WESTHOUGHTON professional Qaiser Abbas surpassed 800 runs for the season as he helped his side beat Farnworth in the battle between the third and fourth-placed Bolton League sides on Saturday.
Abbas, who is top of the league’s batting averages, scored 86 not out as the Howfeners reached 179-8 batting first on home soil.
Carl Raubenheimer (3-45) and Adil Nisar (2-8) did their best to keep the score down.
But the visitors struggled in reply and made just 86 all out. Chis Baxendale top scored with 39 in an innings that included five ducks.
Atiq Uz-Zaman led the way with the ball with figures of 4-10 from just 5.3 overs and he was well supported by Kieren Edwards (3-33) and Abbas (3-40) as the hosts won by 93 runs, Jon Partington taking four catches behind the stumps.
Leaders Farnworth Social Circle surprisingly mirrored their town neighbours by posting less than 100 but still managed to win by 68 runs after Egerton slumped to a miserable 31 all out.
Chris Barrow was the only batsman in double figures for Social Circle as they ended on 99 off 34.1 overs with Stuart Hornby (5-55), Adil Vali (3-12) and Amal Dalugoda (2-16) the bowling stars for the visitors.
It looked like the title favourites were set for a rare defeat but an incredible bowling display ripped into Egerton.
Dave Mather took 6-16 from eight overs and Josh Bohannon weighed in with 2-4 from his two overs as Egerton lasted just 20 overs with Declan Dudley’s 10 the top score.
Second-placed Bradshaw had a straightforward afternoon with a comfortable victory at Heaton.
Steve Foster took 5-34 for the visitors to help skittle the Thwaites Hamer Cup winners out for just 80.
Skipper Saeed Anwar Jnr led the way in the reply with 35 not out with Bradley Yates also unbeaten on 34 as Bradshaw reached 83 without loss to claim a 10-wicket triumph.
At the bottom, Tonge won at Little Lever by two wickets thanks mainly to figures of 6-60 from Iain McLellan.
The hosts were without professional Kamran Younis who began a two-match ban for dissent in the recent Hamer Cup final but Simon Anderton (53no) and Anthony Hilton (41) helped them reach 189-8 despite McLellan’s threat with the ball.
But Danny Holt (36) and Gulam Abbas (34) helped steer Tonge to 193-8 despite some good bowling from Rakeb Mahmood who took 4-67.
Horwich beat Astley Bridge by three wickets in a match that ended in the gloom at around 7.45pm.
Astley Bridge posted 164 with Nigel Partington (31) top scoring.
Adam Street was the pick of the Horwich bowling attack with 7-73 with pro Babar Naeem chipping in with 2-45.
The reply saw Joe Settle (54) hit a half century while Dave Morris came in at six to score 39.
Syd De Silva (3-57) and David Cryer (2-50) could not stop Horwich reaching 165-7 to win by three wickets.
It was a tense finish at Greenmount as the hosts beat Eagley by just four runs.
Akbar Ur-Rehman top scored with 75 while Andy Kerr hit 39 as the hosts posted 230-7, Eagley professional Agar Salman taking 4-96.
The reply went very close with Salman (90) and Asif Bhojani (77) looking at one point like seeing Eagley home. But Mark Stewart (3-75) bowled Salman and Phil Ingram claimed Bhojani’s wicket and needing 12 off the final over, the visitors managed just eight.
There was also a big partnership at Kearsley where home batsmen Siraj Patel (48) and Sabah Ghaus (33no) put on 75 for the eighth wicket as the hosts recovered from 84-7 to reach 163 against Walkden.
Corey Collymore (5-52) and Ryan Ayres (4-36) were the pick of the bowling.
Walkden’s response saw them going well at 83-3 but they collapsed to 95 all out with pro Travis Townsend (42) the only scorer of note.
Ata ur-Rehman took 5-33 while Grant Cordin claimed 4-11 from just 2.5 overs to seal the 68-run victory for Kearsley.
Heaton 80 Bradshaw 83-0. Bradshaw won by 10 wkts.
Horwich 165-7 Astley Bridge 164. Horwich won by 3 wkts.
Greenmount 230-7 Eagley 226-6. Greenmount won by 4 runs.
Farnworth Social Circle 99 Egerton 31. Farnworth SC won by 68 runs.
Westhoughton 179-8 Farnworth 86. Westhoughton won by 93 runs.
Little Lever 189-8 Tonge 193-8. Tonge won by 2 wkts.
Kearsley 163 Walkden 95. Kearsley won by 68 runs.