St Annes recorded a 12 point victory over Darwen to increase their lead in the Northern Premier League and there was double local disappointment as Chorley were beaten by Morecambe to make it a miserable day.

Darwen batted first and made 226-7 from their allotted 50 overs with opening batsman Alex Davies, who spent the last week with the England Under 17 team, playing a fluent innings of 85.

There was able support for Davies from professional Mohammad Zaman Khan, Gareth Cordingley, Jordan Clarke and Kamran Anwar, all of who passed 20 but were unable to push on and make a bigger score.

St Annes reply was built around a masterful century from Atiq uz-Zaman as the former Pakistan Test star displayed his usual powerful stroke play to record his 11th league ton for St Annes.

He shared an opening partnership of 84 with Nanthesh Kiruparan and the St Annes innings also contained a 50 on debut from Kushan Mirando, a Sri Lankan student currently studying at Fleetwood Nautical College.

Darwen fought hard in the field with Chris Wade taking 3-37 and when Kamran Anwar trapped uz-Zaman leg before for 107, the Towers sensed a way back, but former Clitheroe man Ben Dowling held his nerve to hit the winning runs off the penultimate ball.

Third placed Chorley took on Morecambe at Windsor Park. Morecambe batted first and made 174-6 from 50 overs. A patient opening stand of 51 between Mark Woodhead and Josh Dixon saw off testing spells from Billy Smith and Kieran McCullagh.

Ikram Ullah top scored for the visitors with 34, but Morecambe were indebted to 33 from 26 balls from Lewis Edge to boost their score in the late overs.

Gaurav Dhar battled a head injury sustained at practice, to take 4-42, including the wickets of Edge and the Cumberland pair Ullah and Chris Williams.

Chorley found life difficult in the face of some disciplined bowling from Chris Williams and Morecambe’s professional Anwar Ali and they were all out for just 100.

Barrow v Blackpool

Blackpool 177-7, Barrow 153 all out (Wearing 61, Gleeson 5-36).

Blackpool (15 points) beat Barrow (3 points) by 24 runs.

Chorley v Morecambe

Morecambe 174-6 (Dhar 4-42), Chorley 100 all out Morecambe (15 points) beat Chorley (1 point) by 74 runs

Fleetwood v Netherfield

Fleetwood 180-8 (Parker 85, Nixon 6-69), Netherfield 181-4 (Atkinson 78).

Netherfield (12 points) beat Fleetwood (3 points) by 6 wickets.

Kendal v Carnforth

Carnforth 160 all out, Kendal 93 all out (Pedder 6-24).

Carnforth (15 points) beat Kendal (3 points) by 67 runs.

Preston v Lancaster

Preston 143-9 (Vahaluwala 43, Simm 5-49), Lancaster 145-8 (J Atkinson 46, Vahaluwala 6-67).

Lancaster (12 points) beat Preston (3 points) by 2 wickets.

St Annes v Darwen

Darwen 226-8 (Davies 85), St Annes 229-5 (Uz-Zaman 107, Mirando 50).

St Annes (12 points) beat Darwen (4 points) by 5 wickets.

Leyland No Game.