Century and seven wickets for Umesh

Actions from Walsden v Norden, at Walsden CC. Pictured is Umesh Karunaratne
Actions from Walsden v Norden, at Walsden CC. Pictured is Umesh Karunaratne

Umesh Karunaratne was in sensational form as Lancashire League high-flyers Walsden retained their 100 per cent record with a 173-run thrashing of visitors Great Harwood yesterday.

The Sri Lankan hit 102, his first century in the league, as the Scott Street men piled up a season’s best 355-8.

Opener Josh Gale hit 76 off 73 balls and when he was third out at 127, Karunaratne came in and made his runs off just 72 balls. There was also 58 for Matt Dawson.

Spin bowler Karunaratne followed up with 7-39, the best by a professional in the league this season, as Great Harwood were dismissed for 182. Allan Armer hit 59 and pro Ashen Silva added 40 runs to his earlier 3-93.

It was Walsden’s 13th straight win this season and they continue to lead Lowerhouse by 16 points at the top.

Todmorden were undone by their former professional Qaiser Abbas in a four-wicket defeat away to Nelson.

The 36-year-old Pakistani hit 88 not out as a sub professional for the Seedhill club to take them past Tod’s 185.

Abbas had played for Tod in two games the previous weekend, as a replacement for the injured Chris Schofield, and managed only scores of 10 and 24 as well as taking three wickets.

Tod used Daryn Smit with Schofield still sidelined and the South African top scored with 39. Andrew Sutcliffe’s 29 was the next best Tod score, the skipper offering a return catch to Abbas (2-36 off 15).

Matthew Heap (5-66) and Caleb Grant (3-42) did most of the damage but Nelson were held up by last pair Matt Collins (21) and Hamza Ali (12 no), who added 42.

Abbas came in at 10-2 and his patient knock, spanning 133 balls, saw Nelson home with five deliveries to spare. Collins took 3-52 for Tod, who are currently just below the mid-table cut off point for next season’s split into two divisions.