Alex’s record knock for Lightcliffe

Alex Lees strikes a four.'Yorkshire v Durham.  County Championship.  6 September 2016.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Alex Lees strikes a four.'Yorkshire v Durham. County Championship. 6 September 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Alex Lees made a sensational return for Lightcliffe yesterday with a new record Bradford League score of 227 not out at home to Bradford and Bingley.

The Yorkshire opener made his runs off only 153 deliveries, hitting 21 fours and 10 sixes, to help the Halifax side to a much-needed 53-run win.

It was only the fifth score of more than 200 in 114 years of Bradford League action, eclipsing the previous best of 218 by Richard Gould for Gomersal against Great Horton in 2013.

Left-hander Lees put on 136 runs for the first wicket with Alex Stead (41) and 177 for the fifth wicket with Jonathan Wilson (57) as Lightcliffe racked up 355 for five.

The visitors also made good use of a fine wicket, middle order men Gareth Phillips (71), Noman Ali (77) and Matthew Duce (45) helping them to 302 all out.

Teenage seamer Max Gardner took five for 67 to ensure maximum points for the hosts, spinner Daanyaal Ahmed picking up the key wickets of Phillips and Duce.

Down the road at Brighouse CC, Northowram Fields were seven-wicket winners of the first Bradford League meeting between the clubs.

They bowled out Brighouse for 127 to pave the way for a third Championship Two win in four outings following promotion.

Brighouse were 33 for five before Adil Mehmood (51) and Samar Farooq (28) offered some resistance. Zafar Khan, Josh Bennett-Kear and Jason Smith each finished with three wickets.

AJ Weerappuli (37) and the returning Robert Larner (22) put on 70 for the first wicket before Asad Mahmood struck three times in quick succession for Brighouse.

However, Chris Metcalf hit 26 not out - including a huge six deep into the car park - and Shakeel Mahmood 23 not out before victory was clinched with a wide.

Barkisland’s stuttering start to the Huddersfield League season continued with a six-wicket defeat away to Moorlands.

They were up against it from the start, their top four batsmen going cheaply before skipper Darren Robinson (99) and Zimbabwean Tino Mafusire (64) rescued the visitors with a fine stand.

However, a total of 236 proved insufficient as the visitors used seven bowlers with limited success, Aqeel Mukhtar’s unbeaten 74 seeing the Mirfield side home with four overs to spare.

Elland had a comfortable win at home to Almondbury Wesleyans in the Championship.

William Binns made 72 at the top of the visitors’ order but their effort petered out as Tom Haytack (four for 25) returned to the attack and wrapped up the innings for 173.

In-form Mitchell O’Brien (65) and Liam Fletcher (61) looked as if they might knock off the runs between them but the Hullen Edge men had to settle for a five wicket success.

In the same section, Rastrick were involved in a tie at home Linthwaite, who also made 240.

Oliver Pearson maintained his bright start to the season with four for 55 as the visitors batted first.

All 11 home batsmen scored 14 of more in reply with Bradley Birkhead’s 39 the best and overseas player Asif Afridi 26 on debut but Rastrick lost their final wicket to the last delivery of the 50th and final over with the scores level.

A superb unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 114 between Stevie Barker (60 no) and Joe Gale (55 no) helped Walsden win at Saddleworth in the Pennine League yesterday.

The champions, building up a full head of steam after an opening day loss at Norden, found home pro Imran Aslam (86) a stumbling block. Tom Avery (46) joined the Pakistani in an 84-run stand as the hosts totalled 208.

Josh Gale took five for 55 and followed up with 42 at the top of the Walsden order but the visitors slipped to 91 for five and were grateful to their sixth-wicket pair for the match-winning partnership.