REDDITCH ENTACO’S Worcestershire League Premier Division title chances suffered a blow as the Kingfishers fell one wicket short of clinching a crucial victory at Old Elizabethans.
The disappointment of having to settle for a winning draw and 18 points was tempered by the news leaders Stourbridge recorded the same result at home to Pershore, leaving Redditch 12 points off top spot with four matches remaining and a point behind second-placed Chaddesley Corbett.
Next up for Redditch is Saturday’s visit of Bewdley, which is followed by a clash at Stourbridge the following weekend which could go a long way towards deciding the outcome of the title race.
Saturday’s clash in Worcester was reduced to 39 overs per side by rain and the visitors, put into bat, soon lost Olly Mason without scoring.
However, they recovered well through excellent knocks from Rizwan Mohammed who hit a season’s best 98 and a breezy 44 from keeper Chris Brown as Redditch scored at six an over to finish on 239-9.
In reply Old Elizabethans made very little effort to chase the runs down and the Redditch bowlers grew in confidence as they took wickets at regular intervals.
However, Old Elizabethans held out for a draw, finishing on 109-9 as last man Sam Ford survived 21 balls. Ghulam Moyhuddin took 4-28 and was well supported by Waqas Ali (3-32), Noman Mohammed (1-20) and Hasnain Nawaz (1-15) who all bowled economically.
The 2nds’ home game against OEs was abandoned without a ball bowled and skipper Luke Davis will be hoping for better tomorrow when a trip to Stourbridge awaits, with the 2nds having seen three successive fixtures ruined by the weather.
The 3rds head into Saturday’s crucial fixture at Cookhill in confident mood and excellent form after an eight-wicket triumph against visitors Hagley.
The 3rds, who now lie second in Division Ten with a 19-point cushion over Halesowen, bowled the visitors out for just 129 with the Prescott brothers Tom and Jim taking three wickets apiece.
In reply Redditch lost Faheem Shahid early on but a partnership of 123 between James Prescott (45) and Geoff Eley (68) saw Redditch home in just 22 overs.
REDDITCH Entaco will be helping celebrate the career of former Worcestershire cricketer Jack Shantry in a benefit game tomorrow (Friday) at Bromsgrove Road.
Shantry, who had to retire last summer due to a long-standing back injury, has been awarded a benefit by the county this year.
A Redditch Entaco XI will play a Worcestershire select XI in a T20 match starting at 4.30pm. Cost of entrance is £5 and gates will open at 2pm.
There will also have a bat fast event during which spectators and guests can face some fast bowling greats on a simulator. In the evening local band Off The Grid will be providing the entertainment.