A pair of remarkable bowling performances from Farnworth Social Circle’s Dave Mather and Little Lever’s Nipun Gaikwad kicked off this season’s delayed Anthony Axford North West Cricket League campaign with a bang on Saturday.

New ball seamer Mather claimed all 10 wickets for Social Circle (144 all out) as they won a low-scoring Premiership game at Ribblesdale Wanderers, who were bowled out for 58 chasing a revised target of 103 in 24 overs.

Mather finished with figures of 10-19 from 11.2 overs as Social Circle won by 44 runs.

It is the first time a bowler has taken all 10 wickets in one-and-a-bit seasons of first-team NWCL cricket.

Champions Little Lever got their title defence off to an even more eye-catching start, beating last season’s second-placed finishers Lostock away from home by 10 wickets.

Indian overseas amateur Gaikwad bowled Lostock out for just 34 - they slipped from 21-1 - with a haul 8-3 in 10.1 overs.

Little Lever knocked off the runs in 7.3 overs to secure the maximum 12 points having won an important toss.

After all the recent weather issues, with the start of the season pushed back by a fortnight to Saturday, it was somewhat of a surprise to see all 11 fixtures completed across both the Premiership and Championship divisions.

There were, however, a series of shortened games and revised targets.

Salesbury claimed a superb 98-run win at Farnworth as they comfortably defended a 232 target.

New South African professional, the highly-rated Garnett Tarr, impressed with 98 opening the batting. He underpinned their 231-7 from 45 overs, sharing a second-wicket 101 with captain Peter Richardson (63).

Josh Bristol and Elliott Simpson then shared nine wickets as Farnworth were bowled out for 133. Spinner Bristol led the way with five of them.

Blackrod claimed a notable 70-run win at Padiham, who were skittled for 46 chasing a revised 117 in 24 overs.

New ball pair Matthew Readey and Antonio Greenidge claimed five wickets apiece for Blackrod. Thushendra De Zoysa had top-scored for the visitors with 80 in their 171 all out.

Kearsley (254-4) won a tight 35-over game at Tonge, where the hosts finished on 234-7.

Kearsley’s Byron Giraudeaux opened up with a stunning 126 off 70 balls, including 12 sixes, while fellow South African overseas amateur Justin Gilliland opened with 102 off 91 for Tonge. But they fell short.

Eagley beat Astley Bridge at home, having posted 132-7 in 28 overs. Will Shuttleworth hit a middle order 51 not out before Luca Doyle and Harvey Seigne claimed five wickets each in Astley Bridge’s 66 all out.

In the Championship, Atherton (157-2) won a disrupted game by eight wickets after bowling hosts Baxenden out for 182, writes Graham Hardcastle.

Daniel Hughes claimed four wickets before ex-West Indies Test batter Shayne Moseley - Atherton’s new professional - top-scored with 62 not out opening the batting.

Whalley won a 35-over thriller at Brinscall by three runs.

Opener Stuart Crabtree top-scored with 56 in the visitors’ 117 all out. Pro Levi Wolfenden then took the new ball and returned four wickets as Brinscall were left stranded on 114-9.

Oswaldtwistle Immanuel won by four wickets at home having bowled Feniscowles out for 65. New signing Mini Bhada and Niall Heyes claimed five wickets apiece.

Bhada’s former club Read beat Barnoldswick (166-7) at home by six wickets chasing a revised 117 in 25 overs. South African overseas amateur Zadian Muller claimed two wickets and hit 44 not out for his new club Read.

And Walkden cruised past Earby at home.

Their 167-7 was underpinned by Dario Boyce’s 63 before Earby, chasing a revised 180 in 40 overs, were bowled out for 107 by a new ball five-for from Mustafa Bashir.