CAPTAIN Steve Adshead admitted Astwood Bank’s gamble failed to pay off as they suffered a narrow defeat in their opening fixture of the Birmingham League Division Three season.
In a match hit by rain and hail, Bank went down by four runs to visitors Fordhouses under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method on Saturday.
However, Adshead says there were plenty of positives to build on as they travel to Eastnor on Saturday.
Former Worcestershire and Gloucestershire ace Adshead led the way with 96 off 93 balls and also shared promising partnerships with Alex Robinson (22) and Mike Desmond (11) to get Bank to 203 all out in 46.3 overs.
Fordhouses were stuttering on 67-3 after 14 overs, with Tom Harris taking two wickets and teenager Jake Price one, but a hailstorm halted proceedings and under DLS the visitors needed 48 off six more overs in their revised DLS target when play resumed.
“Having lost the toss and having to bat on a softish track, we felt 200 was a good score and when we had them 60-3 we felt confident we could have come out on top.
“The conditions certainly didn’t help. The ball was wet and the conditions were difficult underfoot. The umpires left it to the captains about whether to play but we gambled to get out there rather than sit in the pavilion. It was just disappointing we finished on the losing side.”
Astwood Bank are forced to make one change to the team to head to Eastnor, with Desmond unavailable.
Adshead says continuity and consistency will be important as the mix of youth and experience gels.
With Tom Underhill having returned to the club from Bromsgrove, Bank are fielding a team packed full of players who have progressed through the club’s junior ranks.
“Developing our own players is something we are very proud of – it shows we are heading in the right direction,” said Adshead. “We’ve got young players capable of achieving good things and we need the older players to help them become more consistent.”
Astwood Bank 2nds are at home to Kenilworth Wardens 2nds tomorrow after their match at Coventry & North Warwickshire 2nds was abandoned. Andrew Alexander (41) and Tom Shepherd (39no) were the key run-makers in Bank’s 126-6 off 36 overs.
The 3rds were also washed out in their Worcestershire League Division Four match at Halesowen. Paul Boycott’s 56 helped them to 123-7 before the rain came.
They face a derby with Bromsgrove 3rds at Hanbury on Saturday.
The 4ths went down by eights wickets to Halesowen 4ths in Division Four 2nd XIs. Openers Nathan Fidler and Martin Ward made a steady start but wickets fell regularly in a rain-interrupted innings as Bank were all out for 89 before Halesowen reached their target in the 30th over.
They visit Cleobury Mortimer on Saturday while the 5ths start their campaign in Cotswold Hills League Division Seven against Badsey 2nds at Cookhill.