Convincing wins for Rotherham Town and Barnsley, plus a rare batting failure for early pacesetters Harrogate, turned the ECB Yorkshire Premier League table on its head and put Town in a strong position to make them serious contenders to take, sadly, the final Yorkshire Premier League title.
Rotherham skipper Mark Cummins put Sheffield United in to bat at SHU Sports Park and after a bright start of 31 by Suleman and Waqar, the varied Rotherham attack took control and United slipped to 95-7.
Captain for the day Jaco Scholtz, batting himself at five, then showed his undoubted batting talent as he farmed the bowling, hitting eight boundaries and six sixes. He looked set to complete his first century for United when he was caught on the mid wicket boundary by Cummins for 92.
Stand-in Arron Grant, although failing to score, shared an important last-wicket stand of 37 with Scholtz to take United to 177 all out in the 50th over.
Off spinner Will Street led the Rotherham wicket takers with 4-42, Cummins and Ben Sanderson taking two apiece.
In response Town, after losing James Moorhouse to Sam Woodcock for 12, had little difficulty reaching the target. Gareth Purshouse, 61no, and Cummins, 57, put on a match-winning second-wicket partnership of 125 as victory came in the 32nd over.
Sheffield Collegiate pulled off an easy eight-wicket win over Cleethorpes at Abbeydale Park after the visitors had elected to bat in unsettled conditions.
Reliable Bill Kirby hit 33 and the score had reached 52-2 when the innings collapsed. Cleethorpes had no answer to the aggressive bowling of Bill Root, who took 5-34, or to Matt Lee who returned 3-8 as Cleethorpes were all out for a paltry 81 in the 28th over.
Collegiate, in reply, got off to an alarming start when they lost Nick Gaywood and Tom Dunn with just a single run scored. But they quickly recovered and ran out winners in the 11th over, Root completing a satisfying afternoon by hitting 46no with Simon Guy (34no) sharing the honours.
Barnsley took over second spot after beating Hull at Shaw Lane by six wickets.The visitors looked set for a challenging score and at one stage had reached 150-2, before an inspired spell by Azeem Rafiq turned the match on its head.
Wickets tumbled and the visitors were dismissed for 208, with Rafiq returning an impressive 5-57. Chris Grey, 65, top scored for Hull.
Solid batting by Jon Trower, 47, and Matt Wilson, 37, set the hosts on the victory trail before a blistering 65no by Zohab, who hit nine boundaries and three sixes, sealed the win in the 37th over.
Free scoring Harrogate fell to a shock six wicket defeat at Clifton when, after being bowled out for 118, they were powerless to stop York’s Adam Whateley as the impressive Aussie smashed 69no and the home team cruised to victory.
This weekend’s fixtures, Saturday: Doncaster v Driffield, Harrogate v Barnsley, Hull v United, Rotherham v App Frod, Collegiate v York, YCA v Castleford.
Cup second round, 1pm: AppFrod v YCA, Hull v Barnsley, Doncaster v York, Collegiate v United.
n Collegiate made it through to the next round of The Royal London National Club Knockout after beating Chesterfield by 22 runs at Queen’s Park.