LEADERS Redditch Entaco remain buoyant as they head into Saturday’s home fixture against Stourbridge with a five-point advantage over local rivals Astwood Bank in the Worcestershire League Premier Division.
The Kingfishers were pushed all the way before sealing a gritty three-wicket win at Bewdley last weekend – the sort of match which emerging on the right side of often proves crucial in successful title challenges.
Redditch bowled the home side out for just 130 despite Paul Taylor hitting a fine 56. The visitors’ bowlers were on top early on and only a fine 41 partnership for the tenth wicket enabled Bewdley to reach three figures.
Waqas Ali led the way with 3-19 and was well backed up by Haris Ali (3-25) and Ghulam Moyhuddin (2-38).
In reply Redditch lost Olly Mason for 15 and Chris Brown (10) and were finding runs hard to come by.
Once again the middle order suffered low scores and Entaco were reduced to 59-6 but sensible batting from Tom Phelan and Haris Ali inched the Kingfishers towards their target.
Haris Ali was run out for 20 but Phelan (33no) grew in confidence and with stand-in skipper Waqas Ali (17no) the duo saw Redditch home in the 35th over.
Redditch will make one change to their side this weekend as skipper Russell Southwick returns in place of Phelan who is away.
Redditch 2nds continued their excellent Division Three form with a 56-run victory over Stourbridge at Bromsgrove Road.
Redditch were dismissed for 252 as Haleem Basharat (53), Anis Suleman (52) and Naseek Hussain (43) all made excellent contributions.
In reply Stourbridge lost early wickets as they faced accurate bowling from the Redditch seamers but a fine 49 from Vikesh Patel and 41 from Tom Stephens kept Stourbridge hopes alive.
However, wickets continued to fall and they were bowled out for 196. Mo Zahid (2-35), Steve Du Cros (2-25), Basharat (2-45) and James Bevan (2-50) inflicted the damage.
Liam Phelan’s title-chasers travel to Rushwick on Saturday.
The 4ths made it three wins out of four for the club on Saturday with a thrilling three-run victory at Evesham 3rds.
The Kingfishers amassed a useful 211 all out as debutant Richard Widdop scored 88 and received good support from skipper Adam Sharp (36no) and James Widdop (27).
In reply and with only nine players, Evesham made a great game of it with a knock of 90 from opener Jobanjit Singh and an unbeaten 43 from Akashdeep Singh, but Redditch squeezed home thanks to 3-37 from Ian Blaynee, 2-34 from Richard Widdop and 2-15 from Mo Esham.
Worcester 4ths are the visitors to Entaco this weekend for the next Division 12 South/East encounter.