A CLASH at Stourbridge awaits Redditch Entaco on Saturday as the newly-promoted visitors seek their first win of the Birmingham League Division Three campaign.
Following the complete the washout of the season-opener against Pelsall, the Kingfishers almost prevailed against Stratford on Saturday, but eventually suffered a five-run defeat in a tense encounter.
Stratford batted first and posted a useful 173 all out largely thanks to a fluent innings from opener Dexter Purser who scored 48.
Tom Field enjoyed an excellent day with the ball, taking 5-25 off ten miserly overs, whilst stand-in skipper Waqas Ali chipped in with 2-24 and new seam bowler Steve Du Cros 2-38.
The hosts began their reply in positive fashion through openers Olly Mason (20) and Field (30) but Stratford bounced back with a clutch of wickets.
Rizwan Mohammed scored a quickfire 20 but wickets continued to fall and, despite a fine 23 not out from Haris Ali, Redditch were bowled out in the final over for 168.
The 2nds suffered a similar fate at Stratford, losing in the final over as Stratford took the points with a one-wicket victory.
Redditch, having been reduced to 4-4, mustered 150 thanks to Naseek Hussain (56) and Geoff Eley (33).
In reply, Stratford struggled as pace bowlers Haleem Basharat (3-45) and Zahid Mohammed Zahid (2-23) applied the pressure, but Stratford bounced back and squeezed home in the final over.
On Saturday, early leaders Stourbridge are the visitors to Bromsgrove Road.
The 3rds opened their campaign with a winning draw at Harborne 5ths thanks to an inspired performance from all-rounder Warren Bisp who scored 54 in the Redditch total of 199.
Skipper Liam Phelan top-scored with 61 before Bisp continued his good day with 4-38, although home opener Will Clarke (74no) denied Redditch victory as Harborne ended on 192-9.
The 3rds entertain Droitwich at the Entaco on Saturday.
On Sunday in the Royal London National Knockout Cup, Redditch were heavily beaten at Stone SO.
Stone scored 231-6 off 40 overs as Sam Graham made 65 and in reply Redditch never recovered from loss of early wickets and succumbed to just 89 all out.
There was a run-feast in the BDPCL T20 match on Monday but Kidderminster progressed with a 25-run victory.
Kidderminster posted an impressive 206-7 off 20 overs as former Worcestershire player Neil Pinner hit a magnificent 98 off just 50 balls. Noman Mohammed took 4-29 off four overs, with all four wickets coming in the final over which included a hat-trick.
Redditch started in positive fashion thanks to Mason (43) and Tom Phelan (34) as they took the game to Kidderminster, but the visitors held on to progress as Redditch finished on 181-5.