Professionals Asad Shafiq and Jameel Stuart hit centuries and claimed four wickets to help Read and Farnworth Social Circle claim eye-catching home wins, while lowly Baxenden ended an eight-game losing streak by shocking Tonge in Saturday’s Anthony Axford North West Cricket League Premiership, writes Graham Hardcastle.

Second-bottom Baxenden’s first win came by 15 runs at home to mid-table Tonge.

Victory came as wicketkeeper-opener Ben Hall’s 46 led a number of solid contributions in 180-6 from 45 overs before Jake Hargreaves, Matthew Austin and Adam Masood claimed three wickets to bowl Tonge out for 165.

It means Walkden are the only winless side after nine rounds having been beaten at home by Kearsley. South African pro Jono Bird’s busy 97 led mid-table Kearsley to 212 all out before Walkden replied with 190-9.

Read’s ex-Pakistan Test batting sub pro Shafiq hit 103 not out off 82 balls against Settle (273-8) to ensure the mid-table side’s fifth win.

Shafiq, who also claimed 4-83 from 15 overs, shared an unbroken 137 inside just 12 overs with Joe Halstead - 68 off 34 - as Read advanced from 138-3 to win by seven wickets inside 36 overs.

Social Circle racked up 306-5 in a 121-run win over Barnoldswick (185 all out), their first of two weekend games.

Bajan Stuart crashed a brutal 106 not out off 50 balls and claimed 4-27 from five overs. Social Circle also won for the fifth time but are sixth compared to Read’s 11th.

On Sunday, Social Circle’s 10th game at Salesbury was rained off with them 10-0 chasing 119.

Second-placed Ribblesdale Wanderers chased 196 to beat Atherton by eight wickets inside 35 overs on Saturday. Home captain and opener Mack Spencer and pro Anuj Jotin impressed with 66 not out and 58 not out.

Wanderers’ (90 points) eighth win keeps them in touch with relentless leaders Little Lever (102 points).

They hammered Oswaldtwistle Immanuel by 10 wickets chasing 74 to win their ninth successive game. Curtis Anderton claimed 6-26 from 15 overs, while Indian overseas amateur Nipun Gaikwad added three wickets and 29.

Third-placed Eagley won our featured game at Brinscall, while Farnworth and Padiham - fourth and fifth - also won for the sixth time.

Hosts Farnworth replied to Salesbury’s 203-9, winning by five wickets.

Sri Lankan pro Milinda Siriwardana hit a fabulous unbeaten best of the round 131 off 111 balls having earlier taken three wickets.

Padiham survived a scare at Lostock, recovering from 26-4 chasing 118.

Zander van Tonder claimed three wickets and hit a run-a-ball 37, sharing an unbroken 93 with fifth-wicket partner Max Seedall. His 52 off 39 was his first Padiham fifty.

Visitors Astley Bridge brushed Whalley aside by nine wickets for their fifth win.

David Cryer starred with a new ball 3-37 from 11 overs to bowl Whalley out for 89.

Bridge are well placed for a top 12 finish in eighth, as are Blackrod in ninth having beaten Cherry Tree by 52 runs.

Visitors Blackrod posted 194 all out thanks to wicketkeeper Zak Burton’s lower middle order 65 off 64 balls. Thushendra De Zoysa then claimed 5-37 from 13.4 overs to bowl Cherry Tree out for 142.

Earby (15th) are chasing the same goal having beaten Feniscowles at home by one wicket chasing a revised 167 target in 41 overs.

South African pro Rubin Hermann’s 4-38 from 9.4 overs helped bowl Feniscowles out for 161 before Iain Clarkson and Joseph Robinson, who hit the winning runs with three balls remaining, shared 20 for the last wicket.