Dominant start

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Yorkshire Premier League

BARNSLEY made an emphatic start to the season with an eight–point win over South Yorkshire rivals, Rotherham Town.

A five-wicket haul from junior Azeem Rafiq helped peg back their rivals while experienced Zimbabwean, Gary Ballance top-scored with 43 runs to ensure a winning start for Barnsley.

Rotherham were all out for 132 runs, with just two other batsmen reaching double figures after opener James Moorhouse reached 60 before falling victim to Rafiq.

Rafiq finished with figures of 5-45.

In reply, Barnsley needed just 39.2 overs to reach a winning score of 134-5.

While opening duo Matthew Wilson and Simon Widdup were back in the pavilion for just three and four runs respectively, Ballance did the business with 43, while Wilkinson scored 35no and captain Jason Booth was similarly unbeaten on 31.

Doncaster Town lost out to hosts Harrogate in their opening clash.

Batting first, Doncaster were encouraged by the good form of young opener batsman Felix Odell who scored 42.

Middle order men Shahid Khan and James Stuart, both scored 36 to keep the score ticking along, Stuart clearly showing the signs of a winter’s cricket in Australia.

But there was little other resistance of note and Doncaster closed on 182-9.

In reply, Harrogate also lost their openers cheaply, with just 20 runs between them, but the middle order repaired the damage with some strong performances.

Ryan Bradshaw proved unbeatable and ended on 83no, while Vic Craven added 33 as Harrogate reached 183-4 in the 34th over.

Barnsley visit York on Saturday and host Sheffield Collegiate on Monday when Rotherham visit Doncaster.