New overseas player Gary Chiriumuuta helped Sykes Cup holders Barkisland avoid an embarrassing early exit to division-lower hosts Denby yesterday.
The Huddersfield League Championship side, who played in the Huddersfield Central League up to 2013, rattled up 352 for four on their smallish ground to leave the visitors up against it,
Opener Farham Hussain made 79 and Bandula Don 69 before overseas player Adnan Ghani (82 no) hit out against the Barkisland attack.
However, Barkisland were in no mood to buckle. Jamie Summerscales made 69 at the top of the order and 24-year-old Zimbabwean Chiriumuuta, who arrived last Thursday, made 133.
Alex Scholefield hit 78 before Seth Oddy clinched a four-wicket win by hitting the second ball of the final over the top of the close-in field.
Skipper Darren Robinson said: “We were definitely relieved - it could have been cup over for us.”
Robinson said it had been an impressive knock from Harare-born Chirimuuta, a right-hander who averages 23.46 in eight first class games back home.
“He batted very well. He is a watchful player, busy at the crease, who likes to run his singles. I think he gave one chance.”
Barkisland seconds, holders of the Paddock Shield, beat their Denby counterparts much more comfortably at Woodfield.
Elland bowed out of the Sykes Cup by 11 runs at Meltham.
The Hullen Edge men let good positions slip on a couple of occasions during the match.
Meltham only managed to reach 183 for nine because of number nine Henry Wise’s 47.
Liam Fletcher (49) and Saqib Matlub (34) scored well at the top of the visitors’ order but wickets then tumbled and it needed 38 from Alastair Finn to take Elland close at 172 all out.
Northowram Fields bowed out of the Jack Hampshire Cup with an 84-run defeat at Oulton in the only preliminary round game.
Lacking six first team regulars, Josh Bennett Keer (3-20) and Awais Matloob (3-26) had the hosts in trouble but number eight Qudratullah Khan hit 83 to lift the home total to 185.
The visitors were all out for 101 in reply with Robert Larner (30) and Dewsbury Rams coach Glenn Morrison (27 no) their top scorers.