Avoncroft 2nd XI have made it 2 wins in a row with a thrilling victory over Halesowen. Arriving to find a bowler friendly track the day did not start off well as the coin toss was lost by the skipper and we quickly were put into bat.
Croft started the innings off well with Alex Brunt scoring freely before being bowled on 32. Another quick wicket followed which brought Josh Cound to the crease. Both batsman set about scoring on a wicket that was not bouncing consistently and Jason Huxley appeared to be getting set before being given out LBW for 20.
Josh Cound continued to score runs but soon attempted one aggressive shot too many to a ball that climbed and was caught on the boundary for 39. Cameron Wilkes came to the crease and was unlucky to be bowled after inside edging onto his stumps.
New recruit Raj Lalley joined Chris Pitt at the crease and together they put on an important 50 run partnership before Raj was dismissed. At this point Chris began to increase the scoring rate but at the other end the procession of wickets did not stop leaving Chris stranded on 38 not out with Croft all out after 41 overs with a total of 177.
Avoncroft then started the second innings with optimism based on how the pitch had been performing. Simon Wilkes & Martyn Cound started by keeping the bowling tight early on with Halesowen having only 9 runs on the board with 10 overs gone. Soon after Halesowen batsman began to attack and the game got to drinks with the score at 70-1 with the lone wicket being taken by Andy Pittam and a sharp stumping by Jason Huxley.
Shortly After drinks Will Sach came into the attack and soon made inroads in to the opposition’s top order and was ably assisted by Liam Kehoe who bowled tightly once again this week and picked up 2 wickets himself.
The game appeared to be getting away from Croft with Halesowen slowly picking up the runs required but with a second spell from Martyn Cound where he picked up his only wicket and Will Sach’s continued spell Croft fought back into the game despite many frustrations of catches being put down and edges flying where the fielders weren’t.
The game entered the final 2 overs with 7 runs required by Halesowen and 3 wickets in hand, Josh Cound came back to bowl and took 2 wickets for 2 runs in the penultimate over with one of the wickets being a superb catch taken by Martyn Cound in the deep.
Final Over, Will Sach bowling his 13th over with 5 runs required by Halesowen to win or 1 wicket required by Avoncroft to win. The first 4 balls were played at and missed by the batsman before the 5th was lobbed just out of reach of the cover fielders meaning 4 runs were required off the final ball. After a shifting of the fielders Will Sach came in to bowl the final ball of the innings with all 4 results possible and clean bowled the opposition batsman to give Croft their second win of the season.
A wonderful result for the club and a brilliant team effort. We fought in a game where we were struggling and the continued noise in support of the bowlers from the fielders who matched their efforts.
Onto the next game where we play our second away game in a row away at Bartestree & Lugwardine CC.
Match Report by Josh Cound, 16/5/17
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