Sale Cricket Club’s third XI kept up their Premier Division title challenge thanks to a captain’s performance from Tom Riley, who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a thrilling finish at Dane Road.

Visitors Nantwich asked Sale to bat first and soon dislodged opener Joe Molloy. Tom Jenkinson added 31 at the top of the order before he was second to go with the score on 50.

Several other batters made starts, but none went on to make a telling contribution, Sachi Pai run out for 28 and Asad Khan made 27 as Sale closed on 180-8.

Nantwich were quick out of the blocks after tea as Callum Pearson and Owen Silvester (34) added 54 for the first wicket in even time.

When Pearson was fourth man out for 80 with the score on 159 the visitors looked to be coasting, however 159-4 soon became 172-7 with Grant Whittaker picking up 4-47.

The score then crept up to 179, two runs to win with 10 balls to go. Jenkinson then took a wicket in the penultimate over before Riley took two wickets in two balls in the final over to record figures of 4-37 and secure a famous win.

On Saturday, Sale first XI could not chase down the 244 all out posted by Timperley in a rain-affected game at Stockport Road. Sale nemesis Jonathan Fletcher scored 130 not out, Tyrone Lawrence took 4-63 and Dan Newton 3-49.

Sale could only reach 188-7 after losing two overs to rain, Matt Spells (42), Pat Ashling (34) and Dan Newton (33) among six players to reach 20 without any of them making a match-winning contribution.

Sale seconds lost at home to Chester Boughton Hall after posting 193-9, Tom Jenkinson making 70, Jamie Coombes 30 and Amjad Khan also 30.

The visitors coasted home for the loss of four wickets.

On Saturday, the first XI host Macclesfield at Dane Road and the seconds travel to Hyde, while on Sunday the thirds visit Romiley and the fourth XI host Cheadle Hulme.