Third place after thrilling victory

First published in Cricket

Blackpool have moved up to third in the Northern Premier League after a thrilling two-wicket win at Darwen.

Home professional Atif Ashraf's 52 and John Cordingley's 54 not out had provided the mainstays of Darwen's 196 for 8.

Sri Lankan professional Sajeewa Weerakon bolstered Blackpool's reply with 49 and skipper Paul Danson (27 not out) and Richard Gleeson (25 not out) engaged in a match-winning, unbroken ninth wicket partnership to see the visitors home.

St Annes were beaten at Barrow after being dismissed for 175 despite a valiant 61 from captain Duncan Whalley as Cumberland county bowler Graham Dawson returned figures of 6 for 54.

Earlier Jon Miles (67) and Ian Allington (48) had posted 115 for Barrow's first wicket partnership and despite professional Mansoor Ahmed returning 6 for 78, he could not prevent home side reaching 214 for 9.

Fleetwood suffered a defeat in their basement battle with Preston at Broadwater after an outstanding performance by visiting professional Bilal Asad. He hit 55 in Preston's modest total of 151, Lukman Vahaluwala adding valuable support with 38. The duo then bowled Preston to a 22-run victory with four wickets apiece despite resistance from Mark Emsley's 45.

Blackpool face a tough task taking on Netherfield at Stanley Park on Saturday as the visitors' captain Chris Parry and Australian pro Callum Ferguson made an unbroken partnership of 279 against Leyland last Saturday a new club record. St Annes host second placed Kendal while Fleetwood host Lancaster.

In the Thwaites Cup on Sunday Blackpool visit Lancaster while St Annes travel to Leyland and Fleetwood host Chorley.

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