In-Form Ali Hits Century In Exciting Win For The Thirds

In-Form Ali Hits Century In Exciting Win For The Thirds

Hamza Ali produced a brilliant century and Junaid Iqbal fell just short of achieving the same feat as Hale Barns Third XI came out on top in an incredible high-scoring clash with Timperley CC.

Almost 600 runs were scored between the two sides, while Adil Khan claimed four wickets to help Barns hold on by just two runs to maintain their 100 per cent start to the 2020 season.

Batting first, HBCC lost four batsmen cheaply early on, with Ahmed Choudhry (19) being the only man dismissed to reach double figures, although Ali looked in great touch from the off to avoid a clean sweep of the top five.

Having made unbeaten scores of 41 and 64 in previous weeks, Ali seemed intent on capitalising on the opportunity to bat for more overs, easing to his half century in quick time.

A Khan added 14 before departing with the score on 130-5 off 27 overs, which brought Iqbal to the crease. The big-hitter showcased his attacking prowess by immediately targeting boundaries, hastily making his way to fifty in 30 deliveries.

It then became a race to three figures between Ali and Iqbal, with the duo accumulating runs at will to guide Barns to a mammoth total. Capping off a tremendous partnership of well over 100, Ali reached his maiden ton for the club, while Iqbal (94) unfortunately missed out by six runs.

Ali managed to carry his bat for a third successive game, eventually completing the allotted overs on 116 not out as Barns posted a seemingly unassailable 294-7.

The away side did not have it all their own way, though, with Timperley reaching 115-1 off 16 overs to lay the foundations for an intriguing run chase.

Opener Zain Bhatti and Kabir Khan both reached half centuries to give the hosts plenty of reason for optimism, although Bhatti’s knock eventually concluded on 65 before two quick wickets for Suhail Anjum (2-36) slowed Timperley’s progress.

However, despite A Khan making a fifth breakthrough for HBCC, K Khan and Kantappa Gajanan scored freely to keep the game in the balance, with the home team requiring 60 from the last 48 deliveries.

Timperley appeared to be coasting to the target when K Khan reached three figures and the pair entered the final two overs needing just 13 runs to record a stunning victory. But there was time for more drama as Iqbal ran out Gajanan for 31, leaving A Khan the bowl the final over with eight runs to defend.

K Khan struck the first delivery for four to pile the pressure on, but A Khan (4-55) held his nerve, claiming two more victims, including Timperley’s star performer, who was well caught by Ben Harrison on the final ball of the match for an exceptional 117, meaning Barns sealed a dramatic third win in a row.

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