A BLISTERING century from Ivan Burgess fired unbeaten table-toppers Alvechurch & Hopwood to another victory in their push to be crowned Worcestershire League Division Three champions.
Burgess smashed 111 as Alvechurch recorded 306-7 from their 50 overs to set up a 97-run victory over fellow title contenders Himbleton on Saturday.
The win – a seventh in 11 league matches – leaves Alvechurch 16 points clear of second placed Chaddesley Corbett.
An excellent opening stand of 51 between Adam Markham-Jones (72) and captain Mark Hayward (34) provided the perfect foundation before Hayward edged Jamie Alford to first slip.
With the score on 89, visitors Himbleton picked up two quick wickets as Ryan Spink was run out for only four before Edd Rogers snicked Sean Jenkins’ ball of the day to Stu Dickenson at first slip.
However, this brought Burgess to the crease and, although he rode his luck at the start of his innings, he soon started to dominate the bowling.
Jahan Khan (43) continued to pile on the runs and although Jem Rose (3-46) took three quick wickets Alvechurch had set a formidable total.
Himbleton needed a positive start but they were quickly two wickets down after Christian Battelley trapped Sean Jenkins leg before and then had Dickenson caught behind.
The visitors rallied with a 133-run stand for the third wicket through Ali Pretty (66) and Alford (62) but both fell in quick succession and at 154-4 from 34 overs Alvechurch were in charge.
Jahan Khan then ripped through the lower order to finish with 5-26 off 5.5 overs and Himbleton were all out for 209 in the 44th over.
Alvechurch will look to continue their title charge on Saturday when they entertain second from bottom Old Vigornians.