Colts unable to cope with superior Dinuk

20-20 cricket at Stanley Park, Blackpool. Blackpool (batting) v St Annes. St Annes pro Dinuk Hetiarachi (centre) is congratulated after taking the wicket of Paul Danson.
20-20 cricket at Stanley Park, Blackpool. Blackpool (batting) v St Annes. St Annes pro Dinuk Hetiarachi (centre) is congratulated after taking the wicket of Paul Danson.
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St Annes stretched their lead at the top of the Northern Premier League, on another busy weekend, to ease the pain of losing their opening Twenty20 match.

Andy Kellett’s side stand 13 points clear in Division One courtesy of Saturday’s six-wicket home win over the Lancashire Colts, St Annes’ third successive win batting second.

Having grabbed five wickets in each of the bank holiday weekend wins over Lancaster and Carnforth, St Annes pro Dinuk Hettiarachchi was again in irresistible form with 7-31.

The Sri Lankan spinner’s victims included Colts captain Oliver Newby, helping his side to the earliest win of the day after dismissing the visitors for exactly 100.

Only Ross Zelem (22) and Charlie Taylor (24 not out) reached double figures.

Despite losing openers Atiq Uz-Zaman and Nathesh Kiruparan cheaply, Atiq to Leyland’s Liam Hurt for 15, skipper Andy Kellett continued his comeback after injury with an unbeaten 28, but it was dazzler Dinuk who completed an outstanding all-round display by starring with the bat too.

The star player made 36 off 40 balls as St Annes won by six wickets.

Blackpool did St Annes a favour with a three-wicket home win over Netherfield, who had started the day just four points behind the leaders.

Richard Gleeson held his nerve in a tense finish to steer Blackpool to victory by three wickets at Stanley Park.

Gleeson hit an unbeaten 34 as Blackpool, wobbling at 104-6, defied a fine bowling display by Netherfield sub-pro Ashar Zaidi. The Accrington pro was adjudged leg before to Steven Mercer for 27 in his side’s 141, and then bowled unchanged to take 6-47 on a dry batting pitch.

Mercer had destroyed Netherfield’s much vaunted batting line-up with a superb spell of 6-41, backed by pro Con De Lange’s economical spell of 1-39 off 17 overs and Gleeson’s 2-36. Rob Sissons made two fine stumpings. De Lange hit 36 in Blackpool’s reply, but Zaidi looked to be turning the screw until Gleeson displayed his growing batting prowess.

It means Netherfield have now been joined on 88 points by Leyland, who couldn’t remove a stubborn Carnforth tail but got the better of the draw.

But Blackpool were in anything but a charitable mood towards St Annes on Friday evening, dismissing them for 81 to wrap up a 46-run derby triumph in the Jamie Heywood Twenty20.

The Stanley Park success made it two wins out of two for Paul Danson’s side, who won their opener against Fleetwood. Blackpool pro De Lange rode his luck to post an undefeated 69 off 58 balls for the home side, seeing three chances dropped.

The South African and John Mounsey opened with a stand of 71, which paved the way for a Blackpool total of 127-6.

St Annes lost openers Nathan Armstrong and Atiq Uz-Zaman in the first two overs and never recovered, collapsing to 81 all out as Steven Mercer took 3-14 and Andy Furniss 2-15.

Fleetwood couldn’t build on last Monday’s derby win over Blackpool as pro Anwar Ali bowled his Morecambe side to victory at Broadwater.

Anwar’s 5-36 off 13 overs helped the visitors to polish off an 81-run win after dismissing Fleetwood for 103.

That had looked highly unlikely as Morecambe stutted to 57-6, with Joe Bell taking 4-35 for Fleetwood.

However, opener Josh Dixon’s 56 off 111 balls and a superb 66 off 64 balls by wicketkeeper Lewis Edge, batting number eight, turned the match Morecambe’s way.

In NPL Division Two, Blackpool had to settle for a draw at Netherfield, with Muhammad Nazir taking six wickets for the hosts. Usman Alam took six Fleetwood wickets for 37 in 15 overs to help Morecambe to a six-wicket win, after dismissing their in-form visitors for 112 Reg Cupit following his 3-56 with an unbeaten 34 for the Woodhill Lane side.