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Whitby 2nds saw off the challenge of Preston in a top of the table clash, to set the pace at the top of the North Yorkshire and South Durham League’s third division.

After winning the toss at sun-drenched Turnbull on Saturday, skipper Andrew Wood surprised his team-mates by choosing to bat on a green tinged wicket.

The decision back-fired early on as Whitby found themselves on 20/2 but Kai Morris (24) and Wood (22) began to repair the damage for the home side before both giving away their wickets needlessly with loose shots.

Whitby needed a partnership and they got one from old pros Ian Suckling and Ricky Hall, who batted with great intent and moved Whitby onto 150/4 before Suckling (58) and Hall (33) both departed, sparking a major collapse to 174 all out.

This was below par to a short boundary so Whitby knew early wickets were vital – and they got them from the accurate Crowther and the aggressive Hogarth.

At 47/4, Preston were in trouble but in came Ali Wasim who blasted the ball to all parts in an aggressive knock which threatened to take the game away from Whitby.

However, when Hall had him caught and bowled, Preston never looked like reaching their target and were all out for 130, giving Whitby 25 valuable points.

Wood said: “This was a much improved performance from Whitby who batted well in the middle period of their innings and stuck to their guns well in the field and with the ball against a very aggressive opponent.”