LITTLE Hulton captain Tajamul Khan says there are two aims between now and the end of the season – Association promotion and to do all they can to help Pakistani professional Imran Butt graduate through to Test cricket.

All-rounder Butt returned a stunning performance in Saturday’s home win against Darcy Lever, by seven wickets chasing 145 with 28.3 overs to spare.

Butt claimed 6-35 from 14 overs of off-spin, including two bowleds, an lbw and a caught and bowled as Darcy were dismissed for 144, having elected to bat.

The 23-year-old then crashed three sixes in 62 not out off 44 balls balls to anchor a routine chase.

Little Hulton are fifth in the table on 39 points. They are 14 behind second-placed Heaton with a maximum of seven for a win.

Unfortunately the six points deducted for a registration error early in the summer could prove costly.

“We won against Tonge early in the season, but they took the points following a registration issue,” explained Khan. “With those six points, we’d be in a very good position. But we definitely still think we can get promotion. We have five games to go and have Blackrod, Eagley and Atherton to play – all sides above us.

“The points difference is not massive. We’ll never give up.”

Darcy opener Chris Fenn scored 52, but nobody else made it to 20 as Butt’s six-for was supplemented by three wickets for captain Khan, who is also an off-spinner.

In reply, Butt came in at number three with the score at 41-1 in the eighth over and smashed eight fours and three sixes: “It was an easy win in the end, and Imran played all the shots,” assessed Khan.

Butt plays his first-class cricket in Pakistan for the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited side alongside current and former internationals Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq.

He has scored six hundreds in 59 first-class appearances, including a top-score of 189 not out.

He is currently ranked as the Association division’s most valuable player by the CricHQ stats site, with 326 runs, 33 wickets, eight catches and a run out.

“Hopefully he should be in the Pakistan Test team within the next year. That’s what he’s hoping and aiming for,” added Khan.

“He has opened with Hafeez in first-class cricket.

“We’re hoping by this time next year that he’s in the Pakistan team.

“If he gets into the Test team, we may not get him back here, we’ll have to see.

“But at least we can all say that we’ve played alongside him and I can say he’s played under me as a captain. That would be a great story to tell.

“We would love to help him get there if we can.

“He played for Little Hulton in 2016 and then went to Farnworth Social Circle before coming back. This is his third or fourth season in Bolton.

“He bowled very well, but he does absolutely everything. His fielding is absolutely amazing. I have never seen anyone like him in the field.

“In this league, he’s one of the best. Even the umpires enjoy watching him! He’s that good.”