A LOW-SCORING affair at Bromsgrove Road went the way of Stourbridge, after Redditch Entaco struggled at the crease during a rain-hit Worcestershire League Premier Division encounter.
The hosts were set a revised target of 130 runs after Stourbridge had been skittled out for 144 in the 35th over, on an afternoon when bowlers on both sides had a field day with the slicker pitch.
But despite the lower tally required for victory, Entaco were unable to deal with demon bowlers Dan Wale (4-34) and Nabeel Ali (3-7) as the visitors saw off the Redditch challenge in the 27th over.
Wickets tumbled on regular occasions, as Noman Mohammad Chaudhry (3-25) wasted little time in asserting himself with a couple of early Stourbridge dismissals.
Despite no dominant partnership from the away side, Marvarick Perry’s score of 49 stood out amongst his teammates and provided a real boost to the visitors’ lowly tally.
Sahil Mahmood (2-19), Haleem Basharatt (2-24) and Haris Ali Mohammed (2-31) all picked up a couple of wickets each.
In reply, the loss of three wickets in the space of ten balls came as a hammer blow to Entaco’s chances of success, with opener Oliver Mason (23) one of the key dismissals taken by Wale.
Middle-order man Basharatt (43) stepped up to the plate, and he was the final wicket to fall after doing his utmost to drag the hosts through the mire – ultimately to no avail.
Ninth-placed Redditch head to out-of-sorts Bewdley, who are bottom, on Saturday.
THERE WERE greater fortunes in store for Astwood Bank, who had centurion Tom Pedley and Andy Williams, who hit a fifty, to thank in an emphatic nine-wicket win over Old Hill.
Bank, fifth in the standings, looked a class act with bat and ball, dismissing the visitors for 186 at Sambourne Lane before striding to victory in the 42nd over, losing just one wicket in the process.
After Fahad Mahmood (21) and Waqas Ahmed (16) opened with a partnership of 38, the former’s dismissal by Dan Taylor (4-39) preceded the quickfire wickets of Bryan Xavier (0) and Ahmed by the Bank bowler to leave them 39-3.
Old Hill rallied with a fourth-wicket stand of 63 runs between Bilal Hassan (35) and Suhayl Iqbal (65).
Iqbal and Alex Elsworth (13 not out) put on 49 runs for the last wicket but with Michael Desmond (2-34) and George Haslam (3-30) also pitching in with some impressive deliveries, Astwood Bank soon closed out the innings.
If the bowling had been impressive, then the batting response from the hosts was even more convincing.
The loss of opener Rob West (9) at 39-1 merely served as extra motivation for Pedley (113no) and Williams (56no) to wreak havoc on their opponents.
Pedley included 17 fours in his batting masterclass which came off 134 deliveries, while Williams’ 56 came off 99 balls with seven fours
With 19 balls remaining, Astwood Bank clinched victory, putting them in good stead for Saturday’s trip to 11th-placed Worcester.