Brunt smashes quick fire ton in Croft victory
Avoncroft 1st XI travelled to Himley on Saturday and were indebted to two stand out performances from Paul Athey and Alex Brunt as they took the spoils on a blustery day in Worcester Division three.
Stand in captain Dan Elliott won the toss and put Himley in to bat and this was immediately vindicated as Avoncroft’s two opening bowlers, Paul Athey and Jon Hunter stated well. Hunter (10-2-28-1) proving the perfect foil for Athey (10-2-26-4) who produced a devastating spell of quick bowling, picking up 4 wickets, including 2 quick yorkers, to quickly reduce Himley to 34-4. And when Andy Pittam (10-1-23-1) came into the attack and had Himley number 5 Dan Newman caught at short cover it was starting to look like Croft had the game won.
This proved not to be the case however as Himley captain Tom Wall (53) and wicket keeper Dan Holmes (39) put together a partnership of 106 to claw Himley back into the game. Avoncroft’s Will Sach (7-0-24-1) proved the partnership breaker as he got rid of Holmes and Croft pounced with Elliott (9.3-2-38-3) picking up late wickets to eventually bowl Himley out for 185.
186 was a gettable target for Croft and they started promisingly with new look opening partnership Matt Hare and Alex Brunt going well. They put on 84 with Brunt passing a blistering half century, mixing touch with power, before Hare (15) was well caught at mid-on. Wickets continued to fall with the departures Sach and Jon Brunt, but at the other end Brunt kept plundering boundaries at will to take himself to his maiden 1st XI century. His innings, which consisted of 14 boundaries and 7 sixes, was eventually curtailed on 130 as he was bowled by Jack Hicklin looking to flay another boundary. It was then left to Jonty Heslop to hit the winning runs as Croft ran home winners by 5 wickets.
The win takes Avoncroft up to 5th in the table, and they take the mammoth trip to 4th placed Bartestree next week as they look to cement their position in Division three.
Match Report by Dan Elliott, 2/8/17
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