THERE was deja vu for Astwood Bank as for the second Saturday in succession they suffered a narrow defeat under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system in Birmingham League Division Three.
Having been beaten by four runs by Fordhouses the previous weekend, Steve Adshead’s side were once again left frustrated as they came up just short in a high-scoring game at Eastnor.
The Herefordshire side piled up 285-9 off their 50 overs thanks to 108 from Atiq Ur Rehman and 66 from Mahaaz Ahmed. Andrzej Jagielski took 3-38 and Tom Harris 2-35 off their ten overs apiece, but the other visiting bowlers were much more expensive.
Bank then faced a revised target of 258 from 42 overs after a break for rain and skipper Adshead continued his fine form from the previous game as he thumped 84 from 61 balls and Sam Thomas finished unbeaten on 60 from 72, but the visitors were six runs shy of their target when their innings closed on 252-9.
Bank, who have 13 points from two games, host Newport on Saturday when both sides will bid to open their win tally.
ASTWOOD Bank Women secured a thrilling one-wicket victory at Banbury in Women’s Midlands League Division Two on Sunday.
Bank’s ladies have enjoyed little success at Banbury in the past so were determined to put this right and, after winning the toss, decided to bowl.
Jess Humby made an early breakthrough but then Banbury’s star batter Chloe Hill started to look very comfortable.
Bank captain Amber Capewell decided to ring the changes and rotated the bowlers regularly but at drinks the visitors were beginning to look weary.
Clare Boycott was then brought back into the attack and with her first ball ripped out Hill’s leg stump to send her back to the pavilion for 35 and then followed a steady fall of wickets.
Boycott ended with 3-21 and new player Mars Zaman made an impressive debut in taking 4-30 as Banbury were eventually dismissed for 119.
In reply Boycott and Sally Livingstone made a steady start as they took the score to 37 before the latter chased a wide one and edged to slip.
Charlie Evans looked in good touch again before being given out in slightly controversial circumstances and a mini-collapse saw the middle order go cheaply until Laura Clifford and Boycott settled down.
They took the score to 112-4 before Boycott edged one to the keeper to fall for a superb 80 full of aggressive shot-making coupled with sturdy defence.
The next six overs saw Bank collapse to 118-9 with Lucy Hunter taking 4-6 before Amy Green hit the winning runs for the visitors as they crept to 120-9 in the 34th over.
BANK 2nds were beaten by 53 runs by visitors Kenilworth Wardens 2nds in Division One 2nd XI.
The Warwickshire side put on 166 for the first wicket before the run rate was slowed down by some good bowling from spin twins Dan Taylor (1-41 off nine) and Haris Ali (1-35 off nine).
Openers Robin De Regt and Ben Rex were still looking to play positively but eventually Taylor brought the demise of De Regt for a fine 84.
Rex soon followed for 69 but Mainak Ray struck a 30-ball 54 to guide Wardens to 263-5 off their 45 overs.
In reply Bank were reduced to 15-2 off 13 overs before captain Andy Williams looked to increase the run rate but went for one shot too many and departed on 31.
Unfortunately for the hosts, wickets kept tumbling at vital points which prevented them from building any momentum but with 15 overs to go Tom Shepherd (58) was going strong along with Isa Zarro (15) and, with the required run rate at ten per over, Bank felt they had a chance.
However, the rain came which meant five overs were lost and, with the hosts having to throw the bat at every ball, they eventually ended up on 198-9, losing by 53 runs.
Bank 2nds go to Barnt Green on Saturday looking to grab their first victory of the season.
BANK 3rds secured a winning draw at home to Bromsgrove 3rds in Worcestershire League Division Four.
With rain promised later in the day, Bromsgrove won the toss and put the home team into bat.
Bank made a solid start with an opening partnership of 40 between Andy Clayton and Devlin Jacobs before the latter fell for 22 when caught in two minds off a short ball.
There were starts from the top order but no telling contributions as both Paul Boycott and Clayton fell for less than 20.
Bank needed to up the run rate and with Paul Baker and Connor Adams at the crease this was no issue as Baker brought up his 50 with a big six.
The hosts made 200-5 off their 50 overs as Baker ended unbeaten on 82 and Adams made 38.
The Bromsgrove openers batted stubbornly until George Haslam made the breakthrough which started a mini-collapse which saw James Boycott take two wickets.
Bromsgrove then fought back and it took a rain break to halt their momentum. This worked to Bank’s advantage as Josh Baker built on his father’s fine performance by taking 4-22 off 11 overs.
Boycott also added to his tally to finish with three wickets as the visitors ended on 132-8 off 44 overs.