by Jim Sumner
Mark Starr hit a glorious unbeaten century as Shipley Hall faced Derby Congregational on Saturday, but his side were ultimately beaten by four wickets.
After Starr continued his brilliant early season form with a fine knock of 102 not out, the rest of the Shipley batsmen were unable to give him any support at all and could only muster a meagre total of 30 runs between them.
Admittedly the wicket played a few tricks after early heavy showers, but with 22 extras in their favour Shipley managed to scramble to 154-7, with Mark Starr’s brother, Martin, the only other player to reach double figures with 11.
Wickets fell with monotonous regularity throughout the innings, with Mohsin Ayaz taking 3 for 42, Mohammad Tassadaq 2 for 31 and Mohammed Kaleem 2 for 47.
When Derby Congs batted, they also struggled in the early stages of their innings with Martinus Gouws taking three wickets for 61 in his useful 13-over spell.
Matt Murfin took 1 for 39 in his economical 14 overs and James Cokayne 1 for 26 in his tidy ten overs.
However, the Shipley bowlers were thwarted initially by Mahroof Hussain who scored a useful 42, Mohammed Waseem who hit a match-winning 48 not out and useful contributions from Waqas Iqbal (18) and Ayaz (28 not out).
A run-out helped Shipley’s cause but Derby Congs eventually coasted to victory by four wickets, helping themselves to 22 points, Shipley claiming six.