Bowling Old Lane 104 all out

Keighley 105-4

KEIGHLEY travelled to Bowling Old Lane in Bradford Premier League Championship Two, seeking revenge on the team that pipped them to the Jack Hampshire Cup the week before.

Winning the toss, Keighley skipper Paul Quinlan invited the home team to bat first, hoping the overcast conditions would benefit his swing bowlers.

In the reverse fixture, Keighley had Hami Shahzad to thank for a superb spell of bowling to decimate the Old Lane batting order. It was Shahzad again who made the early inroads, dismissing dangerous opener Farakh Hussain for just two and Arslan Mahmood for four. This, along with James Rogers (1-15 in 14 overs) removing Amjid Hussain for a duck left Old Lane reeling on 10-3.

Old Lane’s batsmen never recovered and, when star batsman Ahsan Butt was caught for eight off the bowling of Abe Kenny (2-21), the collapse was in full throw and they capitulated to 104 all out in the 47th over. Quinlan chipped in with 2-25 but it was Shahzad that was Old Lane’s true nemesis again with a fantastic 5-31.

In reply, Keighley’s rock solid opening pair of Luke Chapman (11) and Richard Gould once again got the Lawkholme Laners off to the perfect start sharing a stance of 52 until Gould fell for 46.

Despite the Old Lane taking three more wickets, Keighley were never in trouble and chased the winning score down in less than 30 overs, Louis Horsfield remaining undefeated on 32.

The win leaves Keighley 58 points clear of third-placed Butterhsaw St Pauls; with three weekends to go they are now on the brink of promotion.

With a game less to play, Keighley have no game this coming weekend. However, if Buttershaw drop more than two points, Keighley will be promoted to Championship One without having to hit a ball.

Keighley travel to second-placed Wakefield St Michaels a week on Saturday for what will most likely be a title decider.

Meanwhile, Keighley’s second string entertained bottom side Azaad at Lawkholme, knowing that victory would seal their return to Championship One in just one season.

Keighley skipper Alex Towler won the toss and considering the weakened opposition asked nine-man Azaad to bat first, sensing an early victory.

Despite resistance from opening pair, Sikander Khan (13) and Mohammed Younas (13), accurate line and length bowling from all the Keighley bowlers reduced the away team to just 54 all out in the 20th over.

Keighley’s reply was equally as brutal chasing down the winning total in just the ninth over at the loss of just two wickets.

Skipper Towler has done a magnificent job in his first season back in charge, moulding his very young squad into title contenders; they need one more full point victory to guarantee the title. They entertain Scholes at Lawkholme a week on Saturday.