The fact that we played on the opening days was nothing short of divine intervention coupled with the serious efforts of Chris Pitt, Dave James et al. Huge thank you to all for making the game happen.
As to the game Avoncroft won the all-important toss and asked the opposition to bat first.
Opening up with Cound senior and Pittam very senior the deadly duo gained the upper hand quickly with some tight bowing. Martyn Cound bagged the first wicket, a sharp catch taken by Mark Whitehead from an upward drive.
Andy Pittam was soon on the act claiming the second wicket where the opener took one too many chances and paid for this losing his stumps with an attempted slog across the line.
Two soon became three with a further wicket for Cound and the pressure against a young Kidderminster team began to tell.
A double bowling change continued to see more wickets flow at a regular pace with the introduction of Mark Whitehead and the debutant Tom Holyoake. The latter made an impact both with the ball taking his first wicket for the club and then followed this up with a smart run out. Meanwhile Whitehead was bamboozling the opposition batsmen with his canny mixture of pies and jaffers ensuring that Croft maintained a firm grip on the game.
Rain came into play albeit it briefly for a couple of short spells but this did not affect the momentum of the game with the tail being wrapped up by young Liam “Lillee” Kehoe who took two quick wickets to close out the visitors innings on 98 all out.
Overall bowling figures were impressive and highlighted how well as a unit we bowled with Whitehead leading the way with 3 for 19 and ably supported by Cound 2 for 24 and Kehoe 2 for 2 being the pick of the bunch. .
The “Croft” innings started in ebullient fashion with Messrs Pitt and Huxley dispatching some wayward bowling to all parts of the ground. The pair put on 63 for the first wicket before Mr Pitt got his dander up and tried to crash a ball over the top but alas to no avail and was smartly caught. Although disappointed he had set the foundations for the innings enabling another new debutant Vishal “Shelly” Bhardwaj to maintain the tempo. Opening his account with a glorious drive through the covers he ably supported the classy Huxley to see the Croft over the line with 9 wickets to spare in the 15th over, Jase Huxley finishing with a polished 42 not out and Shelly 18 not out.
A great start to the season against a newly promoted team “The Croft” saw the job through in a thoroughly professional manner.
Next game is Alvechurch away which should be keenly fought against a team which we anticipate will give us more of a challenge!!
Match Report by Mark Wood, 23/04/2018
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