PRESTWICH came through a stern test to stay in touch with the Greater Manchester League Premier Division’s early pace-setters.

Andy Bradley’s side have seen their bowling attack decimated by injuries but they came through at Walshaw despite a rain delay that made their uphill task even steeper.

After the hosts had put on 260-2, Dylan Blignaut scoring 126, professional Gihahn Cloete hit 102 not out to lead Prestwich to an eight-wicket win that delighted captain Bradley, especially after rain cut their overs by 10 but just 28 runs were knocked off the target.

“You’re always going to be worried about chasing down a total of that size, especially when we lost those overs to rain. That made it very tricky, on paper, at least,” he said.

“But our professional performed brilliantly.

“He was promoted up the order and won us the game, though he was well supported by Tom Gibson, Ryan Stanbury and Sam Holden. We won quite comfortably in the end, it’s the second time we have won when we’ve been chasing a score of that size. We chased down 280 against Denton West earlier this season, so we feel batting is a strength of ours.

“We have injuries to key players in the bowling ranks. Combined with a few unavailable players it makes it difficult.

“Our main strike bowler, Sam Holden, has an ankle injury and can’t bowl. He’s still coming out and doing a job with the bat but he won’t be bowling for at least two or three weeks.”

Fifth-placed Prestwich take on Denton St Lawrence on Saturday, in a big weekend for the club, as they host Winton tomorrow night in the GMCL’s T20 competition.

“Denton are old adversaries of ours, they have started pretty well,” added Bradley. “They can bat and I’m expecting a tight game. But we have our T20 match first and we’re hoping for a big turnout to enjoy the bar and barbecue as well as the cricket.”

Tomorrow night’s match starts at 6pm.