Amazing late assault brings heartbreak for Illingworth

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Illingworth suffered an astonishing reverse in Division Three of the Aire/Wharfe at home to Woodhouse, who needed 26 off the last over to win and got them.

Saeed was the thorn in the hosts’ side, crashing an unbeaten 71 off just 37 balls after the Jammy Green men had looked certain to defend a total of 222 for nine.

However, Saeed hit six sixes and five fours, sending the final ball of the game’s 100 overs soaring over the boundary rope with two required.

Put in to bat on a damp wicket, the home side had struggled early on and with openers Sean Stevenson and Richard Farrell Smith both falling early, a reversal of the previous week’s heavy cup defeat seemed unlikely.

Callum Cook and Veryan Brooksby made starts but when both fell in quick succession the home side were up against it at 65 for four.

However, Stephen Cook and skipper Luke Brooksby stepped up to the mark with a much needed 81 partnership. Cook led the way with 64 from 77 balls and Brooksby made a measured 54.

Unfortunately for the home side, Cook’s departure was the first of three quick wickets to fall and at 163 for seven with 10 overs still to go it looked as though the innings might fade away. The Illingworth lower order had other ideas and with a mixture of good running and judicious hitting a challenging target was set.

The task looked well beyond the Leeds side as they stuttered to 61 for three at the half way stage with last year’s leading league batsman Alam picked up by a brilliant catch over his head by Farrell Smith running away from the wicket off Alex Ledger’s bowling.

Ali (51) and Sulari engineered a fight back with 56 for the fifth wicket but when Alex Ledger removed Sulari with a terrific diving catch from his own bowling and Jamie Moorhouse bowled Ali the task looked well beyond Woodhouse at 139 for six with 11 overs to go.

The home attack was hindered by an injury to Luke Brooksby and Saeed proved up to the task, hitting cleanly anything up to the bat.