Swarbrick in sensational form again as Lancaster pull clear at top of table

Liam Moffat. Picture: Tony North
Liam Moffat. Picture: Tony North
Share this article

Lancaster beat title rivals Preston by five wickets on Saturday to move 11 points clear at the top of the Palace Shield Premier Division.

Lune Road captain Charlie Swarbrick won the toss and decided to put Preston into bat first, with the visitors going on to reach 234-8.

Preston made a superb start, with Nawazish Ali (63) and Imran Jethva (25) putting on an excellent opening partnership until Ali was caught by Laurie Atkinson off Kieran Moffat (3-57) with the score on 74.

Rizwan Shahid (21) came in at number three and along with Jethva he helped take the visitors to 108 before the latter became Liam Moffat’s first victim of the day, Kieran Moffat taking the catch.

Shahid fell soon after, Liam Moffat (2-51) bowling him to leave Preston on 115-3.

This brought captain Muhammad Nauman to the crease and he managed a knock of 13 before being run out by Swarbrick as the visitors were reduced to 144-4.

In came Ijaz Ahmed but he didn’t get off the mark, Nathan Whitehead (1-18) taking his sole wicket of the day with an LBW decision as Preston started to wobble on 144-5.

However, they managed to move the score on to 191 but Suhel Patel (29) was then run out, again by Swarbrick, leaving them on 191-6.

Rizwan Hussain came and went without trouble the scorers after being bowled by Kieran Moffat, and Jitendra Kumar (27) was next to go, Swarbrick taking the catch of Kieran Moffat as Preston were reduced to 202-8.

They were able to see their innings out though, Nazam Farooq Shahbaz (25no) and Mohammed Harish (7no) moving the score onto 234 at the end of 45 overs.

Lancaster reached their target fairly comfortably, only losing four wickets along on the way.

Opener Jamie Heywood was the first man to fall, he managed a knock of 20 before falling to Siva Sai (1-53), Shahid taking the catch to leave the hosts on 44-1.

Steven Fisher (27) combined with Swarbrick to take the score on to 71 but the former was then removed by Muhammad Nauman (1-53), Shahid again taking the catch, which brought Atkinson to the crease, and between him and Swarbrick they took Lancaster beyond the 100 mark.

Atkinson was eventually out LBW to Kumar (2-39), falling a run short of his half century, which left the home team on 118-3.

Any hopes that Preston had of a victory were soon dashed though, largely thanks to the outstanding Swarbrick.

Along with Whitehead, the pair took the score from 118 to 228 – Whitehead managed a knock of 20 before being bowled by Kumar, but by now Lancaster were within touching distance of their target.

In the 44th over they secured the win, as Swarbrick (99no) and Kieran Moffat (3no) finished Preston off.