Earby bounce back after thriller

Matt Wilson on his way to 53 off 66 balls against Whalley
Matt Wilson on his way to 53 off 66 balls against Whalley

Earby bounced back from a one-wicket defeat in a thrilling clash with leaders Clitheroe to beat Whalley on Sunday.

On Saturday, Naeem Ashraf produced a brilliant innings of 113 not out to give Clitheroe a dramatic victory.

Earby skipper Richard Craddock won the toss and chose to bat on a hard, flat track, his side making 213-5.

Openers Matt Wilson (39) and Chris Walton (55) helped lay the foundation with an opening stand of 87, and professional David Crotty finished unbeaten on 56.

In reply, Craddock bowled superbly, taking six wickets to leave Clitheroe at 136-8.

Ashraf and Graeme Kershaw took the score to 185, before the latter was stumped with Clitheroe needing 29 - but Ashraf hit three sixes to win the game.

Craddock ended with 7-92.

On Sunday, Whalley captain Richard Lamb won the toss and took first knock, getting off to a slow start, at 12-1 after 12 overs, and 24-2 off 15.

Richard Palmer made 41 off 84 balls and Mota 56 off 77, before, with Whalley on 128-4 with three overs remaining. Nissar Hussain and Lamb threw the bat to end on 161-5.

In reply, Wilson (53) and Walton (21) put on 60, and Crotty and Wilson quickly took the total over 100.

Mota saw off Crotty, Matt Haines (9), Craddock (2) and Martyn Windle (0), but Matt Garner and Andrew Jaggers got the score to 144.

Mota trapped Garner, and Iain Clarkson came and went, but Jason Lockley (13 not out) and Jaggers (29 not out) saw Earby home in the 39th over.

Tomorrow Earby face a trip to Brinscall.