SKIPTON CI booked their place in the semi-finals of the Manorlands Plate with a fantastic seven wicket win at Airedale on Thursday night.

Batting first, the hosts failed to hit a maximum in their innings of 111 all out, with CI easily reaching their target thanks to some excellent batting from Nikhil Thomas, Rob Cockell and Sam Smith.

They will now face either Oakworth I or Bingley Congs I on the morning of 29 August at Oakworth’s Wide Lane, with the winner playing in the final that afternoon.

After winning the toss and electing to field, CI made a fantastic start, with Connors Hall Brown bowling Airedale all-rounder Scott Ritchie for three in the game’s second over.

He was followed back to the pavilion soon after by third batter Tim Crossley, who hit a glorious cover drive before exposing too much of his stumps to Prince Patras.

Some much needed stability for Airedale came in the form of wicketkeeper Alec Pue and Mat Cox, the pair forming a 33-run partnership for the third wicket. But a change of bowling proved fruitful for CI, with Pue bowled for 16 by Smith with seven overs gone.

Cox fell just five balls later, scoring 24 from 13 deliveries before Cockell’s bowling saw him edge through to Ian Henderson to leave his side 55-4.

Jake Wilkinson and Warren Coppack (11) kept the runs ticking over for Airedale in an 18-run stand, with the latter dismissed with an outstanding catch from Martin Chisnall.

The good work from the away bowlers persisted; Danyal Iqbal struck in his first over, bowling Simon Hunter for two, with Wilkinson out three overs later for a respectable 21 when he was deceived by Brown.

Wickets continued to tumble for Airedale, with Chisnall again a safe pair of hands to dismiss Paul Feather, who faced just five balls before departing for one, with Iqbal claiming a hat-trick of wickets after trapping an unlucky Josh Coppack LBW for eight.

The experienced Trevor Cox (1) was the last wicket to fall, with Stephen Bond playing a cautious innings, his seven not out scored solely in singles.

Iqbal was the best of the bowlers, finishing on 3-14 from his four overs, with Patras, Brown and Smith also picking up two wickets each. But as lucrative as their bowling was, they were often sloppy, conceding 13 extras in the process.

Like their opponents, CI started poorly with the bat, with Henderson facing just nine balls before being bowled by Wilkinson for six.

However, the early wicket spurred them into action, with Smith and Thomas putting on a show to score 41 in just 24 balls to halve the deficit.

Big-hitter Smith notched two fours and three sixes on his way to a brilliant 31 from 14 deliveries but took one swing too far and was instead bowled by Warren Coppack.

The win was never in doubt for the visitors, despite Cockell being caught by Bond for 31 in the penultimate over, with Chisnall scoring a boundary with his first ball to see them over the line with five overs remaining.

Thomas finished on 37 not out, with Wilkinson capping off a fine individual performance with an excellent 1-15 from his four overs. Coppack (1-26) and Feather (1-3) also impressed with the ball.

The two sides will come face to face again on Saturday in Division Two of the Craven League at the Airedale Oval.

By Emma Kennedy