Little Lever’s Australian star Jake Lehmann is loving life in the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League as he and his club prepare to tackle the Birtwistle Cup T20 Finals Day tomorrow.

Little Lever face hosts Padiham in the second semi-final at 1pm at the Arbories.

The winners will then advance to the 4pm final, where they will face the winners of the 10.30am semi-final between Farnworth and either Barnoldswick or Settle, whose quarter-final tie will be played tomorrow (Friday).

Professional Lehmann is having a superb summer at Victory Road, helping the Villagers into Finals Day and to the verge of the Premiership league title.

Josh Gent’s side have won 13 out of 14 league games and hold a 36-point advantage over second-placed Eagley with nine rounds remaining (a maximum of 12 points per win).

“I wasn’t quite sure coming over what it would be like, but they said to me that it would be a new league and it was a bit of an unknown for everyone,” said the South Australia captain.

“To be in a position we are now is great for the club, and the cricket’s been really good.

“Everyone has played good cricket around the league, especially our boys. They’ve chipped in when we’ve needed it.

“Throughout the season, that’s been the success of the club. If I’ve got runs, others have helped out alongside me.

“We’re batting in partnerships, and we’re also bowling really well. We’re keeping the scores down.”

In all cricket, Lehmann has scored 895 runs with five centuries from 20 matches this summer.

Others have scored more runs, though nobody has bettered the left-hander’s 111.88 average.

As a state captain back home, the 31-year-old joining Little Lever was the most eye-catching signing of the inaugural NWCL season.

For Lehmann, formerly of Lancashire and Yorkshire, it was a no-brainer to spend his winter in Bolton.

“It’s been really good,” he said. “It’s a massive thing to come over and get myself involved in the club.

“My wife and kid have been looked after really well, and that helps a load.

“The important thing is that they’re good people, and I want to give back to the club for the way they’ve helped me out. I’d love to help them win a couple of titles.

Lehmann continued: “You don’t want to be sat at home doing nothing in the off-season year after year.

“The best players are the ones who give themselves more opportunities to play.

“Yes, I would like to be playing county cricket again, and I hope that happens down the track. But this was the opportunity in front of me right now. And I can’t complain one bit.”

On Little Lever’s secret to success, Lehmann said: “We’re rocking up and getting the job done every week whatever challenge we’re facing. As well as with the bat, a load of different bowlers are contributing.

“Everyone’s chipped in - Adam Carter, Nipun Gaikwad, Adil Nisar, Jake Wilde. Curtis Anderton’s been brilliant as well. We’ll keep rolling on.

“And the best thing is that we’re having a load of fun. I think other teams are intimidated by that because we play hard cricket and have a laugh while doing it.”

Little Lever beat Eagley by six wickets chasing 115 in last night’s (Wednesday) quarter-final, with Lehmann posting only four - a rare failure. They topped their group with three wins from five games.

“It should be a really good day on Sunday, and we’re going to try and win it,” said Lehmann, a Big Bash winner Down Under in 2018 with Adelaide Strikers.

“Padiham and Farnworth have qualified, and they’re two of the better teams I’ve played so far. I’m really looking forward to it.”

And on the prospect of returning to Little Lever next year, he added: “I’ve already said to them that I’ll go home, assess what I want to do and think about it around Christmas.

“It’s definitely an option because I’ve loved my time here. I would come back for sure.”

Discussions over a Finals Day reserve day should weather intervene on Sunday are ongoing.