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Prestwich CC's lead at the top is extended to 10 points
2:00pm Thursday 23rd August 2012 in Sport
A TOPSY-turvy weekend bizarrely saw Prestwich double their advantage at the top of the Lancashire County League.
A comprehensive 137-run victory over Dukinfield was followed by an edge-of-the-seat defeat to Cheetham Hill – with one ball remaining.
But with nearest challengers Glossop losing both their games, it allowed Prestwich to extend their lead to 10 points, although Denton and Denton St Lawrence are closing.
Saturday’s trip to Dukinfield saw the Heys side rack up 301-5 from their allotted 50 overs.
The trend was set when, after four overs, the score had already rattled past 40.
Professional Danny Jones led the way with a thumping 83, and his mantle was later taken up by Sam Holden who hit an equally impressive 68.
But all the Heys batsmen contributed, as James Wharmby (20), Matt Wiley (25) Tom Gibson (28) Steven Lorenzini (24 not out) and Steve Orrell (13 not out) all kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Dukinfield started brightly but gradually wickets began to fall, with Andy Taylor’s 11-over spell of 3-23 putting the shackles on the home side.
Jones’ mix of pace and spin saw him return another five-wicket haul, at a cost of 69 runs.
Andy Bradley also picked up a brace, to help dismiss Dukinfield for 164 and bag Prestwich five points.
Sunday’s match at home to Cheetham Hill turned into a 30-over contest after rain delayed the start.
Holden was again in fine form with a brisk 47, while Wharmby had laid the early foundations with a solid 37 before he unluckily drove the ball onto his foot, and it cannoned back onto his stumps.
Skipper Lorenzini gave his side the final impetus it needed with an unbeaten 32 off 24 balls, including the rare sight of a six onto the banking.
With a quick five-ball cameo from Chris Thomas adding 13 runs, it pushed the total to 163-6.
Hill’s top order started fluently and the run-out of Saj Ahmed for 23 was all Prestwich had to show as the visitors stood well-positioned at 99-1.
But Bradley struck twice in an over, dismissing Yusuf Anwar for a hard-hitting 32, and Ali Raza for 42.
The Prestwich cause was not helped by some fundamental flaws in their fielding, and consequently the game swayed one way and the other as Bradley grabbed two more wickets, but Tufail answered with a couple of telling boundaries.
With six wickets down, four runs were needed off the last over, which were only obtained off the penultimate delivery when the ball flew through the vacant slip area for four, and the victory spoils went to the visitors, for whom Tufail was undefeated on 30.
Another big challenge awaits Prestwich on Saturday with a trip to Woodhouses in their quest to retain the league title.