REDDITCH Entaco head to Bewdley on Saturday having seen their Worcestershire League Premier Division lead cut to four points as a result of last weekend’s five-wicket defeat to Old Elizabethans.
Local rivals Astwood Bank are the Kingfishers’ closest challengers ahead of the season’s eighth game, which provides the chance to bounce back from the home loss to the Worcester outfit.
Skipper Russell Southwick – who will miss the Bewdley encounter due to a holiday – won the toss and decided to bat first on a good pitch and openers Olly Mason and Chris Brown (21) justified his decision with an opening stand of 71.
Southwick (21) and Mason continued the good start and Redditch were well placed at drinks on 119-2 after 25 overs. However, Old Elizabethans bounced back as Mason was dismissed for a fine 44 and the visitors produced some excellent bowling.
Rizwan Mohammed chipped in with 33 and Ghulam Moyhuddin added 38 as the innings finished on 211-6 off 50 overs. Sam Harn took 2-42 and Rowan Upton 2-28.
In reply Redditch struck early with the dismissal of wicketkeeper Jamie Boyle but solid knocks from Tom Godwin (19) and Chris Pearman (27) kept the visitors on track.
Sri Lankan overseas player Raminda Arachchige changed the game with a magnificent quickfire 62 but Redditch bounced back with two quick wickets to leave Old Elizabethans on 140-5.
However, a match-winning unbeaten partnership of 72 between Michael Cooper (57no) and skipper Alex Bastable (30no) saw Old Elizabethans to victory in the 47th over.
Redditch 2nds earned a winning draw at OEs in Division Three and this weekend look forward to the visit of Stourbridge.
Redditch scored a healthy 223-8 off their 50 overs as Haleem Basharat led the way with 54, ably supported by skipper Luke Davis (32), Naseek Hussain (36) and Asif Mukhtar (30).
In reply good, accurate bowling from Steve Du Cros (2-27) put Redditch in charge but a fine 70 from Sean Cairney held up the Kingfishers and Old Elizabethans finished on 180-8. Basharat enjoyed a good day as he finished with 3-43.
The 3rds continued their excellent start to the Division Ten season with a hard-earned four-wicket victory at Hagley.
The home side were bowled out for just 117 as Ranvir Sandhu top-scored with 45. Tayyab Muhammed took 2-6 and was supported by Jack Mayo (2-7) and Tom Kitching (2-18).
The visitors lost a cluster of early wickets and looked in trouble but middle order batsmen Kitching (30no), Tom Hemming (19) and Faheen Shahid (17) helped Redditch home in 28 overs.
On Saturday Tom Prescott’s troops have a home fixture at the Entaco against fellow in-form side Cookhill.
The 4ths suffered a ten-wicket home defeat against Five Ways Old Edwardians.
Redditch were bowled out for just 106 as only James Oakley (37) and skipper Adam Sharp (29no) impressed. In reply a fine unbeaten 69 from Mark Butcher ensured Five Ways had no problems and Redditch will look to rally at Evesham 3rds this weekend.