21st Jul, 2019

Cookhill hold nerve for key win

Liam Moakes 13th Jun, 2019

COOKHILL sit second in Worcestershire League Division Ten with five wins from six matches having enjoyed a 20-run home victory over Malvern 2nds on Saturday.

The rain stopped just after midday and allowed the sides to contest a 35-over game from 3pm after the mopping up had been completed.

Cookhill skipper Kenny Hirst lost the toss and himself and Neil Shuttleworth were soon batting, trying to negotiate the Malvern attack on a very wet wicket and a slow outfield.

Both men played watchfully until Hirst decided to up the tempo. Rob Harker bore the brunt as it started to rain sixes with the Malvern players protecting the boundary and the Cookhill players either searching for lost balls or unsuccessfully protecting the cars.

After scoring 40 runs in just nine balls, Hirst went big one time too many to depart for 53 before Brad Horsnall was given a life when a simple catch was dropped.

However, he failed to capitalise, chipping to Shane Abel for 14 and followed in similar fashion by Shuttleworth who faced 67 balls for his nine runs.

Andrew Fennell, promoted to four, was the only other Cookhill player to reach double figures with 22 to his name before being stumped trying to up the rate.

The remaining batsmen did little to trouble the scorers and the Roosters finished on 141 all out off their 35 overs.

It was a tight call as to whether this total would be enough on a drying wicket and quickening outfield but Andrew Leigh thought he had an early breakthrough when Kieran Smith was ‘caught behind’, however the batsman did not walk and the umpire’s finger remained unmoved, much to the disappointment of all in the field.

Smith (48) quickly raced on, much to the frustration of Cookhill as he was dropped twice before Omair Ishtiaq finally claimed his prized wicket, this time caught by Harvey Phillips.

Cookhill kept it tight with the ball and in the field as Shuttleworth pulled off a catch for the ages when Steven Sykes drilled one back at him and he managed to somehow readjust his body to clutch it one-handed at full stretch.

David Sharp was the key man to Malvern’s hopes but Phillips bowled him for 28 and Hirst completed the job when he had Andrew Croft stumped by Stuart Griffiths to dismiss the visitors for 121 with four balls remaining.

Cookhill visit second-bottom Hagley 3rds on Saturday.

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