CAPTAIN Russell Southwick hailed the Redditch Entaco bowling attack as the best in Worcestershire League Division One after they inspired the Kingfishers to a thrilling four-run victory at leaders Bewdley.
Having suffered an agonising one-wicket defeat at previous leaders Worcester at the start of the month, fifth placed Redditch have now won two matches in a row to move within 26 points of top spot.
On an extremely hot day, Southwick won the toss and elected to bat and a well executed 68 from Rizwan Mohammed and a valuable 40 from Naseek Hussain saw Redditch through to 206 all out off 48 overs.
In reply Bewdley looked on course for victory at both 92-3 and 163-5, but an inspired bowling and fielding performance from Greg Chinn prompted a collapse from 190-6 to 202 all out in 48.2 overs.
Chinn took 4-38 off 8.2 overs and also executed two run outs to inspire a victory to savour for Redditch, who will field an unchanged side at home to Burghill & Tillington on Saturday.
THE 2NDS cemented second place in Division One 2nd XI thanks to a narrow eight-run home win over Bewdley.
Redditch scored 238-6 off 50 overs as wicketkeeper Abdul Jabbar top scored with 54, Faizan Ahmed chipped in with 53 and Geoff Eley scored 39.
Mirroring the first team game, Bewdley looked on course for victory thanks to an excellent 79 from Matt Cowdrey, but Redditch bounced back to sneak home as Aleem Shahid took 2-19 off ten impressive overs.
Redditch, 18 points behind leaders Feckenham, travel to Coombs Wood on Saturday.
THE 3RDS maintained their improved form with a 65-run victory over Enville in Division Five at the Entaco.
Matt Mansfield (39), Nick Little (30) and Allen Smith (28) led the way as Redditch made 215.
Enville lost early wickets in reply but an excellent 68 from teenager Suhayl Iqbal kept them in the game. However, Mansfield completed a fine display by taking 3-24 off nine overs to restrict Enville to 150-8 off 45 takers.
On Saturday, the 3rds and 4ths face Harborne away and home respectively.
ELSEWHERE, Redditch’s over 45s suffered their first defeat in two years on Sunday as Droitwich cruised to a 145-run win.
The Spa men hit 265 off 35 overs as Redditch toiled in the field, with Tim Piper the pick of the home bowling.
In reply, Redditch struggled after a good start and could only muster 120 in which Eley (34) and Little (27) top scored.
The over 45s will be looking to bounce back on July 9 at Belbroughton.
The 2nds lost to Bewdley by 46 runs in Monday’s Knockout Cup semi-final.
Bewdley made 153-6 off 15 overs and in reply Redditch never got going once Olly Mason departed early, finishing on 107-8 of which Haleem Basharat (31) and Marlon Lokenath (29) top scored.