Perfect weekend for Leyland’s first team

Leyland Cricket Club professional Dulan Pabasara Waduge
Leyland Cricket Club professional Dulan Pabasara Waduge

Leyland are in pole position to clinch a place in the Northern Premier Cricket League T20 finals day after a double victory over group rivals Chorley and Preston.

Leyland are top of their three team group after storming to a double win at Fox Lane on Sunday.

Andrew Makinson starred in Leyland’s 69-run win over Preston.

Makinson whacked 10 sixes in a quick-fire 76 that fuelled Leyland’s 215-5 in their 20 overs.

He was ably supported by professional Pabasara Waduge who also chipped in with a number of boundaries in his 54.

Preston’s Geeth Malinda (45), Sajid Nalbandh (45) and Sajid Patel (40 n.o) put up some resistance but Leyland’s economic bowling attack restricted them to 146-6.

There was no rest for Leyland as they followed it up with another T20 win over Chorley but it was a much narrower 16 run victory.

Chorley restricted Leyland to 133-5 with Karl Cross smashing 73.

But Henry Thompson’s four wicket haul helped the hosts bowl Chorley out for 117.

That T20 double win capped off a fine weekend for Leyland as they schooled title rivals Blackpool to leapfrog them into second.

Netherfield returned to the top spot as Blackpool suffered only their second defeat of the season to now second-placed Leyland.

Leyland are five points off leaders Netherfield with a five point cushion on third-placed Blackpool thanks to an impressive eight wicket win at Stanley Park.

Leyland’s bowling trio Karl Cross (5-35), Ross Bretherton (3-22) and Will Jacques (2-22) did the damage as they skittled Blackpool out for 83.

Waduge (33) and Henry Thompson (42 n.o) steered Leyland to 84-2 and victory in just 23 overs to ensure the title race remains wide open.

The second XI faced Blackpool seconds but it was visitors ‘Pool who left Fox Lane with a winning draw. Leyland reduced the Seasiders to 126 all out with Andrew Jacques (3-21) and Elliot Boardman (3-17) the pick of the bowling attack.

The visitors made a great start by removing both of Leyland’s openers Hamza Khan and Mason Crosby for ducks.

Wickets fell in quick succession but a stubborn innings of 52 not out from number five Thomas Murray with number 11 Michael Birchall (0 n.o) clinging on ensured Leyland passed the 45 over mark as they finished on 95-9 to stave off defeat and clinch a losing draw.

But Leyland’s second XI did triumph in T20 action the day after. Leyland beat Preston’s second XI by 34 runs at West Cliff. Murray again starred with the bat as his 30 fired the visitors to 104-6. and Preston fell short with 70-9 from their 20 overs.