By Shaun Moloney
Rawdon Cricket Club face a stern test this weekend as they host early favourites Thackley in their Aire Wharfe SCL Division 2 clash.
Thackley, Division One champions in 2011, were relegated on the final day of last season and have no plans to remain in the second tier.
Rawdon CC chairman Lawrence Walker said: “Thackley are seen as most people’s favourite for promotion. Their two opening bowlers could arguably be the strongest in the division. It should be an excellent game.”
Rawdon were impressive on Saturday, amassing 286-7 led by Tony Gilks (76), Joe Loorham (66) and emerging star James Doidge (47) – providing a target which was far beyond opponents Calverley.
Calverley could only answer with a meagre 161-6 and never looked like any sort of threat to Rawdon’s total.
Thackley were involved in a dominant performance on Saturday against Bolton Villas – with siblings Yesser and Mahir Ali doing most of the damage.
After losing their first wicket, Yesser smashed 22 fours and three sixes as he raced away to 170 off 149 balls.
Brother Mahir contributed 42 of his own as Thackley grabbed 294-6 before picking up 5-32 as Villas were dismissed for 94.
The game will get underway at 1pm on Saturday.