Avoncroft 1st XI returned home following the rained off match against Alvechurch two weeks ago. On a good looking wicket the returning skipper Hunter won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision which raised a few questions from his own side.
The decision proved to be a right one as vice skipper Paul Athey started the ball rolling by picking up two wickets in as many balls which saw Malvern loose three wickets with the score on 18 as Hunter also joined in by bowling Rob Francis for a second ball duck. It was an impressive opening spell by both Athey who lead the line well and Hunter who supported leaving Malvern in a dangerous position of 35-6 with Athey taking 3 and Hunter also picking up 3 wickets.
Malvern’s veteran Skipper Thompson (69*) glued together the innings with support from youngster Simon Peace (31) but it was the returning Adam Rodway who picked up the wicket of Peace through a brilliantly timed catch by Dan Elliott who was later to star with the bat for the croft. With the score now 97-7 Malvern had put together a score which looked well out of reached following the tight opening spell from Athey and Hunter.
But it was the return of the opening bowlers to strike next as Hunter made the break through bowling Pilgrim for 10. After a few lusty blows from the Malvern Skipper Thompson the innings came to a close with Avoncroft bowling out Malvern for 156 in the 35 over with Hunter (5-46) and Athey (4-34) the pick of the bowlers for the croft. You can tell how straight they both bowled as 8 of the 10 wickets to fall were all bowled.
Following the interval break it was down to new signing Steve Eastham and Dan Elliott to open the batting. But despite hitting the first ball of the innings for 4 it was Eastham who fell in the first over due to miss timing a ball shot being caught for 4.
This brought keeper Sam Hughes to the wicket and alongside the impressive Elliott they despatched the Malvern attack around all parts of the ground putting on 107 for the second wicket. Despite Elliott running out his fellow batsmen Hughes (34 off 43 balls) following a poor call for a quick single, he brought up his first 50 at the top of the order as the croft crowd were entertained with one of Elliott’s most impressive innings in a Croft shirt.
The croft and particularly Hughes and the impressive Elliott (67* off 38 balls) made ease of the chase with the Malvern total being reached in 16.5 overs. Elliott brought the side home with the supporting Josh Cound who finished on 19 off 18 balls.
In a good all round team performance the croft comprehensively outplayed Malvern and will look to take this form into Saturday’s game again at Home vs Lye which is a 1pm start. Special thanks go to Stella for the outstanding Tea’s once again and for Ian Elliott scoring the entertaining game.
Match Report by Jon Hunter, 14/05/18
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