By Jamie Harrison, media manager, Huddersfield Cricket League

Alex Clegg plundered a century to knock Shelley spectacularly out of their stride as Clayton West put last week’s disappointing start firmly behind them. Holmfirth’s Chris Connell also crashed a big ton in an exceptional run chase at home to Elland. 

Marsden, meanwhile, learned quick lessons from last week’s tie by putting Skelmanthorpe to the sword at Hemplow. There were wins for Denby and Almondbury Wesleyans who continued their perfect starts without too much fuss and Lascelles Hall made it a miserable opening gambit for Rastrick.

Clegg’s 145 Hammers Shelley Into Submission

A virtuoso batting show by Clayton West captain-wicket keeper Alex Clegg stung the visiting Shelley bowling attack resulting in both teams beginning the season with a loss and a win. 

Clegg (145no) put on precisely 100 runs for the second wicket with new Indian import Ashay Palkar (45). Clegg hit a total of 18 fours and 5 sixes in his 123-ball innings before experienced lower-order player Mark Hinchliffe (40) hit some lusty shots aimed at taking the game away from the away side; setting them a chase of 279-5. 

On Clayton West’s compact ground, anything could happen, however a terrible start cost Shelley vital momentum in the reply as they slumped to 6-3 with tall pace bowler Palkar (4-64) the tormentor. Kiran Green (52) and Harvey Jones (90) carefully reset the innings and got them into a healthy position on 136-3 when Green was dismissed. 

Martin Sykes can be destructive on his day and the former Almondbury man ominously smashed 24 runs in only 9 balls to give Shelley some much-needed momentum. Once he was out at the hands of Palkar though, the end was a formality as Tom Siani (3-20) efficiently polished off the tail to leave Shelley all out for 227.

Cowell Ton For Holmfirth Topples Visiting Elland  

Chris Cowell cemented his new position as opening batsman for Holmfirth with a stunning century to obliterate the disappointments of their narrow defeat the previous week away to Denby. 

Cowell scored over half his team’s total runs as they successfully hunted down Elland’s competitive 213-7 first innings score. 

The former lower-order batsman (his previous best at 1XI level was 32) carried on to end the innings not out, scoring 120 runs from 113 balls hitting 15 fours and 5 sixes as Holmfirth judged the chase perfectly by reaching 215-6 with 3 overs to play. 

Earlier in the day, Elland new man Kaleel Ahmed (60) top scored with Amar Rashid (4-69) in the mix for hosts Holmfirth.

Cuckoos Shrug Off Stuttering Start To See Off Shat

After the previous week’s dramatic tie, Marsden opened their account by shaking off an uncertain start to send Skelmanthorpe home winless. 

The hosts recovered from 7-2 thanks to 98 from former Lepton man Asif Hussain who impressed on his home debut. His 94-run stand with skipper Steve Butters Jnr was crucial as they put a defendable total of 172-8 on the board. 

Opening bowlers for Skelmanthope Adam Rollin (3-51) and James Crossland (3-22) both shared six wickets. Allan Greenwood will hope his lower order tighten up in future matches as they let slip a promising position to finish well short of Marsden’s total, squandering the final five wickets for only 28 runs. 

Ryan Robinson (29) top scored for the visitors who claimed a point with former Emley man Janaid Tanwir taking five wickets for Marsden as they claimed their first win. 

Henshaw Strikes Again In Sound Defeat For Meltham

Matt Henshaw continued his scintillating start to the season with the ball as he ripped through Meltham to preserve Almondbury Wesleyans’ 100% record. Henshaw (4-22) tore the heart out of Meltham’s upper order as he made it nine wickets from the opening two matches. 

Opener Henry Wise (35) and no 6 batsman Khuram Sajjad (35) offered some token resistance but the visitors, bowled out for 132, were well outplayed by rampant Wes. 

Skipper Will Binns and Nathan Kenworthy both made 44 in the reply to knock off the total for the loss of three wickets in 20 overs.

Denby Demolish Winless Thurstonland As Sanders Thrives Again

Newly promoted Thurstonland suffered their second hammering in two matches as Denby waltzed to an easy victory thanks to another hefty batting performance by Tom Sanders. 

The talented youngster smacked 67 in Denby’s daunting first innings score of 226-6. Losing your opening two wickets for just one run wasn’t damage Thurstonland could absorb and the writing was on the wall as more wickets fell soon after. 

Archie Greaves got off the mark for his new club as the bowler took two wickets in the home side’s capitulation to 118ao.

Wightman Right On The Money For Lascelles Hall 

Rastrick now have an uphill task to arrest their poor start to the season as they endured more grief following a defeat at Lascelles Hall. 

Had they not subsided during the reply, the result may have been different but instead they came distinctly second best to the hosts who themselves bounced back from their opening day defeat. 

Skipper Tom Wightman’s 69 ball half-century kept his side firmly on track as they made 217ao with further contributions from six other batsmen. Richard Smith (3-63) and Majid Khan (3-22) enjoyed the lion’s share of the wickets for Rastrick but they were left cursing a dire middle order collapse during the reply. 

From a healthy 82-3 they withered to 119-8 as Lascelles Hall’s Jack Mulhall (3-44) and William Simpson (3-47) asserted pressure. Abdullah Khan (24), coming in at nine, helped wag the tail but the result was a foregone conclusion by then as the hosts eventually won by 58 runs.