saw Harwood home with one wicket to spare.

Edenfield were the afternoon’s other winners, beating Ribblesdale Wanderers by 55 runs.