A BRILLIANT innings of 91 by Nick Lange and a defiant ninth wicket partnership between Mark Spencer and Mike Holt earned Crewe eight bonus points in their drawn home game with Leycett on Saturday.
In perfect batting conditions, Leycett made a useful start before Crewe pro Ranadeb Bose struck twice to reduce them to 54 for two.
Lange (3-70) took the next wicket at 109 but Indian pro Panda and Ian Boulton took the score past 150 before Matt Dawson had Panda caught behind by Mark Hurst for 60.
Hurst snapped up two more victims but Leycett progressed to a formidable 252 for seven at tea.
Leycett adopted a negative approach by inexplicably batting on after tea before finally declaring on 265 for seven and then setting a defensive field when Crewe went in to bat.
Lange and Mark Hurst had once again got off to a good start, putting on 47 before Hurst was bowled for 15.
Lange was batting beautifully but the crucial dismissals of Gower (12), Boyle (15) and Bose, unluckily run out for 13, pegged Crewe back.
The home side were in big trouble when Matt Dawson and Richard Marsh went to reduce them to 123 for 6.
Martin Page helped Lange put on 33 before the opener was finally dismissed nine short of what would have been a well-deserved century.
Page made a useful 21 to help his team to maximum batting points but when he was out there were still 12 overs to go and only two wickets standing.
Spencer, at six not out, and Holt (21 not out) defied everything Leycett could throw at them to guide their team to safety as Crewe closed on 196 for eight to ensure a share of the spoils at eight points each.
Elworth remain at the foot of the division despite a six wicket victory against Norton.
Having won the toss, Elworth decided to bowl first, but Norton's batting partnership of Mark Graham and Anthony Dutton made a solid start with 27 runs each.
The duo were caught out by Alex Edmonstone and Dave Palin respectively. Norton never recovered with only Ian Reynolds managing to come close with 16.
The bowling of Elworth's Tommy Harwood ensured there would be no fight back by Norton after taking five wickets for 26 runs and they were all out for 117.
Impressive batting by Kevin Underwood (40) and Murray Ranger (33) set Elworth up for 121-4.
Betley were beaten by eight wickets at the hands of Kidsgrove. Steve Bailey put in a good performance with 5-16 but his team went down 75 all out.
In Division Two, Haslington came up just eight runs short in their draw with Ashcombe Park after Mohammed Ali notched up 14 fours and a total of 77 for 250-9. Ashcombe had earlier declared on 257-9.
Weston pro Saad Wasim chalked up 13 fours in his 86 as his team declared at 255-7 to set up a 16-run win against Oulton which puts them in fourth place in Division Two.