Indian all-rounder Rahul Bakshi could hold the key on Sunday to Lascelles Hall reaching the Oddfellows Cup final.
The former Slaithwaite and Elland player – who plays first class for Madhya Pradesh – has hammered 682 runs in the Jedi Sports Championship at an average of 85.25 in addition to picking up 19 wickets at 24.74.
It makes him a key player in the Lascelles Hall ranks as they entertain Almondbury Wesleyans in the semi-finals – the winners going through to meet either Marsden or Cedar Court Conference leaders Kirkheaton in the final on Sunday, August 3.
But Lascelles Hall skipper Jonny Bishop – himself in fine form with over 300 runs at 37 – says they have a young and enthusiastic line-up with plenty of match-winners capable of swinging a cup-tie.
“Rahul is a quality batter who has done the business in the Huddersfield League before and, no doubt about it, he’s been a massive bonus for us this season,” said Bishop, whose brother Chris is in excellent form behind the sticks as well.
“He has scored good runs in the Premiership before now and, clearly, he is going well in the Championship, not just scoring plenty of runs but also taking some wickets.
“Rahul has enjoyed the season with us and says he wants to come back, so everything is pretty much in place to make that happen.”
Along with Bakshi, new faces at the Hall this season include Sam Scott and his brother Josh from Shelley, Nick Sharp who made the same move, Muhammed Hussain and Matthew Simpson.
“Our average age is 23 and I’m the oldest at 30,” added Bishop, just back from a holiday in Jamaica.
“We haven’t had the best of luck with matches called off in the league, which is why we are where we are, but we’ve got some good young lads to hopefully take the club forward and we are probably in as strong a position now as we have been since coming out of the top section.
“Ben Robshaw came from Hall Bower and is doing a great job with the seconds and we’ve had players wanting to come and join us and be part of the progression.
“We’ve staged some Yorkshire age-group games this season which helps get the club back on the map, and hopefully the Oddfellows can provide us with a cup-final appearance to add to last season’s promotion.
“That’s the aim and we’ll be giving it our best shot.”
In the second XI Earnshaw Cup on Sunday, the semi-finals are Kirkheaton v Rastrick and Shelley v Cumberworth.
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