Mills ground down by East Bierley

East Bierley - 2012 Priestley Cup winners 'Picture: JCT600 Bradford League
East Bierley - 2012 Priestley Cup winners 'Picture: JCT600 Bradford League

EAST Bierley lifted the Priestley Cup for an eighth time, overcoming Manningham Mills in the final replay at Spen Victoria last Sunday writes Andrew Hunt.

Rain had halted the original tie with Bierley 99-6 and league officials must have feared the worst with another poor weather forecast so a decision was taken to reduce the match to 40 overs a side.

Mills won the toss and had no hesitation in asking Bierley to bat first and they took advantage of the favourable bowling conditions with Zeeshan Qasim and Iqbal Khan impressing.

Qasim bowled Gavin Hamilton for eight and fellow opener Mark Gill (4) fell to Adal Islam as Bierley slipped to 28-2.

Captain Lee Goddard and Andrew Rennison set about rebuilding the Bierley innings as they shared an 89-run third-wicket stand.

Rennison brought his his 50 with a six but he fell the next ball and then Goddard was also dismissed for 51 within three runs and when Richard Atkins was trapped lbw by Ali (4-32) Bierley had slipped to 131-6.

Nick Walker made 28, but Kez Ahmed (13no) was the only other batsman to reach double figures as Bierley were bowled out for 182 with three balls if their 40 overs remaining.

Mills opener Farakh Hussain hit Rao Anjum straight to Goddard in the covers in the first over and it set a tone for wickets to fall at regular intervals.

Islam (20) and Masood Ahmed (22) made useful contributions but with Gill (4-39), Luke Jarvis (2-30) and Kez Ahmed (2-28) impressing, Manningham were reduced to 112-6.

Ali has had a great first season in the Bradford League and he top scored with 40 but having hit one big six, he attempted another and was caught by Jarvis off Ahmed.

Qasim tried to keep the run chase on course, making 21, before he became the final man out on 152.

Goddard lifted the cup and he could consider himself unfortunate not to be named man-of-the-match, which went to Ali.