Sparkling Azmat century sees Colne romp to win

Ali Azmat hit 108 not out
Ali Azmat hit 108 not out
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Colne achieved their second win of the season on Sunday, thanks to another spectacular performance by professional Ali Azmat.

He made his highest score for Colne, 184 not out (beating his 168 at Todmorden on opening day), and on his own scored more than the 152 runs than Bacup could get in reply.

The innings started slowly, with Colne losing four wickets for 56 and the pro building an innings with care, supported by Joel Duerden. After 30 overs, the total was 86-4 with (after a start delayed for rain) 18 overs left. But in those 18 overs, Colne scored 168 more runs. The fifth wicket partnership was worth 107, of which Duerden contributed an intelligent 18 – mostly singles, ensuring Azmat had the strike.

When Duerden was out, Matthew Clark came in for the last seven overs; in those seven overs, he scored 4 singles in a partnership of 91. Azmat hit the penultimate over for 25 – six, two, six, six, four, and a single to keep the strike.

Azmat’s innings included 16 sixes – just one less than Collis King’s record in his innings of 179 against Todmorden in 1982.

Azmat also hit 11 fours (including his first four scoring shots) in his 184 not out, from a Colne total of 254-5, and Duerden was the only other batsman in double figures.

The Bacup innings was anticlimactic as they never looked like winning.

Dave Wallbank bowled both the openers. Professional Haseeb Azam, who has found no form at all this season, was bowled by Azmat for 13, and Matthew Clark destroyed the middle order with five wickets in 14 overs – his second consecutive 5-wicket match.

Azmat took the wicket of Thompson for 37 and quickly followed up with the last man Warren, and Colne had a 102 run victory with seven overs to spare.

The weekend action starts tonight with a home game against Todmorden in the Twenty20 competition. And on Sunday, the local derby return match will be played at Nelson.