Highest of day keeps Great Preston in contention

Jackson Freeman on his way to a half century for Great Preston. Picture: Paul Butterfield
Jackson Freeman on his way to a half century for Great Preston. Picture: Paul Butterfield

Conference title challengers Great Preston hit the highest score of the day in the Bradford League when they piled up more than 300 runs in their home game with Heckmondwike.

The third-placed side compiled 305-9 from their 50 overs on the way to defeating sixth-placed Heckmondwike by 74 runs to keep their promotion bid ticking.

Openers Danusha Ranasinghe and Jackson Freeman paved the way as they combined for a 101-run stand for the first wicket.

Both hit 54 with Ranasinghe smashing 11 fours and a six in his aggressive 49-ball knock and Freeman eight fours and a six in an innings that spanned 91 deliveries.

The latter then combined with Lee Russell for a half century stand for the second wicket and the batsmen stayed on top.

Russell was eventually out for 53, having hit eight boundaries, while Ian Newton hit six fours in his 38 and there were further handy contributions from David Illingworth (27), Stuart Ruddick (18) and Andy Clark (13).

Heckmondwike, led by Matt Crowther (92) and Khurram Shehzad (53), made a spirited response, but fell short when all out for 231 with Clark taking 4-50, Russell 2-46 and freeman 2-53.

Methley opener Marcus Walmsley produced the innings of the day in Championship B as he made a superb 155 not out in his side’s 122-run win over Carlton.

Walmsley struck five sixes and 20 fours in his 156-ball knock and shared in an opening stand of 49 with Hamid Khan (19) then a second-wicket partnership of 113 with Ashton Blakey, who hit 50 from 56 deliveries.

Further support came from Grant Soames (17) and Jake McCaffery (19 not out) as Methley were able to set a big target with 280-5 off their 50 overs.

Walmsley was not finished as he followed up his outstanding individual performance by taking 5-28 as Carlton were dismissed for 158 in reply.

Ismail Patel (38) and Will Smith (38) were their top scorers while Sohail Raz took 3-33 and Soames 2-31.

Townville remain 43 points clear of Wrenthorpe at the top of Championship B and 57 ahead of Methley after they had little trouble beating Bankfoot by six wickets.

Bankfoot had no answer to the bowling of Conor Harvey (6-44) as they were dismissed for 118.

The bulk of their runs came from overseas player Marupuri Suresh (44) and Hishan Ahmed (31) while Nadim Hussain and Jack Hebden took two wickets each to start their decline before Harvey polished off the tail.

Townville, with 61 overs at their disposal, cruised home with almost 37 of them to spare. Opener Jonathan Booth top scored for the leaders with 54, hitting nine fours and a six, while Harvey hit 24 not out and Jack Hughes 19.

Young spinner Harry Sullivan is continuing to have a fine season for Methley seconds and played a big part in a five-wicket win for them against Carlton in the Championship B Second XI.

The promising 13-year-old took his wicket tally up to 49 in the league after taking 5-37 to set up his side’s five-wicket success against Carlton.

With Jason Baddeley also taking 2-69, Carlton were all out for 176.

Methley reached their target in the 46th over of their reply with Ian Ellis hitting 43, Joshua Neal 35 and Sullivan 24.

A century from James Conlon allowed Great Preston seconds to close to within 12 points of leaders Northowram Fields in the Conference Second XI as they enjoyed a seven-wicket win at Heckmondwike.

Conlon successfully led a well timed run chase after Heckmondwike had set a challenging target in reaching 221-6.

He raced to 112 in a commanding knock and with fine support coming from Adrian Sharp (51 not out) and Joe Thurlow (37 not out) Preston got over the line with 19.2 overs to spare.

Luke Kane had earlier been their best bowler with 3-42 while Alastair Firth took 2-16.