Rowland hits a high note, but Oxton miss out

OXTON suffered a three-wicket defeat at lowly Didsbury in the Chapel Press Cheshire County League.

Mark Rowland top scored with 70 in Oxton’s 162 all out and Didsbury got home thanks to 86 not out from Nick Anderson despite Lee Dixon taking 4-47.

Oulton Park are clear in second place after a comprehensive 127-run victory at Neston.

Nathan Dumelow (83) and Danny Leech (67) saw Park to a mammoth 309-7 as Chris Hackett claimed 5-78.

David Hurst hit 87 in reply but received little support as Neston were dismissed for 182.

Winless Chester Boughton Hall were hammered by Alderley Edge.

Warren Goodwin hit 76 in Chester’s 229-9 but Mark Currie struck 129 and shared an unbroken third wicket partnership of 176 with Richard Wilkinson (66).

Meanwhile, Widnes have appealed against the decision to dock the club a record 128 points for fielding an ineligible player.

The club has been punished for playing former Pakistan paceman Ata-ur-Rehman in five matches this season after it emerged he had already appeared for Heywood in the Central Lancashire League.

The 34-year-old, who is the top wicket-taker in the league with 32 victims, has been suspended for the rest of the season.

Widnes have lost the 78 points they gained in those five matches and a further 50 for fielding an ineligible player. They have also been thrown out of the league’s Fred Graham T20 Trophy.

Chairman Robin Faulkner said: “We have lodged an appeal against the points deduction and believe we have a strong case.”

If the deduction is upheld then Widnes will be bottom and facing a desperate fight for Premier survival.

Rehman has had a controversial career since he made his Test debut against England at Edgbaston in 1992.

He went on to play 13 Tests and 30 one-dayers before he was banned for life by the ICC in 2000 for his involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

Rehman was freed to return to action in 2007.

Meanwhile, Widnes shook off that setback on Saturday to hold Hyde to a high-scoring draw.

Zia Rehman (56) helped them to 256-9 in reply to Hyde’s 278-3 in which James Duffy struck 107 not out.

Bowdon remain 38 points clear at the top after a 83-run win at Macclesfield.

Carl Hey top scored with 89 in Bowdon’s 250-7 and Macc were then dismissed for 168 with Gareth Cross taking 3-24.