LIGHTCLIFFE’S Jonathan `Jocky’ Wilson produced what he described as “the best innings of my career” to retrieve an apparently lost cause and claim an excellent victory against second in the Bradford League Division One table, East Bierley.
Arriving at the crease with only 18 overs left, and most of Lightcliffe’s batting strength departed, he played a captain’s innings, scoring an unbeaten 84 in only an hour, and turned what appeared to most to be defeat into a memorable win.
Batting second, Lightcliffe had made a promising start chasing a good target, with Alex Lees’ 52 being easy on the eye. Thereafter, a mini crisis ensued as Lightcliffe lost cheap wickets to poor shots and injudicious run-outs.
Chris Taylor (69 not out) had hung around throughout and his ability to anchor, and then support, Wilson’s attack proved pivotal.
Bierley’s spinners had proved difficult to score from, especially the impressive Jarvis whose two for 31 off 15 overs had seemed pivotal.
Wilson, however, saw the slow bowlers off, scoring only two runs in 20 minutes before failing to score from only one further ball faced in the last 40 minutes as boundaries blossomed from his Mongoose.
Zani Stead’s claim that one straight six into the adjacent gardens had been a missed timed push may have been a tad harsh, but the 48 runs that came from Walker’s four overs were mainly from correct big hits. Opening bowler Roa Anjum also bore the brunt of the run chase as he came back to bowl later on.
The 121 unbeaten partnership between Taylor and Wilson may not set any club records, but one for the statisticians to ponder on was the nine maiden overs reeled off by Chris Greenwood in opening the bowling in the first innings.
Bierley’s ex-Brighouse opener Mark Gill, was passive for most of this time against Greenwood before top scoring with 52, whilst Anjum and Atkins’s unbeaten sixth wicket partnership of 68 in only seven overs had posted a significant score of 231 for.the loss of five wickets.