ANTHONY AXFORD BOLTON LEAGUE: Atiq Uz-Zaman fires Westhoughton into second spot after win at Farnworth
It was second versus third at Lavender Road and it was always going to be a tight affair with just two points separating the sides going into the clash.
But Uz-Zaman shone with bat and ball to swing it in Westhoughton’s favour.
Batting first, opener Uz-Zaman played some fine shots on his way to 67 – his third successive half-century.
However, he needed help at the crease when the visitors were reeling at 57-5. Up stepped Sean Dunning and the pair put on a sixth-wicket stand of 83, Dunning going on to top score with 72.
Jason Raynor (4-22) and Victor Walcott (3-31) were the pick of the Farnworth bowlers as Westhoughton closed on 191 all out.
The hosts’ reply saw Scott Mather (38) and Simon Booth (34) also put on a good sixth-wicket stand of 67 after Farnworth had slipped to 84-5 – professional Carl Raubenheimer also scoring 34.
But they then lost their last five wickets for just 14 runs with 38-year-old Uz-Zaman taking 3-58 and he was well supported by pro Qaiser Abbas (3-64) and Matt Fanning (4-25).
While Farnworth slipped up, leaders and neighbours, Farnworth Social Circle, had a routine 76-run victory at Egerton to extend their advantage at the top.
After winning the toss, Social Circle batted first and totalled 177, Tim Rees top scoring with 36.
The star for the hosts was Amal Dalugoda who returned incredible figures of 8-72.
He also top scored in Egerton’s reply but his knock of 32 could not help his side reach their target as they closed on 101-8.
Dave Mather (3-24) and Liam Bones (2-24) were the pick of the Social Circle bowlers at Blackburn Road.
Anwar Jnr returned figures of 6-47 and took two catches as the visitors were bowled out for 134 at The RIgbys, Ollie Sutcliffe top scoring for Heaton with 29.
The hosts won the toss and batted first with Gary Garner (39) and Jonny Kerrigan (28) helping set a total of 198-9 from 50 overs.
Garner and Phil Dickenson were key to the innings with a 56-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
Imran Mirza (4-113) and professional Humayun Farhat (5-72) were the only two bowlers used by Heaton.
Greenmount kept up the pressure on the leading sides with a seven-wicket win at winless Eagley.
Andy Cumberbatch top scored for the hosts with 32 but they were skittled out for 98, Phil Heaton taking 3-45 for Greenmount.
It looked slightly uncomfortable for the visitors at one point when they slipped to 26-3 in their reply, but professional Akbar Ur-Rehman hit 39 not out and Alex Rodzoch 27no to steer them to 101-3 in what was a one-sided game that was completed in little more than four hours.
Bottom side Tonge lost a sixth successive game, going down by five wickets at home to Little Lever.
Skipper Iain McLellan (22no) and Yousef Anwar (20) helped the hosts post 130-9, despite the best efforts of Little Lever professional Kamran Younis (4-55) and Rakeb Mahmood (5-39).
Younis then went on to score 38no as Little Lever reached 131-5 to clinch victory.
Harvey Wilson (24) was also in the runs while Tonge’s Patrick Hamer was the pick of the bowling attack with 3-42.
Put into bat, the pair were in superb form. McCann hit nine fours and one six in his innings, while Hughes hammered nine fours and four sixes.
Ryan Ayres (3-54) and Liam Jackson (2-56) were the bowlers in form for Walkden.
It looked a huge target but the visitors almost reached their aim, falling just short at 234-7.
Travis Townsend hit 12 fours in his knock of 70, while Honey Garg scored 50.
Ata ur-Rehman took 2-88 while new boy Sabah Ghause returned figures of 4-88 to help Kearsley to a 35-run triumph.
Steve Shepley scored 51 in Astley Bridge’s reply but Adam Street took 5-62 from 16 overs as the hosts were bowled out for 133 to lose by 55 runs.
Bradshaw 198-9 Heaton 134. Bradshaw won by 64 runs.
Astley Bridge 133 Horwich 188. Horwich won by 55 runs.
Eagley 98 Greenmount 101-3. Greenmount won by 7 wkts.
Egerton 101-8 Farnworth SC 177. Farnworth SC won by 76 runs.
Farnworth 165 Westhoughton 191. Westhoughton won by 26 runs.
Tonge 130-9 Little Lever 131-5. Little Lever won by 5 wkts.
Walkden 234-7 Kearsley 269-6. Kearsley won by 35 runs.