Professional Khalid stars with bat and ball in Victory Park clash

Matt Wilson crashes a shot past Matthew Nutter in the derby
Matt Wilson crashes a shot past Matthew Nutter in the derby
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Barnoldswick claimed the derby bragging rights on Sunday, beating Earby by seven wickets as their title defence begins to pick up.

Champions Barnoldswick, picking up the pace after a slow start to their title defence, won both weekend games to double their win tally, suggesting it would be foolish to write off their chances of retaining their title.

After routing Whalley by 10 wickets on Saturday, Earby were brushed aside by seven wickets 24 hours later.

Earby batted first, but were dismissed for 145 as professional Imran Khalid claimed 5-51, while Sajid Akhtar and Matthew Nutter chipped in with two wickets apiece.

Opener Matt Wilson top-scored for Earby with 27, but the rest of the top-order batsmen failed to make double figures.

The middle order dug in, as Iain Clarkson hit 19 and Richard Craddock 22, but Barnoldswick set themselves up for a comfortable victory, led by 50 from opener Liam Bedford.

Fellow opener Abdul Saddique added 23, while Khalid made 47 - both out to Lee Parkinson - and Umar Saddique (8 not out) and captain Luke Hodgson (6 not out) completed the job off the first ball of the 32nd over.

Barnoldswick now sit third in the table, 19 off top spot, while Earby are third bottom.